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Planned Davidson area development raises affordable housing issue

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  • Public hearing

    The Kannapolis Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Wednesday on developer Mike Shalvoy’s rezoning request that would allow him to build the 408-home River Pointe at Davidson subdivision off Davidson Road near Rocky River. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Kannapolis Train Station, 201 S. Main St.



Plans by a Lake Norman developer to build 408 homes on the Mecklenburg-Cabarrus line are upsetting nearby residents who say he’s trying to pack too many homes into an area that has always prized its secluded setting.

Developer Mike Shalvoy’s proposed River Pointe at Davidson development also raises the affordable housing issue: In an area near Davidson where housing prices are out of reach of most middle-income earners, should there still be a place for them?

Shalvoy is scheduled to seek rezoning approval from the Kannapolis Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday for River Pointe at Davidson, which is off Davidson Road near Rocky River.

On July 22, the Kannapolis City Council voted four to three to annex the 133 acres. The site is about 8 miles from the center of Kannapolis and 4.8 miles from the village green in downtown Davidson.

Some residents in nearby subdivisions in North Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties oppose Shalvoy’s plans, because Kannapolis zoning laws would let him build up to three homes per acre. Some live in zoning districts that allow only one home per 2 acres.

But Shalvoy says his development will be a move up for residents of his adjoining development and will be well laid out, with homes costing up to nearly $400,000.

Resident Jimmy McKnight wrote Kannapolis City Council in July that River Pointe at Davidson’s proposed density is six times greater than that allowed on North Mecklenburg land he owns across Rocky River from the site.

River Pointe’s density would be at least three times greater than the nearby subdivisions of Hamilton Crest in Cabarrus County, Runneymede in North Mecklenburg and River Run in Davidson, McKnight wrote.

McKnight is a longtime developer whose Mooresville-based Realco Investment Properties has developed at least 35 subdivisions in North Mecklenburg, southern Iredell County and Virginia. He and his wife, Gail, live on Shearer Road outside of Davidson and operate a beef cattle farm there.

McKnight said River Pointe at Davidson’s proposed home prices are less than a third of what homes cost in nearby neighborhoods “and, if built, will adversely affect tax values in our area.” Shalvoy says the price difference isn’t that great.

Current listings of homes for sale in Runneymede range from $389,000 to $849,900. Homes in Hamilton Crest are on the market for up to $449,900.

McKnight also criticized the proposed layout of River Pointe at Davidson, calling it “an excellent design for a military base but not for a residential neighborhood. The parallel layout and perfectly straight streets remind me of the zMAX Dragway in Concord. This plan lacks all of the features of a nice neighborhood. This is a plan for a SLUM not a neighborhood.”

McKnight told council members that their decision on River Pointe at Davidson will affect the type of development that follows on surrounding properties.

“Kannapolis, like every city, needs an area for modest-priced homes, but placing them in an area that is becoming very upscale would be a mistake,” he wrote.

Kannapolis Planning Director Kris Krider told the Observer that a counter argument could be made that neighboring zoning districts that allow far fewer homes promote sprawl.

But Shalvoy said moderately priced homes already are common in the area. The new development will be adjacent to a development he owns – the 400-home The Farm at Riverpointe, where the average sale price was $191,000 last year. Eventually, The Farm will have 800 homes. “We have a cross-section of America in there – police officers, nurses, schoolteachers, firefighters,” Shalvoy.

River Pointe at Davidson, where homes will cost from the $230,000s to $390,000s, will provide a “move-up market” for residents of The Farm, he said, adding that his layout follows the land’s natural contours.

Because they’ll also pay a city tax, River Pointe at Davidson residents will get better services, Shalvoy said, including curbs and gutters on their streets and city water and sewer, as opposed to wells and septic systems.

He said homes in River Pointe at Davidson will have no vinyl siding, but better-quality siding. Seventy-six phase-one lots will be 70 feet wide and the remaining two lots will be 60 feet wide, he said. He originally proposed 50-foot widths but responded when city planners requested wider lots, Kannapolis Assistant Planning Director Kassie Watts said.

Cabarrus County Schools officials are studying his offer to have an elementary school and a middle school in the development to which most children could walk, he said. He will also create an access point, or “trail head,” along Rocky River to connect the development with the multi-county Carolina Thread Trail, he said.

Shalvoy, whose Wayne Patrick Holdings LLC development firm is based in Mooresville, said he’s leaving 47 acres, or 36 percent of the development, as open/green space.

His rezoning request would pass if a super majority of the Planning & Zoning Commission voted in favor of it, Watts said. That means seven of the panel’s nine members would have to vote in favor. Opponents would have 15 days to appeal the decision, she said.

Marusak: 704-987-3670; Twitter: @ jmarusak.
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