Highway 51 widening and Landscape Material Yard projects raise concerns

Mint Hill Town Hall.
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Rezoning sign at site on Cabarrus Road. (Ed Berti)
Site of new entrance of proposed landscape material yard. (Ed Berti)

Karen Trauner a long-time resident of Mint Hill and a candidate for Mayor attended the May 29, 2019 NCDOT workshop at Town Hall. She was able to obtain a lot of takeaways from the meeting and expressed her concerns about the project. She mentioned her research into the Highway 51 widening, or Super-Street plan has many residents who live along Highway 51 with pending questions and answers to be addressed. She discussed the proposed project with engineers from other towns who have been through road expansions. Her takeaway is, if built, it could dramatically change the character and landscape of Mint Hill in the proposed area of construction.

She is not entirely against the project, however, she believes there needs to be more due diligence by the Board and Town management. She requested the Board to hold a public meeting for the Town, without NCDOT in attendance, to explain the project more fully in the best interest of all who will be impacted. This meeting, she believes, would benefit the residents who will need to adjust to the changing environment. “It would allow residents to be better informed, and to prepare more detailed questions to ask at the NCDOT meeting,” said Trauner. The Mayor responded, town staff has already discussed the possibility of holding a meeting regarding the road expansion. This approach should be a logical next step considering the magnitude of the proposed project.

As previously mentioned in the Mint Hill Times July 24 edition, under Public Hearing docket #ZC19-2, filed by MHIP, LLC Parcel Number 139-092-19 located at 13936 Cabarrus Road to allow a Conditional Zoning Request for a Landscape Material Yard and Storage Warehouse facility. The site is Lot #2, 14.4 acres, at the Mint Hill Business Park.

The Mint Hill Business Park was originally approved in May 1999. In December 2007 a request to change a condition was approved.

Conditional District decisions shall be made in consideration of identified relevant adopted land use plan. Conditional District rezoning is a legislative procedure under which the Board of Commissioners has the authority to increase, tighten, add, vary, modify or waive specific conditions or standards. In approving a petition for rezoning property to a Conditional District the Board of Commissioners may request reasonable and appropriate conditions.  

Fuller Consulting, the site engineer made a presentation to show the actual proposal. The material yard is planned to sit on five acres and the existing home would be renovated into new office space. NCDOT has required the developer to move the driveway toward the edge of the 50′ buffer. Also, a weight scale would be added behind the existing office building on the site.

The two key areas of concern for residents in the Cabarrus Road area are the reduction of the current residential buffer zone from 100 feet to 50 feet proposed. Secondly, the anticipated truck traffic of 30-40 trucks a day of both dump trucks and pick-up trucks. How will the heavy dump truck traffic pattern flow? Will this traffic be directed or required to use Albemarle Road, Route 24/27 to make deliveries into the Landscape Material Yard beyond the railroad tracks?

The material yard in Phase I is expected to begin immediately after the permits are issued. Phase II, the storage warehouse may take up to five years to begin according to the proposal with truck traffic entrance through the Business Park off of Jomac Drive.

Interested and concerned residents with questions should contact John Hoard, Planning Director, or Steve Frey, Town Engineer and Public Works Director at 704-545-9726.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.