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Cornelius OKs sailing, rowing center

CORNELIUS Town commissioners unanimously approved a permit late Monday for a community sailing and rowing center to open at Blythe Landing Park on Lake Norman.

The nonprofit group N.C. Community Sailing will offer group and private sailing lessons at the center and host weekday high school and college racing events, said Luke Largess, a member of the center's board. Sailing for persons with disabilities also will be offered, as well as youth summer camps and rowing instruction and competitions, he said.

The center is expected to have 30 small and medium-sized boats for public use. Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for seven more boat slips on the current dock at Blythe Landing, which is off N.C. 73.

Michael Metallo, a Realtor with Allen Tate in Cornelius, told the board that he believes every lake-area Realtor would include the center as a key attraction in their promotional materials.

Town planning staff recommended the permit be approved, saying the center wouldn't add to congestion on local roads.

The center needs approvals from the Lake Norman Marine Commission, Mecklenburg County commissioners “and many other regulatory agencies before being built,” Cornelius commissioner Jim Bensman said in an email newsletter today. “But it is a welcome addition to our community.”

N.C. Community Sailing expects to have the center open next year.

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