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Cornelius News

Town Board defers rezoning request to December meeting

Nov. 16. By Dave Vieser. Three Cornelius residents addressed the six-story height contained in a proposal for a new mixed-use building at last night’s Town Board meeting.

Developer Justin Ckezepis (pronounced kuh-ZEP-is) hopes to rezone approximately one half acre at 19615 Bethel Church for a building with four stories devoted to commercial; two for residential; and underground parking. It’s at the corner of Bethel Church and the Jetton Road extension.

The current zoning is Village Center, with up to eight residential units and three stories allowed by right and up to six stories allowed under Conditional Zoning. Sixteen underground parking spaces are planned beneath the building; an existing adjoining parking lot will remain.

Roger Love, a retired real estate agent who lives in the Jetton Cove section, took specific issue with the proposed building height. “I believe that would change the entire look of that whole area,” he said.

However, Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron noted that, because of the downslope between West Catawba and Jetton Extension, the top of the proposed building would be no higher than the nearby UPS building.

As reported first by Cornelius Today, the developer and board agreed to have the hearing continued until Dec. 6 so that the new Town Board can weigh in on the project.

“We appreciate having the date moved,” said Ckezepis. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about this and look forward to hearing what the new commissioners’ thoughts are on our specific request.”

Town Board action:

—Approved financing with Truist Bank which will permit the town to buy new vehicles for the police and fire departments. According to Finance Director Julie Niswonger, “we plan to purchase five patrol vehicles, two investigative police vehicles, and one administrative police department vehicle. For the fire department, the town plans to acquire a new pumper.” The total cost is $415,000 for the eight police vehicles and $728,000 for the pumper. These items were previously approved in the 2022 budget. The terms for the police vehicles are three years at an interest rate of 0.90 percent, and for the pumper, five years with an interest rate of 1.24 percent. Niswonger said the 0.90 percent rate for the police vehicles was one of the best rates the town has ever received.

—Ratified the re-appointment of Teresa Hawkins and Rick Kamakaris, to the Architectural Review Board with terms expiring in October 2023. Hawkins has served on the board since 2010 while Kamakaris has served since 2015.

—Accepted Washam Park Drive, Addie Hall Lane, and Washam Green Lane in The Reserve at Washam Potts subdivision, for town maintenance.