Kannapolis City Council postpones decision for rezoning until next month

Published 12:06 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council decided on Monday night to postpone the final decision on whether to approve the conditional rezoning from petitioner Jack McKinley regarding a neighborhood development at Trinity Church and Stirewalt roads. The discussion will continue on March 13.

McKinley is requesting around 35 acres be conditionally rezoned in order to make room for 56 single family home lots to be built. Planning Director Richard Smith recommended to council that they approve the request because it is consistent with their 2030 Comprehensive Plan, is compatible with surrounding zoning, won’t affect roads and won’t have an impact on the environment.

“We can apply conditions to the site based on him and council agreeing upon those things,” Smith said. “It’s voluntary to do it, so basically we can actually increase standards on the project site.”

Many residents spoke to the council about why they disagree with the planned development. Smith says this is due to “the lot sizes and the perimeter, the buffer of the property itself. The impact on the existing neighborhood.”

One of the main concerns about the development was the proposed alternative septic system by the developer. In December, during the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting, McKinley stated that “they fully intend to utilize city sewer, but given the timing and uncertainty of wastewater allocation and capacity in the short-term, individual septic systems could be a possible alternative.”

After hearing from all parties, council decided they needed more information before coming up with the best way to proceed. There is still hope for “some middle ground” where a solution can be made that everyone can accept.

“This alternative to a septic system, on site septic. It’s not rare, but it’s not been used a lot. I think we just need the time to verify it because if city council ultimately rezones it and they get those approvals that’s outside this council’s control at that point based on the project itself,” City Manager Mike Legg said.

For those who are against the development, the decision to postpone the ruling is a victory. There is still information in need of clarification and those involved will need to do their due diligence before reconvening next month.

“I think council’s decision is very appropriate. There are too many things we don’t know about the development. Certainly, the sewer issue is a big one,” resident Sam Moore said. “I hope they will look at the environmental impact. The roads, at least Stirewalt Road is really substandard for that size subdivision. I would like to see some sort of traffic study done as the impact there is going to be on that road.”