Tag Archive | "planning"

Board adopts an update to town’s Land Use Plan


special-buttons31aCornelius commissioners on Monday voted 4-0 to approve an update to the town’s Land Use Plan, which will help guide decision making about future growth. The board also discussed renaming part of Country Club Lane, off Torrence Chapel Road, amid confusion over addresses on the disconnected street.

The board also approved two other planning amendments, one to allow park and ride lots in the Highway Commercial Zone and another to add recreation centers as a permitted use in the Industrial Campus zones. The board approved both on Nov. 18, but a second vote was required because the votes were not properly advertised.


The town’s Land Use Plan was first adopted in 1999. The proposed update has been under consideration since the fall, when consultants, planning staff and the Planning Board began drafting amendment to the town’s development policy. The plan is a guide, not an ordinance, intended to help town officials as they examine and approve new developments.

The plan would reduce density overall in Cornelius, but it calls for increasing the density in some rural areas. Among other things, it sets a new minimum lot size in the town’s low-density rural areas at 3 acres (an increase from 2 acres previously under consideration). The plan also bars multifamily housing in an area north of Bailey Road.

There were no changes to the draft map following the board’s last discussion on Dec. 16. But new language was added to the final text to assuage concerns of property owners on the east side of town, where denser development now could be allowed.

The new text expresses the town’s desire to preserve the rural character of the area. While the plan updates would allow denser developments, it says: “Applicants may be able to request and gain approval of the maximum densities noted, subject to board review and consideration of a plan that provides preservation of natural features and maintains the established character of the area.”

The update also revises the planning area along US 21/Statesville Road and rewrites the town’s planning map to promote development of the Lake Norman waterfront. Other changes since the process began include returning the Cashion property at U.S. 21 and Washam Potts Road to Medium Density Residential, and envisioning the area along Mayes Road at NC 73 to be Low Density Single Family.

The board voted on several items Monday, all approved 4-0, with Commissioner John Bradford absent. Here’s a summary with links to town documents.

  • Approved the Land Use Plan Update
  • Approved TA 03-13: Park and Ride Facilities – Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) is considering putting a new park-and-ride lot on Sefton Park Road, off West Catawba Avenue, in the Exit 28 area.
  • Approved TA 04-13: Public Recreation Centers – The vote could clear the way for a future Mecklenburg County regional recreation center in town. The project is far from a done deal, but the ordinance change would let the county try to acquire a site off NC 115 west and south of Bailey Road for a potential future project. A proposed $27 million northern towns recreation center was among the projects envisioned in a county parks and recreation bond package that voters approved in 2008. That project and others were delayed because of the downturn in the economy and the county’s subsequent decision to hold off on more bond sales. But with the economy improving, many bond projects are returning to the front burner. As envisioned in the original 2008 bond proposal, the county would build a 100,000 square-foot regional recreation center to serve Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville. No site has been chosen yet, and the three towns are likely to compete for the project. But Cornelius would be centrally located in the area.
  • Commissioners voted to authorize the town staff to commit bond funding or other money to help with the West Catawba Phase II widening project. The project had been on the NC DOT’s regional priority list for funding, but changes to the state road project ranking system have created uncertainty. The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization has asked towns to say whether they might contribute local funding to projects, in advance of the CRTPO’s Jan. 15 meeting. See more about West Catawba Avenue, Phase 2 on the town website.
  • Capital Project Ordinance Amendment – With the project complete, the vote allows the town to close the fund that paid for West Catawba Avenue improvements.
  • General Fund Amendment – The board vote to amend the budget for four items including a $5,500 ElectriCities “creative placemaking” grant, two small grants for PARC, and $3,025 in reimbursements to the 911 Fund.
  • The board voted to appoint Gabriella Alberdi to fill a vacancy on the Cornelius Library Endowment Committee.
  • The board approved several small property tax refunds
  • Commissioners and town staff also discussed the need to rename a section of Country Club Lane, off Torrence Chapel Road, amid confusion over the locations of disconnected street sections. Residents’ concerns heightened after a Dec. 18 fire destroyed a lakefront home on a short section of Country Club Lane. Police and the Mecklenburg Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the blaze. Residents say public safety responders often have trouble finding addresses because of the disconnected street sections. (See Dec. 18, 2013, “Flames light up sky as house burns off Torrence Chapel”)

Posted in Cornelius, Planning & Development, Torrence Chapel, Town HallComments Off

Westmoreland-Catawba connection coming this summer

Workers are using Lake Pines Drive to stage construction materials. Town officials say the road should open this summer. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net)

Workers are using Lake Pines Drive to stage construction materials. Town officials say the road should open this summer. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net)

A long-planned street connection that will link the new Legacy Cornelius apartments, off Westmoreland Road, with the Westmoreland neighborhood, off West Catawba Avenue, should be completed by the end of summer, officials said this week. Read the full story


Posted in Cornelius, Planning & Development, Town Hall, Traffic alerts, Transportation, West Catawba Avenue, WestmorelandComments Off

Board to vote on Land Use Plan, discuss W. Catawba widening


special-buttons31aCornelius commissioners meet for the first time in 2014 on Monday night, when they could vote to adopt an update to the town’s Land Use Plan, which lays out policies for future development. The board also will discuss whether to use town funds to help widen West Catawba Ave., and hear updates on a public swimming beach at Ramsey Creek Park and Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities operations.
Read the full story


Posted in Bailey Road, Bailey's Glen, Cornelius, Cornelius neighborhoods, Downtown and old Cornelius, Mecklenburg County, Planning & Development, Public safety, Real Estate & Home, Statesville Road/US 21, Town HallComments Off

63 ‘empty nester’ homes proposed on Nantz Road

EPCON Communities plans 63 houses and an office building (at upper right). (EPCON)

EPCON Communities plans 63 houses and an office building (at upper right). (EPCON)

Map shows the 21-acre site. Click to visit the Planning Department website, with additional info and documents.

