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Cornelius News

Zoom, zoom, zoom: Online meeting falls apart

Nov. 19. By Dave Vieser. A virtual community meeting on Palillo Holdings’ plan to build 252 multifamily apartments on the property that encompasses White House Gardens transitioned from a late and unorganized start to a verbal-free-for-all between Palillo and nearby residents.

It began at 5 pm but by 5:25, the meeting descended into a shouting match between the developer and residents.

Town officials had considered having the meeting in person which is the usual procedure, but they decided to try the virtual process due to COVID-19 restrictions.


The Zoom meeting with Palillo, a Cornelius resident, went haywire. Attempts were made to lower the volume, but the lack of personal interaction seemed to doom any real success.

Tony Grisanti, president of the Lake Norman Cove at Jetton HOA, took issue with Palillo’s plan: “No consideration of our residents whatsoever.” Lake Norman Cove resident Bob Kirsch said the Palillo proposal was “outrageous.”

“How in the world are we going to handle the additional traffic,” he said.

Tensions rose when residents Palillo how many cars each apartment would generate. “One and half cars,” he stated, which was followed by a wave of disbelief from residents. “That’s what our studies show,” Palillo said. “One and one half per apartment.”

The site

The site is undeveloped except for White House Gardens and a boat business on Junker Drive, behind the White House Gardens.

According to Planning Director Aaron Tucker, the Town will continue to allow developers to conduct virtual community meetings. Code allows the town to require an additional meeting if the community meeting is insufficient.

Next step in the review process is the first Public Hearing before the Town Board. It is currently scheduled for 6 pm Monday Dec. 7 at Town Hall. This is the same day as a highly controversial hearing is scheduled on a cell tower application in the same area, raising the likelihood that a large crowd at Town Hall could be anticipated that evening. No decision will be made on either proposal on Dec. 7.


5 Responses to “Zoom, zoom, zoom: Online meeting falls apart”

  1. When your town roads cannot handle the additional traffic,
    go back to the drawing board! Infrastructure should be in place before you impose more apartments .

    Re: Building on White House property.

    Posted by Elaine Russell | November 19, 2020, 2:16 pm
  2. Palillo is verbally abusive and his toxicity came out in a Facebook post prior to this meeting, where he attacked numerous people verbally. The original poster was asking about Bailey’s Glen HOA fees and Palillo immediately launched into degrading, mocking, insulting and verbally abusing that poster as well as others who agreed with her. He is an embarrassment and doesn’t deserve to do any business in this area.

    Posted by Evilla Twinn | November 19, 2020, 2:31 pm
  3. why do the residence of Cornelius always have to be the ones slowing the development for the area. NO MAJOR PROJECTS UNTIL TRAFFIC is better funneled thru this town. There needs to be a moritorium on building any apartment complexes or other major projects until the elected leaders finalize the road projects that they said they would complete during their elections

    Posted by TC Clayton | November 19, 2020, 2:44 pm
  4. “We did a traffic study.” Yahoo! That means the town of Cornelius will approve this project. Should be fun travelling West Catawba with only 378 more cars trying to make turns in an already highly congested area.
    But not to worry because 126 of them are only “half cars”.

    Posted by Ken | November 19, 2020, 3:19 pm
  5. This is ridiculous. Catawba is a constant traffic jam and they want to add more cars. Why can’t Cornelius town board see this. No more building until they widen Catawba Ave

    Posted by Tracy Brown | November 20, 2020, 2:30 pm

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