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Huntersville group organizing to keep out development

Huntersville Residents along Davidson-Concord Road are banding together to keep out a retail-residential project they say will worsen traffic and ruin their largely rural surroundings.

Huntersville-based Glenwood Development Co. wants to build a 162,000-square-foot development at N.C. 73 near Davidson-Concord Road and the proposed Prosperity Church Road extension. The project would include a grocery store, retail shops and 118 townhomes, with possibly more development.

“The reason people live out there is the rural feel,” Pages Pond resident Rufus Sherrill Jr. said at a citizens meeting at Huntersville Town Hall last week. “The area is surrounded by equestrian centers.”

Joe Marusak

Meck briefs

Charlotte

An argument between the Myers Park Homeowners Association and a local developer over a proposed 11-story tower could lead to future changes in height limits in certain areas.

Some Charlotte City Council members at a public hearing for a zoning request from The Boulevard Co. earlier this month were surprised the company's roughly 1-acre Myers Park site would permit a 138-foot tower, which Boulevard has the right to build under the Residential-22 zoning rules.

The company has since changed its plan to a maximum 90-foot condo or apartment tower after neighborhood protests, but needed a zoning change to add more housing units.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Zoning Committee, which serves as the last step of a rezoning request before the City Council votes, last week chose to defer a decision until Oct. 22 on Boulevard's request to rezone the parcel near Queens Road West and Selwyn Avenue.

Dan Tierney

Last week, CATS officials came to Matthews to explain their budget process and hear transit concerns and suggestions from the community. About a dozen members of the public attended and not all of those were from Matthews.

While there is express bus service to the town, rapid transit isn't scheduled for Matthews until 2022 .

Though the original recommendation was bus rapid transit, the final decision on transit type for the “silver line” won't be made until 2011.

Matthews Mayor Lee Myers is pushing for a light-rail line to Matthews that would cross Interstate 485 and end at CPCC South's campus to serve students and commuters from Union county.

Myers said he wished more folks had come out to the meeting; he believes the lack of attendance shows that residents in the area are happy with the direction transit is headed in Matthews.

Myers is chair of the Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Transit Organization and vice chair of the Mecklenburg Transit Commission.

He says with the upcoming election, it's particularly important that voters know where the candidates stand on mass transit.

He says it's time for the federal government to partner with cities and towns to solve transportation issues because without federal and state dollars, cities and towns can't afford to pay for improvements. Melinda Johnston

Cornelius

Lake Norman business and political leaders will push for a magistrate's office in the northern end of Mecklenburg County in a meeting with top court officials soon.

Billy Wilson of the Mecklenburg County Manager's Office said Friday he will arrange the meeting as soon as possible with Chief District Judge Fritz Mercer, Sheriff Chipp Bailey and Chief Magistrate Karen Johnson.

Business leaders joined victims rights advocates and north Mecklenburg's three police chiefs Friday to push for the office.

North Mecklenburg residents who need to see a magistrate to deal with civil and criminal matters must drive to the magistrate's office in uptown Charlotte.

Joe Marusak

Regional briefs

Cabarrus County

A new Cabarrus County middle school may be built on land beside Weddington Hills Elementary School.

At the county school board work session Thursday, Morris-Berg Architects proposed designing the northwest-area middle school, which would hold 1,200 students. The two-story school would be built on a site beside the elementary school with a driveway connection to Concord Farms Road.

It would have two practice fields, two baseball/softball fields and a concession building. The board might also consider adding a 500-seat auditorium and stage.

Gail Smith-Arrants

Lincoln County Denver

Investigators will convene at Westport Marina Monday and Tuesday to continue their investigation into a boat explosion that killed a 19-year old Denver man in June.

Nathan Coppick was killed June 10 while refueling the Championship II charter at the marina on Lake Norman.

Investigators have said that the explosion was caused by a spark that ignited the fuel, but have said they have not been able to determine whether the spark came from the boat or from the dock.

Kevin Cary

Union County

Union County's building industry has slowed dramatically. Builders say they're seeing less work and more layoffs.

County building permits are down sharply, with 666 approved between January and July this year. Last year for the same time, 1,775 were approved. In 2006, building permits numbered 2,329 for the same seven-month period, according to the county building inspector's office.

Union's fall-off also is one of the steepest in the Charlotte region.

Building permits for the second quarter of this year dropped 52 percent in the eight-county Charlotte region, compared with the same period last year, according to Market Opportunity Research Enterprises of Rocky Mount. Union County was one of the biggest losers, at 61 percent.

Cliff Harrington and Mike Torralba

A plan to allocate Union County's limited water capacity in the western sections calls for limiting outdoor watering to once a week for years to come, and could ban all outdoor irrigation.

Union County commissioners got their first look last week at how the county intends to allocate 1.9 million gallons of water per day in spare capacity. A public hearing on a proposed allocation policy is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 6.

Commissioner Lanny Openshaw said he is concerned the policy could lead to curbs on all outdoor irrigation until the county gets more water capacity, which is years away.

Mike Torralba
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