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Concord City Council to hear appeal on proposed subdivision

PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION

Neighbors of a proposed 551-home subdivision in Concord will be heard Wednesday on an appeal of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s Sept. 15 approval of a rezoning and site plan.

The Concord City Council is expected to decide on the matter after hearing from attorneys representing Cabarrus County and Concord residents opposed to the development and attorneys for the developer of the proposed 275-acre Ridges at Concord subdivision, Walton North Carolina LLC.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Concord Police Department, 41 Cabarrus Ave. W. The meeting is being held at the police department because the City Council chamber seats only about 90 people and isn’t big enough to accommodate the expected turnout.

The appellants said they are concerned that the developer’s plans don’t go far enough to address potential flooding problems for neighbors, that it will generate too much traffic, and that it will cause school overcrowding. The proposed development is west of Odell School Road between Poplar Tent Road and N.C. Highway 73.

They are being represented by Concord law firm Hartsell & Williams, of which state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell is a partner. Walton International is being represented by attorney Collin Brown, a partner at law firm K&L Gates’ Charlotte office. The attorneys could not be reached for comment.

The hearing originally was scheduled for Nov. 4, but both parties asked for a continuance, said Mayor J. Scott Padgett.

They are contesting the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to rezone the land from residential low density, RL, to a residential compact district, RC-CD. The RL zoning allows two units per acre with 20,000-square-foot lot sizes. The number of units allowed under the RC-CD zoning is done on a case-by-case basis.

Rose Beam, who lives in the nearby Poplar Trails subdivision, outside of the city limits, is spearheading the opposition’s appeal efforts. Beam said flooding and increased traffic in the area are the primary concerns regarding the Ridges.

She said flooding already occurs on her street, Bayberry Trail, and other roads in the subdivision, and she’s afraid the development will make it worse.

“It’s going to be very detrimental to our neighborhood,” she said.

The appeal also cites the commission’s approval of a zoning map amendment and the preliminary subdivision plat, including the site-specific development plan.

Larry Marlow, an appellant who lives on Odell School Road in Concord next to the proposed development, said he is worried about how much traffic the development would generate. He said he is also concerned the new homes would overcrowd nearby schools.

The proposed development  is projected to generate 5,048 new vehicle trips in the area per day, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation said in an email.

City officials said the appeal is unusual.

The last time a zoning decision was appealed in Concord was February 2006 when the board moved to approve a 480-bed jail in the city. Concord’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the jail on Corban Avenue. Concord residents opposed the project because of its size and proximity to historic neighborhoods.

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