Map shows location of the 21-acre site. Click to visit the Planning Department website, with additional info and documents. (Cornelius Planning Department/EPCON)

Developers will host a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 7, about plans for Courtyards at Nantz, a proposed neighborhood of 63 single-family homes and an office building at Nantz Road and West Catawba Avenue. The meeting begins at 6:30pm at Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave. Read the full story


Posted in Cornelius, Planning & Development, Senior news, Town Hall, West Catawba AvenueComments Off

Land Use Plan update delayed again, vote likely on Jan. 6

The new Land Use Map will guide policy decisions about development in the coming years. Click to see the full map and the draft Land Use Plan on the town website.

The new Land Use Map will guide policy decisions about development in the coming years. Click to see the full map and the draft Land Use Plan on the town website.

special-buttons31aThe Cornelius Town Board on Monday put off for at least one more meeting the adoption of proposed updates to the town’s Land Use Plan and map. But commissioners and Mayor Chuck Travis agreed that they are “very close to a decision,” which could come at the board’s next meeting, Jan. 6.  The new plan does not change the town’s zoning rules, but it will guide policy decisions about future development.

Major changes reviewed Monday included increasing the minimum lot size in the town’s low-density rural areas to 3 acres from 2 acres, as had been discussed previously. The plan also bars multifamily housing in an area north of Bailey Road. Read the full story


Posted in Bailey Road, Bailey's Glen, Cornelius, Living with Growth, Planning & Development, Town Hall, UncategorizedComments Off

Board could vote Mon. on Land Use Plan revisions

The new Land Use Map will guide policy decisions about development in the coming years. Click to see the full map and the draft Land Use Plan on the town website.

The new Land Use Map will guide policy decisions about development in the coming years. Click to see the full map and the draft Land Use Plan on the town website.

special-buttons31aAfter a series of meetings and a variety of revisions, the Cornelius Town Board on Monday could adopt proposed updates to the town’s Land Use Plan and map, which will guide policy decisions about future development. The latest version reduces lot sizes to 3 acres in the town’s low-density rural areas, from 2 acres, and rules out multifamily housing along Bailey Road. Read the full story


Posted in Bailey Road, Calendar, Cornelius, Davidson, Lake Norman, Planning & Development, Real Estate & Home, Statesville Road/US 21, Town HallComments Off

Planning board recommends rezoning for Thunderbird Prep

Thunderbird Preparatory Academy‘s request to rezone a site on NC 115 south of downtown won unanimous support from the Planning Board Monday night. The charter school’s rezoning request now goes to the Cornelius Town Board, where it’s scheduled for a public hearing and possible vote on Jan. 6. Read the full story


Posted in Cornelius, NC 115/Old Statesville Road, Planning & Development, TransportationComments Off

Thunderbird Prep seeks zoning OK for charter school on NC 115

Artist's rendering shows the front of the planned charter school on NC 115.

Artist’s rendering shows the front of the planned charter school on NC 115.


Thunderbird Preparatory Academy, a newly approved charter school that plans to focus on leadership and talent development, is seeking zoning approval to open next fall in a building that once housed a Montessori school on Old Statesville Road/NC 115 south of downtown.

Thunderbird officials said this week they hope to occupy the site for a couple of years, while they build a permanent school building in Huntersville. The school could have up to 488 students at opening in Fall 2014, and as many as 596 in Fall 2015.

Developer Oak Capital Group LLC is requesting a conditional zoning for the 4-acre site at 17609-17615 Old Statesville Road. Oak Capital plans to buy the property and lease it to the school.

The request will come before the Cornelius Planning Board Monday, Dec. 9, at 6:30pm at Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave. It’s currently scheduled for a Town Board hearing and vote on Monday, Jan. 6, at 7pm, also at Town Hall.

Thunderbird Prep won state approval for its charter this summer.

Chairman Michael Babbitt told CorneliusNews.net Wednesday the school will offer “a classical liberal arts education focusing on leadership and talent development.”

“What’s going to make our school different than all the other schools is that we truly plan on developing the talents and aptitudes that children already have,” Babbitt said. “We have the framework and the people.”

Doug Hargett and Judy Martin, both founding teachers at Lake Norman Charter School, are on Thunderbird’s board. And the school plans to use principles from the Covey Leadership training program, “the seven habits of highly effective people,” Babbitt said.

Babbitt said Thunderbird’s organizers are currently looking at an undisclosed site in Huntersville to locate a permanent campus. He said the school has the property under contract, and is currently seeking financing. If all goes according to plan, that site could open in the Fall of 2017, he said.

The school eventually hopes to serve about 920 students, according to its state charter application.

Babbitt thinks there’s plenty of room for another charter school in the Lake Norman area, and he offered his own experience as proof. “There’s definitely a demand. That’s evidenced by the length of the waiting  list at any given charter school,” he said. “We applied for a couple of the schools, and our daughters were both put on the waiting lists.” One daughter was No. 330 where she applied and the other No. 267.

Plans submitted to the Town of Cornelius project that Thunderbird will have up to 488 students when it opens in Fall 2014, with 40 staff. The site plan calls for 55 parking spaces.

“We’ve done traffic studies, and we have plans on how to route traffic,” so the school won’t increase congestion on NC 115, Babbitt said.


Thunderbird charter application (PDF), on NCPublicSchools.org.

Zoning information, on the town of Cornelius website

Cornelius Planning Board agenda item and documents for Dec. 9, 2013.

Thunderbird Preparatory Academy website, thunderbirdprep.org


Posted in Cornelius, Downtown and old Cornelius, Planning & Development, SchoolsComments Off

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