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Cornelius News

Planning staff recommends ‘no’ vote on W. Catawba apartment complex

Cameryn Elise is the name of the proposed apartment project on West Catawba

March 8. By Dave Vieser. The Town of Cornelius Planning staff is recommending that the Planning Board turn down the Junker Property mixed-use project proposed by developer Jake Palillo.

A staff report prepared for the Planning Board meeting tonight said the density in the proposal “far exceeds” the 2014 Land Use Plan recommendations. It’s also inconsistent with the advice given by economic development consultants to include more non-residential uses in mixed-use buildings along West Catawba, according to the staff report.

The proposed residential density of the project is about 20 dwelling units per acre, more than the four units an acre limit contained in the town’s land use plan.

However, even if the Planning Board agrees with the staff and recommends denial, the final decision will still rest with the Town Board. No date or time has yet been set for their second and final hearing on this application.

The proposal

Palillo Holdings seeks to develop approximately 12 acres at 18955 West Catawba into several multi-family buildings with approximately 252 units. Palillo Holdings also plans approximately 2,000 square feet of commercial space in one building, while another would contain a clubhouse and leasing office.

Jake Palillo

Neighborhood concerns

The proposal was criticized at previous hearings and meetings by neighbors and residents who expressed concerns about added traffic congestion as well as the density of the project.

Palillo responds

“They are recommending denial because they want me to have more retail on the first floor and I won’t do it because we have to much empty retail now,” the Cornelius-based developer said.

Meeting tonight

Monday’s meeting will begin at 6:30 pm at Town Hall. It will be available for viewing on the town’s web site at www.cornelius.org.

How to comment

For those who wish to comment, there are three methods:

—Via Zoom – Visit www.cornelius.org and access the agenda listing. Speakers must register no later than noon Monday March 8 and should plan to join the meeting at 4:30 pm for audio/video testing.

—Via email to TownofCornelius@Cornelius.org

—In-person, with several precautions, including mandatory masks (even when speaking) and touchless temperature checks. No audience seating will be available in the Assembly Room. Speakers and guests may wait in the lobby or Community Room, with appropriate physical distancing.