you're reading...

Cornelius News

Town Board meets tonight; hearing most likely will be postponed

36-acre site on the north side of Bailey, just east of Hwy. 115

July 17. The public hearing for the Cornelius Business Park is still on the agenda for tonight’s Town Board meeting but developer Greenburg Gibbons has asked that it be moved to Aug. 21.

Drew Thigpen, of Greenburg Gibbons, said he wanted the delay so he can have more time to respond to concerns raised by residents.

Thigpen seeks to develop a flex office project comprised of five single-story buildings totaling 198,720 square feet across from the entrance to Bailey Road Park.The 36 acre property is on the north side of Bailey Road is zoned for rural preservation.

Drew Thigpen

By a 3-2 margin, the Cornelius Planning Board voted to recommend that the Town Board deny the rezoning. However, only five of the nine Planning Board members were present at their June 12 meeting.

Chapter 12 of the Town Code allows the Town Board to refer projects back to the Planning Board for additional review at any time.

“The Town Board has always desired to allow appropriate time for all parties to comment and provide suggestions regarding any proposal that may be evaluated to the fullest extent possible by Staff, Planning Board and ultimately Elected Officials,” said Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron. “If the Town Board chooses to table the case and refer it back to the Planning Board, they most likely will defer all comments until August 21st. However anyone wishing to speak under public comment at Monday’s meeting and who signs up to do so may still address the Town Board Monday evening.”

Sending the application back to the Planning Board is unusual, but not unheard of.Historically, most applications are considered upon their initial presentation, but the Town Board has chosen from time to time to exercise its options and defer an application back to the Planning Board, as they did last year with the Land Use Plan.

Meanwhile, Thigpen is still hopeful that his project will go forward. “This particular flex office building complex would serve a need that is severely lacking in the southeast,” Drew Thigpen said in GGW’s application. “Most of the existing flex office available in the region is outdated, repurposed and substandard.”

The Town Board Meeting will begin at 6 pm in Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.