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Cornelius News

Proposal would take Town Board out of chain of command for in-fill developments

Sept. 8. By Dave Vieser. At a time when residents are voicing concern regarding over-development in Cornelius, town officials are considering a procedural change which would take some approval power out of the hands of elected officials. Under the proposal, sub divisions of less than 25 lots would be allowed “by right” as long as all other planning requirements are met. Currently, any developments with over four lots requires town board approval.

The town board  is scheduled to discuss the measure during their Tuesday Sept. 8 meeting but no decision is expected.

“We’ve been working closely with stakeholders over the last year with regard to our subdivision approval process,” Senior Planner Becky Partin said.

The Land Development Code Advisory Board (LDCAB) and staff recommend allowing subdivisions of more than four lots, but less than 25 lots, “by right,” as long as all other Land Development Code requirements are met.

If approved, the new category would be known as a Major-Standard Subdivision.

Per town law, the Planning Board will actually make a recommendation first regarding the change to the town board, after which the commissioners will decide whether or not they wish to relinquish the approval power for sub divisions of more than four but less than 25 lots.

The change was approved by LDCAB on Feb. 24 by an 8-0 vote but their role is purely advisory.

Two of the five board members who serve on the advisory board—Tricia Sisson and Mike Miltich—voted for the proposal at the meeting in February, with Commissioner Sisson unsuccessfully proposing a 30 lot cap, rather than 25.

A review of recently approved town projects shows at least three sub divisions which would have not been reviewed on a town board level if the proposed procedure was in effect over the past several years:

—The Forest at Bailey’s Glen: 16 single-family residences on Barnhardt Road

—Mulberry Townhomes: 6 town home units. at 19834 Mulberry Street.

—Washam Potts Reserve: 22 lot single family residential subdivision adjacent to 9910 Washam Potts Road.

The commissioners are not expected to make any final decision Tuesday evening.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

The board commissioners is expected to move up the starting time for the remainder of the 2020 meetings to 6 pm rather than 7 pm. “The time change is to start a little earlier so the meetings do not end at a late hour,” said Town Manager Andrew Grant.

Both the Town Board Sept. 8 meeting and the Sept. 14 Planning Board meeting will be streamed online via the town’s web site: www.cornelius.org.