Cornelius Town Board meetings
Cornelius Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 7pm in the Assembly Room at Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031. You can view current and past agendas as well as video streaming of the meetings on the Cornelius Town Hall website.
Recap – what happened at the last meeting (8/5/19)
So many residents attended the August 5th Cornelius Board of Commissioners meeting, extra seating was necessary. A small agenda belies the importance of the decisions this town faces.
Commissioner Miltich confirmed funding allocation for shoulder hardening along I-77.
Commissioner Naas extended a request for teachers to speak at the Cornelius Educational Options Study Commission. The purpose of the CEOSC is to identify crowding solutions for Cornelius school students.
Commissioner Bilodeau highlighted the Robins Park online survey (https://www.cornelius.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/5) while Manager Grant announced new officer hires bringing the number of police vacancies down to 3.
Thank you Fire Chief Neil Smith!
Following reports, Mayor Washam thanked Fire Chief Neil Smith for his 34 years of service to the Cornelius-Lemley Fire Department. Smith served as chief from 2015-2019, reducing the town’s Insurance Service Office rating, oversaw the 9/11 monument at Station1, and built stronger ties between town hall and the fire department.
Welcome New Fire Chief Barbee!
Mayor Washam then introduced new Fire Chief Guerry Barbee. Barbee, a long time firefighter himself, is the son of former Fire Chief Jim Barbee. Barbee then introduced his Deputy Chiefs Kevin Fox and Andrew Bridges, and Captains Robert Amadeo, Tom Cichocki, and Joey Slage as the new fire department leadership.
Alexander Farm development public hearing
Assistant Planning Director Aaron Tucker, presented for the first public hearing for the Alexander Farm development. This project, which will be located at the corner of W Catawba Ave and Westmoreland Rd, is a mixed-use, age-restricted development planned to have shops, restaurants, single unit homes and a retirement community. Representing the developers, Susan Irving outlined the development timeline from permitting to an 18-month construction for the retirement home. Irving stated an overall 3-4 year total project construction.
Concerns by the commissioners
Commissioner Gilroy took time to highlight town views on this plot calling it “highly visible” and “picturesque” but pointed out there was a range of concern, including its high density. Commissioner Naas pointed out that this timing puts it on a “collision course” with other construction on Catawba Ave. He then asked Town Attorney Karen Walker if conditions could be applied to the permits to which Walker responded yes.
Town residents speak
As the reason for such a large turnout, over a half dozen people spoke to voice concerns over the project. Town residents Elizabeth Carlson and Francis McKenna spoke to the safety issues due to the planned gas station, especially in light of toxins and its proximity to nearby sports practices. Others also requested that approval be contingent on traffic mitigation, especially in light of future road construction.
Town Resident Lore Postman Schneider (shown above) took a more holistic view of the project noting that this was yet another age-restricted community, similar to communities such as Forest Glenn and Mount Zion. She acknowledged the current boom but questioned the wisdom of so many and what happens when the boom is exhausted. She followed this up with questions as to age restriction time limits.
Other business included
The adoption of a feasibility study for NC 115’s North Corridor and appointments for both the Cornelius Library Endowment and Historic Preservation Committees.