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Planning board OKs rezoning for 5-acre property on Mooresville Road

SALISBURY — Despite concerns voiced by a pair of nearby neighbors, the Rowan County Planning Board on Monday approved the rezoning of a piece of property at the corner of Mooresville and Briggs roads from rural residential to commercial, business, industrial.

To allow time for public comment, the approval is pending a subsequent vote by the planning board when it meets again on Friday at noon. Once the approval from the planning board is given, the rezoning application will be sent to the Rowan County Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Daniel Almazan with Allen Tate Realtors is seeking the rezoning of the 5.28-acre plot of land on behalf of the property’s owner, Greer N. Goodman Trustee. Along with five other lots to its north, the property was platted in 1996 to be developed into a subdivision. The plans for the subdivision never reached fruition and the parcel has remained vacant since.

Almazan is requesting the rezoning so that his client can more easily market the property to potential buyers.

“CBI was the obvious choice because we have so many parcels across the street that are already CBI, we’ve got the parcel to the west that is CBI and it gave us the most comprehensive applicable use that we could market it as,” Almazan said.

The parcel is located on the border of area one and area two of the county’s Western Area Land Use Plan. Rowan County Assistant Planning Director Shane Stewart said the border marks a transition from a more suburban area to rural land. The plot also sits within a regional node, which encourages commercial uses that support existing and future population’s needs for retail goods and services.

By rezoning the plot as CBI, it would allow various types of businesses to locate on the property.

“Anytime with a straight rezoning, there’s any notion that it may be a grocery store going in, or a gas station or a small retail establishment,” Stewart said. “Any of those things are fine to consider in this group, but you can’t focus and make a determination on one use. It’s got to be based on everything permitted.”

While CBI is broad in scope, this particular parcel could be limited in what type of business it could attract.

“I know that our potential uses are going to be limited by the fact that we don’t have sewer out there, we don’t have water,” Almazan said.

Without a sewer and water line running to the property, retail seems to be the most likely option for what kind of business could be developed there. 

That concerns Tiffany and Jay Wallace, who live nearby on Mooresville Road. Both expressed their opposition to the parcel being rezoned as CBI during the meeting. Their main worry, Tiffany said, was that the land would be developed into a Dollar General.

“Due to the limitations of the potential of what could go there, I think we’re all concerned that we do not want another Dollar General,” Tiffany said. “Basically, Dollar Generals are taking over every corner of Rowan County. As far as talking to your client about what your neighbors and surrounding residents do not want, that would be a Dollar General.”

Another concern is the amount of traffic that a retail store could bring to Mooresville Road, which has become a major thoroughfare for travelers going from Mooresville to Salisbury.

“The main concern for us in this area is the traffic,” Tiffany said. “I live right beside this area and I can barely get out of my driveway at 8 o’clock in the morning, not to mention at 5 o’clock in the evening at (highway) 150 rush hour when everybody is coming and going to and from Salisbury and Mooresville.”

Almazan acknowledged that rezoning parcels such as this one can alarm nearby citizens, but expressed his desire to take those concerns into consideration when marketing the property.

“I know a lot of times in these type of rezonings, citizens would be concerned about what type of use may come and I look at it as an opportunity for them to help me market it, or to talk about what is the best use, what would you like to see out there and let’s try to focus on who we want there and that’s what we can focus our efforts on,” Almazan said.

The board echoed the concerns brought forth by Jay and Tiffany, but decided unanimously that the rezoning to CBI was both reasonable and consistent with the area plan.

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