Four new construction projects proposed for Cornelius

By: Tony Brown, Staff Writer//November 30, 2012//

Four new construction projects proposed for Cornelius

By: Tony Brown, Staff Writer//November 30, 2012//

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CORNELIUS — The town of Cornelius planning department is a busy busy place these days, with four new proposed construction projects — a bank building, a major expansion of an existing car dealership and two new housing developments — on the books seeking town approval, according to town records.

Epcon Communities plans to expand a subdivision in Cornelius. Image courtesy Epcon


The new proposals bring to six the number of projects now waiting to jump through local government hoops.

Among the new proposals on the planning department docket, Epcon Communities Carolinas has applied for a conditional rezoning and a major architectural variation to develop 8.4 acres off Jetton Road extension next to the Magnolia Estates subdivision to build 31 closely-space detached homes with courtyards between the homes. The new subdivision would be called Courtyards at Jetton, said Nanette Overly, vice president for sales and marketing at Epcon headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

In the second housing development proposal,  the Cornelius-based McLeod Corp. wants to create a new  subdivision called Pender Pointe, a development of nine generous half-acre lots for single-family homes on 5.39 acres near the dead end of John Connor Road. McLeod is seeking the town’s permission to construct a new road and to abandon the part of John Connor Road that  now runs through and dead ends inside the area that housing development would occupy.

The third proposal on the books says that  the Bank of the Ozarks, which is headquartered in West Little Rock, Ark. and has branches throughout the Southeast, wants to build a 3,800-square-foot branch and a 19-car parking lot on 1.5 acres on West Catawba Avenue at Kunkleman Drive. The bank is seeking a conditional use permit that would allow the branch to have drive-thru windows.

And, finally, Lake Norman Hyundai on Chartwell Center Drive wants to use a 5.9-acre parcel to build a new, 22,000-square-foot sales and service building with a parking lot for 362 cars with access to the nearby Interstate 77 access road. The project would require a rezoning from residential to commercial.

The housing developments are likely to draw the most attention from the town Planning Board and Board of Commissioners, both of which have demonstrated in recent actions that they are concerned about residential growth in the town.

And the Courtyards at Jetton project is likely to draw particular attention by both boards because of the proposed density and the unusual architectural features of the homes’ close proximity to each other.

As currently proposed, the overall density would be 3.69 units per acre. With 3.5 acres of the 8.4 acre tract being reserved for open spaces, the lots in the proposed subdivision would be only around 0.15 acres each. Houses in the nearby Magnolia Estates subdivision are situated on lots that measure around a half-acre and larger.

Epcon spokeswoman Overly said the developer would most likely reduce the number of homes from 31 to 28, which would make the development  less dense, but only slightly.

Citizens of Cornelius have shown up in large numbers recently to oppose two proposed apartment complexes in Cornelius, citing increased density as one of the main objections. In October, developer B.V. Belk withdrew the planned Madison at Lake Norman apartment project after a citizen uproar at a community meeting And in November, the Cornelius town Board of Commissioners voted down developer Gary Cangelosi’s proposal for new apartments at Kenton Place.

Despite the diminutive size of the lots, the homes in the proposed Courtyards of Cornelius would still be relatively large, with plans calling for homes ranging from 1,500 square feet all the way up to 2,700 square feet. The homes would be one-story ranches, with options to build bonus suites on parts of a second story.

In the front, the homes would be only 10 feet from each other, but in the back, they would each be separated by large courtyards that would be in the 300-square-foot-and-up range.

Epcon launched the courtyard design in 2008, aiming it at aging baby boomers who want to “right-size their living situations with maintenance-free homes,” Overly said. Epcon has two other similar developments in the Charlotte area, the Polo Club at Weddington in Matthews and the Polo Club of Mountain at Island Lake. HO

In addition to the four new proposals, the town of Cornelius is also considering two other previously-filed projects.

They include:

— The expansion of an existing convenience store that is becoming a 7-Eleven on West Catawba Avenue near Magnolia Estates Drive.

— And an unusual housing development called Bailey Forest, proposed for Bailey Road Extension near Barnhardt Road. Bluestream Partners of Cornelius wants to divide nearly 64 acres into 22 relatively large lots ranging from two to 3.3 acres each. But, and this is the unusual part, each lot-owner could build one to four  housing units of any kind — apartments, townhomes or detached homes — per lot. The owners could live in the units and/or rent them.

All six of the active proposed projects are in the process of being reviewed at meetings of various town boards, including the elected town Board of Commissioners, and the appointed planning, architecture review and transportation advisory boards. Developers of several of the projects will also have to present their plans at community meetings.

Another housing development project, called Jetton Cove at Charles Towne Lane, has been put on hold by developers Hopper Communities and David Weekly Homes after they canceled a community meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, according to the town of Cornelius website. It was planned to be another relatively dense single-family housing development calling for 50 units on 5.6 acres near Charles Towne Lane and Jetton Cove.

All meetings about proposed projects are held in the Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave. For a meeting schedule, go to





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