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Cornelius News

Town Board meeting: Hearings on W. Catawba project, FY 21-22 budget

Junker property rezoning sketch

June 8. By Dave Vieser. The final public hearing on the Junker Project, a five-story, mixed-use project proposed for West Catawba just to the east of the Wher-Rena boat showroom, attracted 11 residents in person on Monday June 7, all in opposition. There was one email in favor.

The town’s proposed $26.1 million budget for the next fiscal year drew less interest during the public comments period since the tax rate will stay the same.

The Town Board is expected to vote on both the Junker Project and the municipal budget at the June 21 meeting, though the Town Board could still decide to move the Junker proposal to a future date. To view documents including site plans and elevations, click here.

Cameryn Elise is the name of the proposed apartment project on West Catawba

Some residents in favor

Residents Patricia and Stephen Kowalchyk supported the project which includes 252 apartments. “This is a gorgeous proposal, so let’s not lose this opportunity for responsible growth to go by,” they said in an email. Residents have turned out to oppose the project at previous meetings.

Planning board recommends ‘no’ vote

The town Planning Board has already recommended that the Town Board turn down developer Jake Palillo’s plan which would target higher-end renters. They expressed concerns about both height and density.

Town planning officials said that Palillo’s “proposed rezoning provides a challenge for the Town to evaluate due to all of the moving parts of our process, our adopted policies and regulations as well as the proposed plans and options for consideration.”

In other action, the commissioners:

—Approved modifications in town regulations which will make them consistent with changes adopted by the state. The major change requires a recommendation from the town planning board on any application within 30 days. Previously the Town policy was 90 days.

—Ratified the town’s procurement policy which formalizes guidelines for procurement of goods, services, construction and repair. The policy spells out threshold amounts when formal vs informal bidding must be implemented , as well as a process to exempt professional services less than $50,000 from the standard request for qualifications process.

—Formally acknowledged expected money from the American Rescue Plan Act. No estimate of how much will be forthcoming is known at this time.