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Traffic a concern with building proposal; public meeting Monday

April 8. By Dave Vieser. A request to rezone three acres of vacant land at the northeast corner of Bailey and Statesville roads to accommodate three new retail buildings has generated concerns among area residents about increased traffic. If approved, the three new buildings comprising 40,000 square feet would house a mix of restaurant, retail and office tenants. The Cornelius Planning Board will consider the request, filed by Oakhurst Properties II, at their meeting this coming Monday.

But, interestingly enough, the proposal would allow the town to review the functionality of the intersection for a two-year period so that changes could be made based on traffic flow.

“There were about 15 people in attendance at the March 9th community meeting,” said Planning Director Wayne Herron. “Most were in favor of the request, but had concerns about traffic. They were mostly concerned about the intersection with Bailey Road across from the existing driveway entrance to 131 Main, which they stated as being too congested and unsafe today.”

Herron said that the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) submitted by Oakhurst recommended that the driveways at Bailey Road and Washam Potts Road which would access the site remain full movement/two-way drives. “Despite that recommendation, we had conversations with the applicant, about the impacts full movement would have in this location since it is only 30 feet from the intersection of Bailey and Statesville Roads,” he added.

As a result, the town is taking the unusual step of including details of the performance guarantee agreed to by Oakhurst Properties II in its rezoning hearings. The performance guarantee, or “bond,” allows the Town to evaluate the function of the intersection with the new development for a two-year period and require modifications, if deemed necessary, paid for by the developer.

“We wanted to point out to the public and the reviewing boards during the rezoning that this is a tool that we can use to further evaluate and implement any improvements deemed necessary after the project opens,” Herron said.

Other traffic recommendations the town will insist be included as part of the rezoning include adding 200-feet of left turn lane storage into the site from southbound Statesville Road, and using three way stop signs at the entrance way intersection within the site.

If the re-zoning is granted by the Planning Board, the application would then go before the full Town Board for a final decision. The April 11 meeting begins at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall Assembly Room.