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Kannapolis residents dislike proposed housing development

KANNAPOLIS — According to Mike Price, Coddle Creek residents are in favor of development in Kannapolis.

What they are not in favor of, he said, are developments that strongly differ from the neighborhoods surrounding them, as in the case of a subdivision proposed to the Kannapolis City Council on Monday.

In an area where the average lot size is greater than an acre, developers want to build 121 single-family homes on just 50.6 acres. The request requires rezoning, which was discussed at a public hearing.

Opponents were vocal: This is a change they don’t want to see on their street.

The idea began when three landowners — Fred Roberts, Jack McKinley and Craig Credle — joined together to market their land at Trinity Church and Stirewalt roads to developers. Professionals from M/I Homes, a homebuilding company with offices in Charlotte, expressed interest.

Parcels would first need to be rezoned from agricultural district to residential village, though a request to rezone was initially denied because of the density and other concerns.

The Planning and Zoning Commission would later approve a revised proposal for a 121-unit subdivision with a 0.93-acre community park. The new plan would be on a mix of 60- to 75-foot-wide lots ranging in area from 7,500 square feet to 9,375.

Scott Herr, vice president of land acquisition with M/I Homes, said this equates to 2.4 homes per acre.

The decrease was not enough, said residents.

Nancy Rumple, one of 10 speakers against the request, called the idea of that many homes per acre “disgusting.”

“Younger people, when they start having kids, they’re going to want their kids to be playing in their yard,” Rumple said. “They can’t play in their yards because it butts up against somebody else’s house.”

Her statement contrasted claims made by Kannapolis’ senior planner, Ryan Granata. Granata, who said that the current market favors a focus on homes rather than land.

“If you look at what’s being built around the Charlotte metropolitan area, you’re not seeing a lot of those acre lots or half-acre lots being built anymore,” said Granata. “That’s not really what’s being sold right now. People would rather put their money into their houses instead of the land that they need to maintain.”

City Councilmanr Ryan Dayvault disagreed. He cited neighborhoods like Lantern Green, where half-acre lots sell as soon as they become available.

“The notion that that kind of development is not feasible anymore is something I don’t buy,” Dayvault said.

Concerns raised by the many opposed on Monday had many common themes: increased traffic burdens, overcrowded schools, and needed water and sewer infrastructure.

Many said they fear the development would turn the Trinity Church neighborhood into a place where they don’t want to be or into something they had moved to get away from.

The desire to keep Kannapolis as it is was cited by those who spoke in favor of the development. Both Herr and McKinley said that more than 50 percent of homes in the city were built before 1980.

“We believe, and the Planning Board believes and staff believes, that what we are proposing is consistent with the land use plan and the vision of Kannapolis that has been voted on,” Herr said. ” … We think that as Kannapolis grows, the sort of homes that we are going to be building are the sort of homes the people that live and work in Kannapolis are going to want to own.”

McKinley agreed, saying the construction would bring desired economic and business growth.

“To achieve your goals for growth, you need rooftops,” said McKinley. “It’s a rule. Commercial growth follows rooftops.”

After nearly two hours of dialogue, City Council members closed the public hearing and tabled a decision, as Councilman Roger Haas was out with the flu.

The development will be discussed again at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 at Kannapolis City Hall Council Chambers, 401 Laureate Way.

 

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