Bojangles, Auto Zone get town's OK

Retail development near Interstate 77 Exit 42 in Troutman appears to be gaining traction again after a lull due to the slow economy.

At their June meeting, Troutman's aldermen approved water and sewer capacity for a new Bojangles eat-in/drive-through restaurant on Charlotte Highway (U.S. 21). They also pledged to work with the applicant, Piedmont Realty, during the application process. The property where the restaurant would be is under county jurisdiction.

After being assured by Town Manager David Saleeby that the system had enough capacity to add the restaurant, the board granted water/sewer capacity of 3,520 gallons per day. A number of conditions were attached to the approval, including a requirement that the applicant seek voluntary annexation into the town.

The town board also gave the green light to a major site plan for a new 1,381-square-foot Auto Zone store. It will occupy a vacant one-acre parcel and have parking for 33 cars. Both Bojangles and Auto Zone will be in front of the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse.

Still on hold are plans for several hotels and motels in the Exit 42 area. The town has already established a "motel or travel and tourism authority" to handle the proceeds of a room tax authorized by the state and adopted by the aldermen. Earlier this year, the board of aldermen appointed Julia Tedder and Giovanni Pellegrino to four-year terms on the authority. But Saleeby told the board, "We have an authority and we have members, but so far we have no hotels or motels."

In other action:

The board adopted an ordinance prohibiting parking on the street network off U.S. 21 in front of Lowe's. According to police Chief Matthew Selves, large trucks have been using the streets for extended parking.

The board adopted the 2010 Iredell County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Town officials had advised the board that adoption was necessary for the town and residents to get FEMA funds in the event of a major disaster.

The board approved spending $28,000 not included in the budget to buy a new Ford Explorer for the police department.

The board authorized the town to send a letter to the N.C. Department of Transportation asking that the speed limit be reduced to 25 mph during school hours on Wagner Street (Perth Road) from West Avenue to Thomas Street, to protect students traveling to and from the nearby middle and elementary schools. The current speed limit on that stretch is 35 mph.