Six-story building proposed for Cornelius; greenway corridor cleared


A six-story building proposed for Bethel Church Road would have four floors of commercial space.
/Courtesy town of Cornelius

CORNELIUS – A six-story building was proposed for the southern end of Bethel Church Road at the first Cornelius Board of Commissioners meeting in a month Nov. 15.

Amid a corridor of empty lots ripe for development south of West Catawba Avenue, the Skadoosh Properties LLC mixed-use building would sit on nearly half an acre near the Jetton Road intersection. Its first four stories would be for commercial use with the top two featuring residential units. The parking is slated for a garage under the structure.

Since there will be a new town board sworn in Dec. 6 with only one commissioner remaining, the presentation also will be given at that meeting.

Two neighbors didn’t mind the usage, but were concerned about the height in a stretch with mostly two-and three-story office buildings. The current zoning is Village Center, which allows up to six stories.

Patrice Winovich noted how Primrose School across the street often gets backed up at drop-off times. 

“Our community’s concern, when we start packing and stacking, we’re setting a precedent to have a lot more six-story buildings in the area,” she said.

That section of Jetton Road is one Commissioner Jim Duke has previously pointed to as being in need of repair. A half-mile to the east, the Sefton Park development was approved in September with 344 apartments, a hotel and conference center.

“We don’t like this overbuilding,” Winovich said. “Until the town fixes the road and fixes jut-outs, the town does have responsibility and liability of maintaining and fixing that road.”

Addressing the building height, Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron pointed out how Bethel Church slopes down from West Catawba.

“Because it descends, (the proposed building) is only slightly higher than the UPS building closer to West Catawba,” he said. “While the height is six stories, it’s right in line with buildings already approved.”

Since the property’s land use was approved in 1999, the stormwater infrastructure is already in place.

A date for the project to go before the planning board is to be determined.

 

Greenway easements approved

Commissioners cleared the way for an alternate route from the Caldwell Station Creek Greenway.

Mecklenburg County wanted to fill the eight-tenths-of-a-mile gap between the existing greenway near Poole Place Drive and the multi-use path on the property of the future Regional Recreation Center on N.C. 115, and needed the town to yield six easements.

Among the 1.2 miles of greenway planned, there will be a connector into the Hyde Park business park as well as into the Caldwell Station neighborhood via Caldwell Track Drive.

Troy Fitzsimmons, Cornelius director of Parks and Recreation, said the site was selected because 85 percent of the land assembly was already there.

The county held a series of workshops to get neighbors’ feedback. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2023.

“Overall citizen comments were very, very positive,” Fitzsimmons said.

The existing Caldwell greenway stretches from U.S. 21 to N.C. 115 near the FXI campus. 

“The greenways in Cornelius are a real gem,” Commissioner Denis Bilodeau said.

Commissioner Tricia Sisson did not attend the meeting.

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