Council members Mike Como and Amanda Fuller voted against the development and Council members William Rodriguez and Paul Kaperonis voted in favor. The mayor votes in case of a tie and Mayor Brad Horvath voted against the development.
The development sparked some outrage in the community with residents concerns the impact the development would have on traffic and access to school children.
The future land-use map, updated in January of 2017, recommends office-institutional development for that area. The land-use plan, adopted in 2015, said that the commercial, governmental and institutional hub is at the intersection of N.C. 84 and Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road and should be encouraged.
According to the land-use plan, “commercial development beyond the Village’s commercial, governmental and institutional hub will only be allowed at areas designated on the Land Use Plan map. Commercial development will be limited to low-density, small-scale retail which provides neighborhood services, rural cottage industries and/or small-scale recreational opportunities.”
The proposed development, proposed the The Moser Group, included a day care, indoor tennis club, indoor swim club, convenience store and Dunkin’ Donuts, according to a presentation from December.
In response to community feedback, The Moser Group changed the plan to have less of a commercial impact and eliminated access from the elementary school. The group also planned a traffic impact study, according to a statement from December.
Mayor Brad Horvath said in an interview that the land-use plan was updated about two years ago and while he would consider some offices on the corner of that intersection, it does not mention commercial development. During the discussion, the applicant offered to limit commercial development to 20 percent, but Horvath said he was unwilling to accept that.
“I think we made some progress, but again, it was that commercial component that I was just not comfortable approving,” he said. “It would represent a fundamental change to the village.”
There are some projects in development that could alleviate traffic in that area, Horvath said, including a roundabout and studies by the N.C. Department of Transportation. However, he said he did not want to make a decision until those projects came to fruition.
“I’m always happy to have the input of the residents because that’s who we’re elected to represent,” he said.
Land-use plans are generally revisited every five years, Horvath said. Thus, he anticipates council will look at it again in two years.
He added that another proposal, one with office-institutional use, may come through.
Some of the allowable uses under that zoning include a day-care center, indoor swim club, indoor tennis club and other aspects of this project that would have been “good and unique” additions to the community, Horvath said.
“I think we would be open to that kind of development,” he said.