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Crescent project delayed in Cornelius/Davidson

Sept. 12. ​By Dave Vieser​. ​In a surprise development, Crescent Acquisitions rezoning request to build nine homes in Cornelius was withdrawn at the Cornelius Planning Board’s Sept. 11 meeting. About 20 residents, mostly from Davidson, were in attendance and applauded the news.

“For those who are here for the Crescent Acquisitions application, please be advised that this matter has been withdrawn​,​” said Planning Board Chairman Keith Eicher. This means that the Sept​.​ 18 public hearing before the town board has also been canceled.

When asked if this meant the applicant would have to start the rezoning process all over again, Planning Director Wayne Herron said “yes, if they decide to do so.”​ One Cornelius commissioner called the project “crazy.”​

​Crescent is a well-known name in Charlotte and Cornelius, having developed The Peninsula back in the heyday of massive suburban developments, back when the company was known as Crescent Resources. Renamed Crescent Communities, it is chasing in-fill projects with more flexibility around walking, biking, mass transit and, of course, cars. While it’s still building suburban, master-planned communities—the River District near the airport is one—Crescent is responding to changes in where people want to live.

D​avidson, with an emphasis on a walkable streetscape, is a hot commodity right now in the world of residential real estate. Indeed, the bulk of the Potts project is in Davidson.​

Davidson residents were clearly pleased but pledged to fight on. “The joint Davidson-Cornelius citizen opposition will not stop until Crescent pulls their application from Davidson, new Davidson officials are elected, and the vulnerable Potts Property is rezoned single family” said Melissa Atherton. “Davidson and Cornelius share the same roads, schools and natural environment. We will keep working together to protect our critical watershed.”

The project is really not just about nine houses; it includes a 295-unit development right next door in Davidson.

Crescent had asked that the item be placed on the Planning Board’s September 11 agenda but the town was ready to hold the item over until October to give the members time to assimilate a traffic study and new site plan.

Crescent’s outside attorney, Susan Irvin, whose offices are in Cornelius, could not be reached for comment.

Cornelius Commissioner was critical of the Potts Street project.

“This project looks to be crazy high-density residential​,​” said CGilroy. “It will overload transportation infrastructure in a sensitive area of Davidson and Cornelius, piling yet more traffic on East Catawba.”

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