Mint Hill Facing Growth Challenges

Joy Greear, President, MHCC addresses the audience at Town Hall. (Ed Berti)
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Scouts receive recognition for civics merit badge. (Ed Berti)

This writer and resident of Mint Hill recently attended the Meeting of the Board of Commissioners this past Thursday night at Town Hall. The most important topic discussed and expressed by the citizens in attendance was the eventual growth of the town due to it’s proximity to Interstate 485.

Most concerns expressed were about additional traffic and impact to the downtown area. The loss of a small town setting and property values were other concerns mentioned by the some of the citizens who could potentially feel the biggest impact.

We recently had an article about a Chick-Fil-A proposal to possibly construct a new restaurant in the downtown area directly across Highway 51 from the Town Hall complex. From our understanding as of this writing the company has not submitted its plan to the town for review. However, it would be difficult to argue if completed, the project surely could potentially impact the traffic flow through the downtown area including home owners living in the surrounding communities.

The data mentioned by Chick-fil-A at their public meeting held at Providence Presbyterian Church mentioned their plans include parking space for 60 or more vehicles, the ability to navigate 30 or more vehicles through the drive-thru, including an estimate of handling projected traffic of 195 vehicles in the mornings, and 159 vehicles in the evenings potentially on an hourly basis. Also, the company was very clear, this was the only site located in Mint Hill where they have any interest in building a new restaurant at this time.

The second issue mentioned by citizens who attended the meeting had to do with the NCDOT “superstreet” or “superhighway” project along Highway 51. This project has the potential to dramatically change the landscape of Mint Hill in the future.

A group of concerned citizens have already met to learn more information about the project from the NCDOT. The concern is about the widening of the road from Matthews around the the Pike’s Nursery area through downtown Mint Hill. What will be the impact on current homeowners, and traffic patterns and flow through our town. The citizens mentioned the possibility of creating a Citizens Transportation Committee which could evaluate how the roads may impact the town.

What we know so far about the project is sketchy. However, we do know the project has been suspended due to budget constraints at the state level. Highway 51 is a state road, its the alternate route to Interstate 485 in the NCDOT plans. The Town of Mint Hill will receive some notification from the state in January 2020 as to the status of the Highway 51 project. Currently, the project has been postponed until 2024, however, these matters can be subject to various changes and potential delays.

Meanwhile, a new proposal was showcased during a presentation regarding docket #ZC19-3, filed by Caliber Partners, for parcel 137-152-02, located at 12936 Albemarle Road, to allow for a conditional zoning request for a restaurant with a drive-thru to be built. The new restaurant would be an Arby’s fast food store location.

Finally, the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce was recognized for all the great work they have been doing in the town to promote and collaborate with the local business community, including non-profit organizations. Paige McKinney, Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, and Joy Greear, President at Novant Mint Hill Medical Center accepted recognition for their hard work, on behalf of the Directors, Ambassadors, and membership in promoting, cultivating, growing and connecting the Town of Mint Hill both within and other surrounding communities to develop commerce.

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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.
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