Walter Fields, a planning consultant working for Community One, told the Town Board last week that he’ll present the bank’s proposal for a conceptual plan for the site. “We’re a lot closer together than we’ve ever been,” Mr. Field said. He said the bank has been meeting with town officials and all parties agree they need to take “a more expansive view” of the site.
Planning manager Lauren Blackburn also will give her own update on proposed rezoning of the property, where the town hopes to encourage a mix of uses that includes office and commercial development. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the board room at Town Hall, 216 S. Main St.
Zoning amendments governing the site have been in the works for months. The town has shown a new Davidson East map that envisions a mix of uses on the site, from shops and offices close to N.C. 73, to corporate offices in the middle of the site, and residential near the back of the site.
Mr. Fields said he’ll discuss the bank’s proposal. He said the most challenging area of the site is the “flex area,” where the town envisions “employment campus” development. “It may be a while before that market gets here,” Mr. Fields said. But he does believe that the retail and small offices can grow out from the “town center” area closer to N.C. 73.
“I hope after we present to planning board … we will have a plan that we can all agree on … or something with only a few minor details,” Mr. Fields said last week.
At the Aug. 9 Town Board meeting, Ms. Blackburn walked the board through the history and latest version of proposed zoning text and map amendments governing the site in east Davidson.
She described the evolution of a planning map that seeks to balance mixed uses on the property, while achieving the town’s goal of reserving some land for an “employment campus.” That’s aimed at bringing more commercial development and jobs to the area.
The Town Board years ago approved a site plan for a mixed-use development of shops, homes and offices on the site. But that development, led by developer Frank Jacobus, failed with the recession and the real estate market’s collapse. Lender Community One now owns most of it, after a December 2009 foreclosure.
The town has proposed rezoning the site to shift the mix more toward commercial uses, as part of a broad effort to re-balance the town’s tax base away from a heavy reliance on residential property taxes. Offices are also being cited as a need by regional economic development recruiters.
Jeff Edge, a recruiter with the Charlotte Chamber, told the board Aug. 9 the site could fill need in this area. “As we look at what you have today, from an available land perspective … the Highway 73 corridor, particularly in the Davidson East eara, is one thing we can look at,” he said.
But he doesn’t believe the whole site should be dedicated to offices. “There are some limitations on that property as to how it can be developed … so you can’t just go in and plunk down some buildings and create an employment center. You’re going to have to have some mixed use on that site,” he said.
Tuesday’s meeting is the latest in a series of meetings to resolve zoning of the site. Meetings in the coming weeks, include:
- Tuesday, Aug. 16 – a special planning board meeting, including a presentation from Community One and its consultants.
- Tuesday, Aug. 23 – another update and presentation at the Davidson Town Board’s monthly work session
- Monday, Aug. 29 – A review at the monthly Davidson Planning Board meeting, which could include a vote on whether to recommend the proposed rezoning.
The issue then would come back to the Town Board for a vote in September. “It’s going to be a weekly date with Davidson East,” Ms. Blackburn joked to the board.
Aug. 11, 2011, “Town in the midst of ‘weekly dates’ with Davidson East” – a report from last week’s Town Board meeting.
Read more and download documents in our June 28 report, “Documents: Maps and staff report on Davidson East.” See also June 22, 2011, “Davidson East Workshop suggests return to mixed use.”