In second try, Landis approves rezoning for future development near Irish Creek

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, March 8, 2022

LANDIS — Town aldermen on Monday approved a tweaked rezoning request for a nearly 126-acre property near Cannon Farm Road they denied in November.

Town aldermen rejected the proposal in the fall when the request was initially made, citing traffic concerns from residents. The request from Atlantic American Properties was to rezone the area from single family residential to mixed-use district one, which allows highway commercial, urban work, detached and attached homes and multi-family units. The request came in anticipation of a future home development in the Irish Creek area by Lennar Carolinas.

Monday’s request was to rezone the area to mixed-use district one with a conditional district overlay, which establishes guidelines developers must agree and adhere to with the zoning privilege. Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Administrator Richard Flowe told board members the conditional overlay reduces some privileges, but it doesn’t relax standards. For example, mixed-use district one zoning with a conditional overlay allows for smaller lot widths and alternate setback requirements.

Ultimately, Lennar Carolinas wants to develop single-family, detached homes with other amenities allowed under the zoning such as a golf course and swimming pool. While development plans have not come before the board, Monday’s request was to rezone the area to accommodate the future plans. David Nelson with Lennar Carolinas confirmed Monday townhomes are not part of the development.

Alderwoman Katie Sells asked about the condition of roads in the area and whether they can handle the added traffic. Flowe said North Carolina Department of Transportation will require a traffic impact analysis.

Mayor Pro Tem Ashley Stewart asked about whether the rezoning meets the vision the town set for its newly adopted Land Development Ordinance. Flowe said the town envisioned neighborhood-related development for the area, confirming that approving the request doesn’t contradict the town’s vision for its municipal boundaries.

Alderman Darrell Overcash, who works for Atlantic American Properties, recused himself from the vote. The motion passed 2-1, with alderman Tony Corriher voting against and Mayor Meredith Smith not voting.

Town aldermen also met in a closed session meeting to discuss a personnel matter but did not take action.

Also at the meeting:

• Aldermen approved an interlocal boundary agreement with the city of Kannapolis to plan for future development in the areas located outside of each municipality’s corporate limits. The plan is good for 20 years and details which parcels belong to each municipality based on what makes sense for service and utility delivery. Flowe said the town is working toward a similar plan with the town of China Grove.

• Aldermen approved an ordinance formally establishing a speed limit of 45 miles per hour between the town’s limits and U.S. 29 on Old Beatty Ford Road.

• Aldermen approved a request to prohibit all street parking within the Oaks of Landis subdivision.

• Aldermen approved an increase to the micro-purchase threshold required for the competitive bid process using American Rescue Plan funding. The threshold was raised from the federal standard of $10,000 to the $30,000 allowed by state law.

• Aldermen approved a budget ordinance for the $12,500 purchase of a camera and locator for water and sewer infrastructure. The equipment was purchased via federal ARP funds and will allow workers to more accurately pinpoint an issue and concern before digging.

• Aldermen approved a formal nondiscrimination policy.

• Contracts have been signed with m.e.designlab for web hosting services and with Dioxin for printing services. The web hosting service costs $100 per month and the contract with Dixion allows 250 hours of printing for $1,500.

• Aldermen approved grant applications for three “shovel ready” projects. One is a $1.2 million project to eliminate two sewer lift stations at Fifth and Poplar streets to make operations more efficient and reduce maintenance costs. Another project will replace clay pipe in the water line at Mount Moriah Church Road and North Main Street. Lastly, a project that’s already been approved is the South Upright Street Basin Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation project. The town has been approved for a $1.79 million no-interest loan, but rather than taking on the added debt, Town Manager Diane Seaford recommends the town seek supplemental grant funding.

• Aldermen approved the allocation of $20,000 to support a fellow from the University of North Carolina system through the program “LEAD.” The program allows a student who’s near completion of a Master’s of Public Administration to work with a municipality for a year conducting a variety of professional services. The school covers the fellow’s housing and a stipend, while the town would put up $20,000. Finance Director Chase Norwood said no job title has been finalized, but the fellow could assist the town with seeking state grants, analyze and make suggestions for the town’s policies, regional networking with nearby municipalities, records retention and overseeing the town’s surplus property disposition program. The fellow would work from Aug. 1 to June 30, 2023.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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