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Bailey’s Glen OK’d; pickle ball hangs in the balance

CORNELIUS – After going through several site plan revisions since 2006 for an age-restricted condominium complex at Bailey’s Glen, Bluestream Partners LLC received unanimous approval from the Board of Commissioners on Monday night for a rezoning amendment for 8.8 acres.

The approval came with some requirements though, because Bluestream wants to redevelop and add on to the nearby Bailey Road Park. The town will not allow Bluestream to pull a building permit for the condominiums until an agreement is made between the developer and the town for a plan to redevelop the park.

The condominium complex will include three four-story buildings, totaling 132 condos, as well as 220 parking spaces, of which 36 will be parking spaces within two garages.

Bluestream received approval for a condominium complex at the same site in 2011, but that plan proposed three-story buildings with parking garages on the first floors. Although the buildings’ height has not changed, putting condos on the bottom floor of each building added 36 more units.

If Bluestream chooses to not work with the town on the park project, however, Bluestream must pay a fee-in-lieu worth $250,000 to the town to be used to redevelop the park in order to obtain a building permit for the condominiums.

Jake Palillo of Bluestream said his priority was providing more pickle ball courts for residents of Bailey’s Glen, which currently has about 100 single-family homes and is expected to ultimately contain a total of 523 single- and multifamily units. Although there are five courts within the subdivision, Palillo said building 12 courts at Bailey Road Park would allow more people to play at once, and provide enough courts to hold tournaments that other pickle ball players in the area could participate in.

Pickle ball, which combines elements of tennis, badminton and table-tennis, is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in age-restricted communities.

Bluestream’s plan, which was unofficially approved by the town’s Park, Art, Recreation and Culture (PARC) Department, includes six new tennis courts; two multiuse walkways that run from Bailey’s Glen to the park entrances and will be wide enough to allow for emergency vehicle access; a new parking lot with 68 spaces; the possible relocation of the park’s existing disc golf course; and 12 pickle ball courts, which will be built where the park’s existing three tennis courts are. But Cornelius would have to paint the new tennis courts and provide the nets and lights.

Included in the plan is 17 acres east of the park that Bluestream would donate to the town.

Town planners said they will also need to find money for additional bathroom facilities and lights at the park if the renovations are made.

“Just in general discussions, I think (Palillo) wants to pull a permit in the next two years, so we’ve got plenty of time to nail down these details and come to an agreement,” Cornelius Town Planning Director Wayne Herron said on Tuesday.

Troy Fitzsimmons, director of the PARC department, said Cornelius residents were in favor of new tennis courts, and that the existing courts were not in good shape.

The board asked Fitzsimons at the meeting why Bluestream’s plan doubled the number of courts, and he said six courts was the standard for hosting tournaments, and that the community had shown enough interest in the sport to warrant more courts.

Bluestream also received approval from the board on Dec. 1 for a rezoning of 1.2 acres just south of Bailey’s Glen for a 7,500-square-foot community workshop building, which will include a greenhouse for a community garden and spaces for woodworking, crafts, public gathering and storage.

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