The Statesville City Council on Monday delayed formal adoption of the 2045 Land Development Plan.

A representative of Clarion Associates, the Chapel Hill firm that created the plan, outlined several changes to the document that were made as a result of public feedback and guidance from the planning board and staff.

The most significant changes to the long-range plan were the addition of the Airport/I-40 Strategic Focus Area and the demotion of property in the Barium Springs area to lesser importance due largely to jurisdictional issues.

Council members delayed a final vote to give the Airport Commission an opportunity to review the changes and iron out some other issues.

Council members Steve Johnson and John Staford raised concerns that the plan seemed heavy on plans for residential property developments compared to commercial and industrial plans.

Johnson worried that U.S. Highway 21 north would soon resemble Williamson Road in Mooresville.

“I’m not really comfortable seeing that much residential development” with highway frontage, he said.

Johnson conceded that sprawl is coming, but he told the council it’s critical to the city’s financial health to have a mix of residential, commercial and industrial development.

“If all you see is residential property, you can’t afford to live here,” he said.

Staff will work with the consultant to make additional revisions based on input from the council.

During the public hearing, developer and city council candidate James Pressly urged the council to reject the plan, repeating his claims that the plan was drafted in secret and would benefit special interests and insiders. He said many stakeholders were left out of the process and the final report favored those with ties to City Hall.

“This (plan) will continue to neglect South and Southwest Statesville,” Pressly said.

Property owner David Stamey, who has advocated for the recognition of undeveloped land near the airport as a valuable asset for the city’s economic health and vitality, thanked city staff and council for realizing the potential of the hundreds of acres near the airport.

Much of the prized interstate frontage property along I-77 identified in the plan has been snagged by developers for major industrial projects in the past two months.

Recently announced projects will boost the area’s tax base by $500 million, Mayor Costi Kutteh said.

“It’s going to be transformational for our city,” Kutteh said before Monday’s meeting adjourned.


Also during Monday’s meeting, the Council:

♦ Authorized city staff to apply for an $11 million grant for the construction of a new terminal at Statesville Regional Airport.

♦ Approved the first reading of an ordinance to annex properties located on Turnersburg Highway/Houpe Road. The 185-acre tract, valued at more than $1 million, is the proposed site for Statesville Logistics Park.

♦ Approved the first reading of an ordinance to annex properties on Northside Drive. The five-acre tract, valued at $344,000, is a proposed site for self-storage business.

♦ Approved the first reading of an ordinance to annex properties on James Farm Road at Parcel Drive. The 5.8-acre tract, valued at $137,000, is the site of a future office for Preston Contractors.

♦ Delayed a second reading of an ordinance to demolish the dwelling at 522 Stockton Street after the property owners completed several improvements and agreed to make additional improvements during the next four months.

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