Friday, May 5, 2017

Mooresville's "Lake Davidson" neighborhood planning well underway before public informed

Last Friday aShortChronicle told readers about a massive new development in the planning phases on the shores of Lake Davidson.

Here is what we've found out since.

Only a relative handful of local residents, mostly in the Estates on Lake Davidson neighborhood off Bridges Farm Rd, received the notice for the public hearing mentioned in the earlier post - 20 distinct recipients to be exact.  Only recipients adjacent to the impacted parcels received the notice which is the bare minimum required.  That means homeowners on one side of the street in the small Estates on Lake Davidson neighborhood received the notice while the homeowners on the other side of the street did not.  Further, nobody in the much larger Davidson Pointe neighborhood which is in Davidson's town limits and immediately next to the Estates neighborhood received the public notice.

20 notice recipients does not seem like a true good faith effort on the part of the Town of Mooresville or the developer to notify all the people impacted...just sayin'.

In last week's post, aShortChronicle told readers that Mooresville's Public Information Officer, Kim Sellers, had indicated a project application was not available in conjunction with the rezoning request.  However, by this past Monday it was obvious that was not really the case.  aShortChronicle spoke to multiple citizens who had gone to Mooresville Town Hall on Monday and received various documents related to a proposed project on the property requested for rezoning.  Those documents included the below schematic.

Additionally, one of those citizens reported seeing a pre-drafted, pre-dated rezoning approval just waiting for the Mooresville Board of Commissioners signature.  It was supposedly dated June 5th.

That all seemed to warrant following up with Mooresville Town Hall.  Here's what Craig Culberson had to say about the seeming discrepancy and the previously prepared pre-appoval documentation for the rezoning.

"There is a rezoning request on the agenda to rezone approximately 137 acres or property located along NC 115 and Bridges Farm Road. The rezoning is known as a straight up rezoning. There are no site plans or specific conditions that are a part of the presentation. The request is based on the specific districts that are being requested. In this case, the request is to split zone the property. I am including a copy of the staff report and exhibits that are included in the request. The staff report which I am attaching for your review indicates that the staff recommends approval of the request. This is because the request for the rezoning of the property is in keeping with the provision of the towns Land Use Plan. (Emphasis added)

There is a plan that has been submitted by the developer for review by town staff. As it is under review, it is subject to be amended or changed as it moves through the approval process so that the plan that is ultimately approved may likely be different from that plan that is currently under review. The review is an administrative review. Since the plans have been submitted to the town for review, they are a matter of public record. A copy of the plan was requested and it was provided. The plan that was attached to the email you sent to Mrs. Sellers is the most recent version of the proposed plan.

When the Town Board acts on a rezoning request, they have to include with their action a statement affirming their action on the request. The Town Staff prepares these items when the file is initially being put together. Typically, the statement reflects an affirmative action, particularly if the request is compliant with the land use plan and regulatory documents. However, if the board votes to deny the rezoning request, a statement to that effect is provided for them."

Translation:  Nothing to be worried about here.  It's all totally transparent and normal process.

It should be noted that as part of the documentation citizens received, one of the items was an 80 page draft Traffic Impact Assessment dated November 2016.  The conceptual plan pictured here, the one described as the most recent plan, is dated January of this year.  That plan lists "up to" a total of 835 single family and multi-family residences in addition to 130,000 square feet of commercial space.

Clearly, this whole thing is huge and complicated and has been in the works for quite some time.

Maybe that translation above is not right.  Maybe it's not that this is a transparent common practice.  Maybe this is a better tske on the situation.

Translation: Dropping a small town's worth of development into some farm fields on our neighboring town's doorstep is going to be controversial.  Let's keep it quiet for months, then tell as few people as possible as late as possible before the public hearing.  Maybe nobody will show up and we can swiftly move this through because it's what we here at Mooresville Town Hall want anyway.


  1. Given the approaching tsunami, the Mayor and the Town Board should institute an 18 month building moratorium, as it did some 20 years ago. I wonder why this possibility hasn't been publicly floated?

  2. Prior to 2005 there was a lot more latitide on when municipalities coild do this. After 2005, they are basically restricted to 60 days to be used in cases where the planning ordinance doesnt adress some issue. Here is a doc on it from UNCSOG

  3. Prior to 2005 there was a lot more latitide on when municipalities coild do this. After 2005, they are basically restricted to 60 days to be used in cases where the planning ordinance doesnt adress some issue. Here is a doc on it from UNCSOG