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Mooresville board OKs amended zoning request
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Mooresville board OKs amended zoning request

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The Mooresville Board of Commissioners on Monday in two 5-0 votes approved a voluntary annexation and utility extension request and an amended zoning establishment of Single Family Residential, or R-2, for 21 acres at 129 Blume Road.

Applicant River Rock Development had sought to go from Iredell County Residential-20, or R20 zoning, to town of Mooresville Residential Mixed Use, or RMX zoning, but the board agreed with the many community members who expressed their concern over traffic spilling into nearby Beech Tree Road and the higher density allowed in an RMX zoning designation.

Commissioner Barbara Whittington recused herself from discussion and the two separate votes on the annexation and utility extension and zoning establishment requests because she said she has a close relationship with the property owners, Jerry and Brenda Waugh.

Town Transportation Planner Erika Martin said the developer sought to construct 110 dwelling units on the property and that the proposal would require a TIA, or traffic impact analysis. A spokesman for River Rock Development told the board the proposed project is a community for seniors 55 and older. “There’s a need for that in the community and that’s what we’re proposing to do,” the representative said. The community would offer amenities on-site, including property management, trails and open space, he said. There would be minimal impact on schools and roads, he said.

Approximately 50 community members attended the meeting’s public hearing on the annexation and zoning requests, nearly all of them resoundingly opposed to the proposed development. Beech Tree Road already serves as a cut through for drivers headed to and from Woodland Heights Elementary School, many people told the board. To add more homes would become a traffic nightmare and impact the area’s quality of life, they said. Many asked the board to consider a lower density zoning designation than RMX if the annexation request was approved. Those opposed to the project also said they worried the developers could say the project is designated for seniors 55 and older but had no conditions attached to it that would require the project move forward as that if approved.

The town has 60 days to establish zoning once property has been annexed, said Commissioner Gary West. He also said the board has several tools in its toolbox to help manage growth and traffic including conditioned site plans as well as TIAs. But, because this is a zoning request, the board cannot establish conditions on the project, West said. He said he would encourage a lower density zoning designation and would have the developer return with a conditioned site plan and promise for TIAs to move the project forward.

Commissioner Lisa Qualls then motioned to amend the zoning establishment designation from RMX to R-2. Prior to this vote, the board also unanimously voted to approve the voluntary annexation and utility extension request for the property.

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In other business, the board unanimously approved a conditional rezoning request from the Langtree Group LLC to amend existing conditions to allow the construction of a 225 multi-family unit building instead of the 100 multi-family units and a 125-room hotel for which the property is currently zoned. The project would remain as two, six-story buildings located on eight acres on Alcove Road north of I-77’s Exit 31, according to town documents.

Town Planning and Community Development Director Danny Wilson said the requested amendment is only to revise the unit count for the multifamily part of the project and remove the consideration of the hotel. Langtree President and Principal Brad Howard told the board the rezoning request would permit Langtree Group to build 225 age-restricted senior living residences offering three meals per day, on site transportation and concierge services.

Mooresville has no comparable senior living center like his proposed plan, and as a result, seniors are leaving the town for neighboring municipalities that offer senior living, Howard said. The town is losing “the active senior members of this community who have built this town into what it is today,” Howard said.

The initial plan for the hotel space and 100 multifamily units was approved by the board in February 2020. Several members of the community spoke during a public comment portion of the public hearing expressing concern over increased traffic, infrastructure needs and negative effect on Lake Norman but the board approved the conditional rezoning request in a 6-0 vote.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved one of two proposed options for redistricting the town’s voting wards. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, the town’s population increased from 32,711 in 2010 to 50,193 in 2020, causing each of the four wards to deviate from acceptable size ranges. To return to the “one-person, one vote” principle, the wards were redistricted to reflect a more equal distribution. Prior to the vote, a public hearing on the proposed redistricting maps was held and one person spoke. The plan will be in use for the next decade.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a near 10-year lease agreement with Walgreens Co. for an existing 11,000 square-foot building at 614 Brawley School Road to serve as the Mooresville Public Library’s West branch location. The new branch is “in no way replacing our gorgeous facility,” said Mooresville Public Library Director Marian Lytle, speaking of the South Main Street downtown branch. “It is a supplement.” Construction of the branch should begin by January 2022 with an expected opening date for summer 2022, Lytle said.

In other business, the board unanimously approved the voluntary annexation and utility extension requests for properties at 117 Kingsway Drive, 195 N. Gibbs Road and 217 Oates Road. The board also unanimously approved a conventional rezoning request at 217 Oates Road from Hinckley Gauvain, LLC to change from Single Family Residential-2, or R-2, to Highway Business, or HB. The 11-acre property, as well as an adjoining four-acre parcel will be used to construct company headquarters for homebuilders Nest Homes and feature additional commercial retail space, said applicant Eric Wood.

In other business, the town unanimously approved the town’s 2021 Water and Wastewater Comprehensive Master Plan. The plan will be used to prepare for the town’s future water and wastewater needs, including capital improvements and capacity issues associated with expected town growth.


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