City Manager Ron Smith discusses increased interest he’s seen from residential developers during the first day of the Statesville City Council’s annual retreat.

BY MIKE FUHRMAN

At the start of the Statesville City Council’s annual planning retreat on Thursday, City Manager Ron Smith advised council members to be prepared for the growth that’s rapidly approaching.

“Put on your seat belts,” he said. “We have a lot of development coming our way.”

Council members and about a dozen senior staff members are spending Thursday and Friday at The Kinleeshop Farm off South Chipley Ford Road engaged in discussions about how to best handle all of that growth. Staff from the Centralina Council of Government are helping facilitate the discussions.

The strategic decisions the council makes during the retreat will help guide how city staff manages the growth.

“We are being pulled in every direction literally,” Smith said. “And we need to know what to do about it. In my opinion, 2022 is The Year of Statesville.”

Fortunately for Statesville, the growth is coming at a time when city coffers are flush with state and federal funds related to COVID-19 pandemic relief — what Smith called “generational money” — as well as funds that the city council has set aside in recent years through conservative spending and cost controls.

Planning Director Sherry Ashley detailed more than a dozen residential developments in various stages of development — from planning to earth moving — throughout the city. All total, there are more than 4,000 residential units in the pipeline, most of which are single-family homes. The largest is an 840-unit project off Bell Farm Road, which includes 570 single-family homes and 270 attached units.

Access to water and sewer services is a driving force in the location of the projects, Ashley told the council.

Challenges for the council include ensuring all residents have access to safe, affordable housing. While the city can regulate density of residential developments, by law it cannot dictate price points and legislate the aesthetics of each development.

“Trying to figure out affordable housing is very difficult,” Ashley said. “All of these that are coming in are going to be the same product in the same price range.”

Jenn Bosser, president and CEO of the Iredell Economic Development Corporation, told the council that Iredell County and Statesville are attractive to industry looking to expand or relocate because of access to great healthcare, good schools, strong water and sewer capacity and the interstate system — and the low state corporate tax rate and low property tax rates.

The temperate climate, safe communities and housing costs are also attractive to industries who are moving to the region.

“This is a great location to live,” Bosser said. “Sometimes we forget that.”

5 thoughts on “Statesville officials planning for influx of new residential developments

  1. Yes, great schools that are full of fights, drugs and overcrowded now! Streets that have become like a Charlotte traffic jam. Pot holes everywhere! and all you see is$$$$$$$$$. Maybe you don’t always need growth so fast.

  2. Timothy Everett Murdock says:

    What they call years of conservative spending and cost control I call stagnation and inaction. This area is now Ill prepared for growth due to lack of road networks, retail diversity, lack of a four-year institution to bring in the type of employment diversity afforded all the other similar sized cities in our region. Many residents I speak with here have openly said they don’t spend money in Statesville anymore because there are better retail options elsewhere and they feel the city has given up on itself. Sad that a city with such potential does not afford itself a chance to compete and grow into a premier desirable place to be in our region.

    • I agree with Timothy & Amy. Statesville has been ruled by old thinking for too long just like Troutman, and that’s why everyone shops in Mooresville.

  3. I agree with Darryl. Go to a Troutman Town Council meeting and all you hear is one-off approvals of annexations and negative zone changes. The Troutman strategic growth plan is obsolete. The Troutman traffic plan is obsolete, since the town approved a Walmart distribution center where a new road was supposed to go, and a large residential development where a second road was supposed to go. The town is getting collared with high density development, and the Town Council is out of its league in terms of managing for the future. By the time a road widening in the downtown is supposed to happen, the population in the area is projected to more than double – ensuring that the road widening won’t alleviate traffic woes. NC DOT doesn’t have any road widening planned for the Hwy 21 corridor from downtown Troutman to the 77 through 2050, and yet Troutman just approved a huge distribution center on that very road… right next to a high density residential development that they approved only months prior. Troutman is in danger of becoming a backwater town where people live on the outskirts – but avoid the downtown like the plague due to congestion. Look at the county zoning maps, and without one addition acre of annexation or zoning change, Troutman would build out at somewhere around 32,000 population. Where’s THAT growth plan? Troutman is stuck in a 3,200 population mindset.

  4. Where will all these new residents shop? Mooresville likely. East Broad Street is beyond embarrassing at this point. Anyone who’s never been to Statesville and exits there probably think they’re in a ghetto and will want to leave asap.

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