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Classica Homes rezoning request on hold

The Cornelius Board of Commissioners on Monday unanimously deferred a decision on Classica Homes Inc.’s request to rezone 9 acres on West Catawba Avenue for the development of a 40 age-restricted townhome subdivision.

Classica Homes requested the deferral after seeing a draft cross section of the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans for a road-widening project on West Catawba Avenue. The company said the road expansion, which would extend from Jetton Road to N.C. Highway 73, could shift the project’s right-of-way line into the 60-foot setback Classica had proposed for the development.

Rick Jasinski, land manager for Classica Homes, said the company still needs more information from the transportation department before proceeding. He said an expanded right-of-way could mean Classica would have to reduce the number of lots and homes.

“We can’t do anything until we get more information from the DOT,” Jasinski said. “This could change the whole dynamic of the project.”

Cornelius Planning Director Wayne Herron said the DOT is scheduled to provide the town and Classica with a digital cross section of the road project this month. That will allow the town to better evaluate the potential impact the road widening could have on Classica’s site plans, he said.

Herron said a redesigned proposal would have to be reviewed by the Planning Board and go before a public hearing.

In March, the Planning Board voted to recommend that the Board of Commissioners approve the rezoning to conditional district. Current plans call for nearly 1 acre of open space surrounded by 11 triplexes or quadruplexes, each with a separate driveway. The developer proposed two-car garages and private courtyards for each unit.

The heavily wooded site across from Dunmore Drive currently features four single-family residences. It is directly west of Kenton Place apartments, and is flanked by the Tuscany Court and Bordeaux subdivisions.

Prices would start in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, Classica Homes said at a February community meeting. The developer said at the time it planned to begin construction on the project, dubbed West Catawba Retreat, next year.

The townhomes would be Classica Homes’ first venture into an age-restricted community. Classica has nine residential communities in the Charlotte area, with two more under development.

The 9 acres on which Classica Homes wants to build is currently zoned general and neighborhood residential.

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