Here is a summary of local government meetings in the Lake Norman region for the end of June. Check with each town to verify whether their meetings are being held online or in-person. We are supplying links so you may view the streaming video from these meetings at their actual times or after the meetings. Please note our reports do not include the full content of the meetings. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
MONDAY, JUNE 15th:
Public hearing held for fiscal year 2020-2021 budget:
The public hearing for the town’s proposed $24.3 million budget did not cause much fanfare at the Cornelius town board meeting on Monday, June 15. Former Commissioner Dave Gilroy was the only resident who wanted his voice heard on the contents of the budget.
As has been mentioned in the previous article, which you can read here, the budget includes finances for 3% merit raises, but according to Mayor Woody Washam, not everyone will get a raise. “Some employees may get 0 percent while some that excel get a little more,” proclaimed Washam. Gilroy was critical of how the town spent taxpayer money while he was making his points during the public hearing. He presented three charts to prove his point that town spending is increasing quicker than property values and the overall population.
According to Gilroy, this level of spending requires tax increases every 3-5 years. He called out the town board and challenged them to be honest with residents. If Gilroy’s name seems familiar, he was on the town board as recently as 2019 but was defeated by his wife Diane. He plans to run for his old seat on town board next year. Commissioner Denis Bilodeau challenged Gilroy’s remarks saying, “It would be great if crime, fire department, and traffic costs just stayed at the same level, but they don’t.”
Bilodeau explained that real estate and the overall population are just a few of the factors the town takes into consideration when putting together the budget, “when we budget we really have to carefully look at what the needs of the town are, not just population or real estate numbers,” Bilodeau said. The budget was approved at a virtual meeting on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m.
It was also announced that the scheduled meeting on Monday, July 6 has been cancelled due to the Independence Day holiday.
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. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. You can view current and past agendas as well as video streaming of the meetings on the Cornelius Town Hall website.
An Update on the Parks and Recreation Director Position
At the June 9 meeting of the Davidson Board of Commissioners, town staff was directed to find alternative ways to fund the Parks and Recreation Director position.
Four options were presented at the June 23 meeting, and commissioners unanimously decided to reinstate the funding for the Parks and Recreation position by utilizing the increased sales tax revenue projection that is more favorable than anticipated, despite the effects of COVID-19.
The $103,000 plus $70,000 in contingency will still be appropriated to the administrative budget to fund a new Affordable Housing, Equity, and Inclusion position and programming. Additional information on that position and programming will be shared as soon as possible.
Davidson Town Board meetings occur on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. The agenda, meeting minutes, and links to audio and video recordings of the meetings can be viewed on the town’s website. See exact meeting dates and times on the calendar. Contact information for Davidson’s mayor and board of commissioners is available in the staff directory .
At the Monday, June 15 meeting of the Huntersville Board of Commissioners, a public hearing was held discussing plans for an active adult housing project in eastern Huntersville. Cambridge properties wants to revise the zoning designation for Huntersville Market, a 25.6-acre development located at the intersection of Eastfield Road and Prosperity Church Road, to allow a single-building, age-restricted residential project. Building height and block length, along with the town’s request that Prosperity Church Road be extended to Rocky Ford Club Road are some of the project issues destined for additional review.
Huntersville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6pm in the Huntersville Town Hall, 101 Huntersville-Concord Road, Huntersville, NC 28078. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. You can view meetings on the Town of Huntersville’s Facebook page.
MONDAY, JUNE 15th:
Board of Commissioners Deny Zoning Request for Fast-Food Restaurant
The Mooresville Board of Commissioners denied a conditional zoning request that would have permitted Magnolia Property Group to construct a fast-food restaurant with a drive-thru on, and adjacent to Josh’s Farmers Market on Williamson Road. Numerous patrons of the market spoke in opposition of the plan during a public hearing, concerned about the increased traffic volume. Residents are also worried the Mooresville staple, a favorite establishment where residents go for local seafood, meats, fruits, vegetables, and other produce could be forced to move or close.
Commissioners stated that a fast-food restaurant, located at the intersection of Joe Knox Avenue and Williamson Road would not be consistent with the OneMooresville plan, the town’s future growth plan. The property is surrounded by Corridor Mixed Use (CMX) and hybrid industrial (HI) zoning designations, which requires a conditional use allowance to operate a drive-through.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has already begun the process of purchasing right-of-way for the future two-section, $61 million Williamson Road widening project. According to Martin Fridy, Owner of Magnolia Property Group, the NCDOT has said the project still has a “let” date of fiscal year 2021. A let date is a date when the bids for the advertised project are open. This is despite budget shortcomings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioners, however, were not so sure, raising concerns that the developer would complete their project prior to NCDOT widening the road to four lanes or installing road upgrades. Traffic mitigations required the developer to install a traffic light with an entrance into the restaurant site at Joe Knox Avenue and Williamson Road which the developer agreed upon. No matter the board’s decision on the restaurant proposal, the traffic signal is coming to the intersection as part of the NCDOT’s widening project, but had the restaurant been approved, the developer would have installed the traffic signal on their dime.
The developers would have also taken it upon themselves to construct a designated north bound right turn lane on Williamson Road as well as a designated south bound left turn lane onto Williamson. Even though the fast-food restaurant plan was denied, the Magnolia Property Group is still planning to build a mixed-use commercial space at 179 and 185 Williamson Road equipped with medical offices, additional office space, and two additional restaurants.
Magnolia Property Group is under contract to purchase three plots of land from the Harold D Knight Revocadle Trust. Knight is the grandfather of Josh Graham, Owner of Josh’s Farmers Market, who operates his farmers market on his grandfather’s property located at 189 Williamson Road. Graham does not own the land, nor does he lease the land from the town. If the conditional zoning request was approved, Graham would still be permitted to operate his business, just not on the property Magnolia Property Group is purchasing. Graham would have to work out that agreement with his grandfather.
Mooresville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6pm in the Executive Board Room at Mooresville Town Hall, 413 North Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28115. Meetings may be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, check with the town to confirm. View current/past agendas and video of the board meetings.
Photos courtesy Pixabay.com
A lifelong Mooresville native, and a library associate at the Mooresville Public Library. I am in charge of marketing and promoting events taking place at the library. An avid sports fanatic. I especially love Davidson Wildcats basketball, Atlanta Braves baseball, and NASCAR.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed by our writers belong solely to them and do not represent LKNConnect.com, its publisher or its staff.