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Cornelius News

Public hearing on ‘Retreat at W. Catawba’ pushed to Feb. 18

By Dave Vieser. The public hearing on the Retreat at West Catawba project, originally scheduled for Tuesday Jan. 22 at Cornelius Town Hall, is expected to be delayed until Monday Feb. 18 at 7 pm. The proposal calls for as many as 42 townhomes and two commercial buildings on a 9.5 acre parcel.

The property is largely vacant except for a handful of homes, one of which is run-down. It gained notoriety in 2016 when Classica Homes planned 40 age-restricted homes there, but the application was withdrawn. The town at the time offered little support for a residential project, stymieing the long-time owners who wanted to sell. The plan was officially withdrawn when there were too many challenges around the plans to widen West Catawba.

Demeter Properties, the developer, hosted a required community meeting at Town Hall on Jan. 8. “Following that meeting, the Town and the applicant received an update from NCDOT for the West Catawba widening project which reflects a new u-turn on the applicant’s property. This impacts the current plan to a point that it is not viable as proposed,” said Cornelius Assistant Planning Director Aaron Tucker.

Tucker said that the new u-turn had been added to address citizen concerns regarding the lack of a U-turn for properties on the west side of West Catawba Avenue.  As a result, the applicant is requesting that the public hearing be continued until Feb. 18 so they can meet with the DOT and evaluate alternate uses and designs parcel.

At the community meeting, representatives from Demeter indicated that each of the townhomes would be approximately 2,200 square feet, and that the selling price would range from $400,000 to $500,000. Meanwhile, the town’s transportation advisory board reviewed the project at their January meeting.

“We basically reported that the Catawba widening will effectively address the traffic impact associated with this development” said Kurt Naas, TAB member, “but until such time as the widening is completed, the project will significantly impact traffic congestion.”