China Grove aldermen approve annexation of 20-acre tract

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE — Aldermen agreed Tuesday night to extend the town limits a bit farther south and east.

Board members approved a voluntary annexation of a 20-acre tract between U.S. 29 and Bostian Road, south of the existing town limits.

The property, owned by Gary Morton, is currently zoned commercial. The tract is south of the Stag ‘N’ Doe restaurant co-owned by Gary and Dana Morton.

Lindsey Hobbs, town planner, said a mix of commercial uses is most likely, though plans haven’t been finalized.

Responding to questions, Hobbs said the property is across U.S. 29 from the property the Landis Board of Aldermen rezoned Monday evening to accommodate a 220-home residential development.

The Morton property is currently being cleared of timber and is for sale.

Hobbs said some of the property could be used for homes or townhouses.

Town Manager Eric Davis said the town hopes to locate a sewer lift station on a corner of the property, which will provide service to several homes along Roberts and Columbia Streets that were annexed two years ago.

Alderman Troy Elliott, who has repeatedly criticized the town for extending a sewer line to serve the Stag ‘N’ Doe, renewed his criticism.

Elliott asked what will happen to the lift station currently serving the restaurant.

Davis said it will be abandoned and the pump can be used at another location.

Elliott also renewed his objection to the town paying the electrical bill on the lift station, saying that if Morton can afford to donate two large commercial doors to the American Legion Post in Landis, he can afford to pay his power bill.

Morton recently agreed to donate the doors to help defray costs of refurbishing the building.

“The town pays the power bill on all lift stations,” Davis said.

Elliott joined in voting for the annexation but said he was doing it “for the good of China Grove, not for the good of Mr. Morton.”

Alderman Allen Welter cast the lone vote against the annexation.

The board will consider zoning the property at a future meeting. The annexation is effective Dec. 31.