The town of Mint Hill has extended the deadline to take the land use plan survey to July 11.
Town Manager Brian Welch made the decision so that more citizens would have a chance to participate. The former deadline was June 20.
The survey gauges how citizens feel about future development in the town.
The information will then be used to help either tweak or start over the Comprehensive Land Use Plan that was drafted last year.
As of Monday, 600 people have taken the survey according to Town Planning Director Lee Bailey.
The draft of the plan drew stern criticism from some in town who thought there was too much allowance for higher density development, especially in the areas closest to Charlotte’s borders.
Mint Hill Board of Commissioner Lloyd Austin was on the board when the previous plan was enacted in 2000. He said he supported extending the survey date to July to give more people a chance to have their say.
The process has been much more contentious than in 2000 according to Austin.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” Austin said. “I’m not for higher density, but there was a misunderstanding about what the plan was originally about. Overall, I think it was just a communication problem.”
Chris McAvoy has led an effort to get the town to take a step back and rethink the plan. In recent weeks, he has helped organize a group of volunteers to hand out fliers detailing what is in the current draft of the CLUP. He said about 200 people have given him email addresses or phone numbers who said they did email addresses or phone numbers who said they did not support the current draft. About 25 people helped to hand out fliers.
The “vast majority” of people he has spoken to are against the plan.
“It seems like the only people who support the proposed CLUP are those who will directly gain from increased housing density,” he said.
Austin said higher density is not always a bad thing and that the board needs to review new developments on a case by case basis. A neighborhood that has $400,000 upscale patio homes would benefit the town, he added.
Once the survey data is collected, town staff will present it to the CLUP advisory committee. They will make a recommendation to the planning board who will in turn make a recommendation to the board of commissioners. The process could take several more months at least.
McAvoy said he is confident the higher density parts on the western portions of the town in the CLUP will eventually be voted down by the board of commissioners.
“I am not confident that the consultants and planning committee will change the CLUP significantly before it’s brought to the board of commissioners for a vote,” he said. ” However, I am confident that the board will do the right thing when the CLUP is brought before them and vote down the proposed CLUP.”