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Cornelius News

Town Board’s 4-1 vote raises allowable density in rural preservation area

April 6. UPDATED. By Dave Vieser. Part of the remaining rural farmland in Cornelius near Mayes Road may soon become a thing of the past. On April 5, the Town Board changed the land use designation policy for this area, which comprises 173 acres, from low density rural to low density single family.

The net result is that developers can now apply to build as many as six homes per 3 acres in this region, up from a maximum of one home per three acres. [Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated 6 homes per acre.]

The land remains in a “Rural Preservation Area Zone” regardless.

Duke votes ‘no’


The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Jim Duke voting no. “I just think we need to be serious about rural preservation, and we’re not,” Duke said, before his vote.

Earlier, during the public comments section, former Commissioner Dave Gilroy said approving the higher density would be a strategic error.

“We need to show some diversity in this town. Once you raise the density, you can never reverse it,” said Gilroy, who plans to run for the Town Board again this fall.

Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron said the Land Use plan is only a policy guide, not a zoning document.

Potts Plantation mentioned

“This will still leave over 539 acres in the lowest density rural category in and around the Potts Plantation,” he said.

In a related matter, the commissions unanimously approved changes in the Land Use Plan as applied to the Town Center section of Cornelius.

It expands the Town Center category to include the existing Business Campus areas at the end of Zion Avenue and allowing the consideration of proposals up to six stories high.

Also at Monday’s meeting

—Approved a rezoning request from developer Jake Palillo (Palillo Holdings, LLC), to permit nine single-family detached homes on approximately 8.11 acres near Mayes Road. Also approved was another request from Palillo which would permit an additional seven homes on Mayes Road.

—Added detailing as an approved use in the sections of town designated for car wash operations.

—Changed the start time for all future Town Board Meetings in calendar year 2021 from 6 pm to 5 pm.