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Cornelius News

Potts Street development under review by Davidson

By Dave Vieser. Although the Cornelius portion of ​a big Crescent Communities development has been withdrawn, plans for several hundred units right across the town line in Davidson remain in place, and officials there are reviewing new documents related to the proposal, including a draft Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA).

It doesn’t appear any immediate approval will be forthcoming soon​, but when it happens, this project will have a big impact on Cornelius traffic.

It’s happened before: The ​Bailey Springs project on the other side of Bailey Road from Hough High changed the way traffic flows at Hwy. 115 and Bailey Road next to the Foamex plant.

“We are still reviewing this proposal in conjunction with Mecklenburg County,” said Davidson Town Senior Planner Chad Hall. “Concurrently, we are also reviewing the draft TIA. The applicant is hopeful of a Public Input Session in the near future. However we still have several issues with the proposed site plan including connectivity and impervious property.”

Roads to and from the proposed Davidson site traverse both towns in an area on North Main Street that sees plenty of congestion due to left-hand turns near the YMCA on Davidson Street and Potts Street near the railroad trestle. A significant number of Davidson residents continue to actively oppose the project, along with some Cornelius officials.

“In my 13 years serving Cornelius on this board, I cannot think of a single, more objectionable project,” said Commissioner Dave Gilroy. “There is zero chance it would advance if within, vs. adjacent to, our borders.”

(How the three towns of North Mecklenburg work together will be the subject of a Newsmakers Breakfast Feb. 22 with the mayors of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville.​)

The draft TIA which is currently under review recommends improvements, or “mitigation” to several nearby intersections if the project is to be built. According to Cornelius Planning Director Wayne Herron, the recommended improvements do not require an inter-local agreement with Cornelius, primarily due to the fact the intersections proposed for mitigation are controlled by the NC DOT.

Herron says there are also several safety nets that will mandate the needed road improvements, if Davidson ultimately permits the development. “Davidson has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Crescent to mandate all mitigation improvements required by the TIA, and the NC DOT will require all TIA improvements as part of its driveway permitting process. Last, Mecklenburg County will not authorize the development until the applicant agrees to the improvements and will not allow any occupancy until the improvements are bonded or constructed.”

So watchful eyes and ears on both sides of the Cornelius/Davidson border wait to see how this proposed development is handled, especially since in both towns, new officials have assumed important roles on elected boards.

It looks like Davidson is paying more attention to development, especially in light of election results last fall.

The project has been kicked “back to the developer and the ball is now in their court,” Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox said. “The town will review the developer’s response and then consider scheduling the project for public review.”