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Cornelius News

On the street where you live: New rule for developers

May 21. B​y Dave Vieser​. The Cornelius ​Town Board has approved a zoning amendment tthat ​makes life a little easier for homeowners who live next to a prospective development site. Developers must either deactivate conditional zoning applications ​if there’s no activity ​after six month​s​.

​It means developments that have stalled for one reason or another either move forward or come to an official halt. If that’s the case, they would have to start the application process—including fees— over again. Some development applications on the books right now date back to 2013, said ​Planning Director Wayne Herron.

​Residents say the heretofore open​-​ended applications impact home sales and property values.

​”​While every property owner and applicant should have the right to a reasonable process and time line, keeping an application open i​ndefinitely with long periods of inactivity is not fair to neighbors or the community​,​”​ Herron said.​

​T​here​’s apparently no uniform way of handling the issue​ in nearby towns.​

For the purposes of the new law, activity is defined as submission of a plan for review or presentation, holding a community meeting, a traffic study or other required plan in the process of preparation, a technical staff meeting or committee review, or a Board review.

Julie Baker, of RE/MAX Executive ​supports the new ​approach to old projects​. “As a ​R​ealtor I can see where having applications hanging out there for so long would impact people​,​”​ she said.​

Allen Tate’s Zeke Ward agreed. “I have had clients concerned about proposed development applications​,​ especially if it is direct line of sight. Green space is a premium and very desirable​,​”​ he said.​

The new regulation will take effect immediately, but would not be retroactive. If a case is closed or deactivated, the applicant may file a new application with new fees. The application and review would then start from the beginning of the review process and it would be considered a newly filed application.