WAXHAW – Town commissioners rezoned two parcels off South Providence Road from residential to neighborhood center Aug. 10 despite the planning board recommending they oppose the petition. 

The property, described as McCorkle Farm, was getting its initial zoning from the town following annexation.

The planning board recommended commissioners not approve the rezoning, citing the 2016 Comprehensive plan and Future Planning Goals. The planning board’s decision mentioned increased demand on water, sewer and roads as well as neighboring property values. Member wanted to see more engineering studies, Thompson said. 

Commissioner Anne Simpson said the board received feedback from the community about the zoning request concerning traffic and congestion, but members weren’t allowed to base their decision on those factors.  

“The reason for that is you don’t someone coming in seeking to actually apply for a permit,” attorney Charlie Buckley told the council. “If they wanted to come in now once you zone it and ask for their own change in zoning, they could do that. So we don’t know what the use is going to be. Those legislative discussions are not relevant at this point.”

Commissioners couldn’t consider water or sewer issues either. Instead, commissioners could only consider the potential uses that could be permitted for the requested zoning. 

The Future Land Use Map 2021 notes that mixed uses, which include retail, official and medium density residential housing, are appropriate for the site, according to Planner Director Lisa Thompson. 

Neighborhood center zoning allows for offices, neighborhood-oriented retail and services as well as cottages, townhomes, duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes. Eight units per acre is the maximum allowed density. 

Town staff drafted a statement for commissioners to adopt. The statement said the mixed uses provide a buffer between the employment center to the south and the R-3 residential zoning to the north. It noted the zoning will “allow for uses that can diversify the tax base and housing stock.”

The board voted 5-0 to approve the rezoning.

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