Analysis continues for Waxhaw property, company says
Food Lion asked to be annexed into Waxhaw because of information provided by Union County Public Works, according to company officials.
Christy Phillips Brown, Food Lion’s corporate external communications director, said when making the decision to purchase 33.68 acres at 4116 Waxhaw Marvin Road, the company inquired about future water and sewer. To acquire water and sewer capacity, company officials were told the property would have to be annexed into Waxhaw.
“We were informed through email from Union County Public Works that if we ever wanted commercial at that property, we would have to be annexed into Waxhaw, to take advantage of their allocation,” Brown said. “Public Works said they didn’t have the capacity to provide utilities otherwise.”
Brown couldn’t provide a name of the Public Works official who informed Food Lion of the need for annexation. Also, the email mentioned is a series of questions and answers, cut and pasted from multiple communications, with no signature.
The question would be why this property is any different than the piece of unincorporated land where Kohl’s just opened, at the corner of Tom Short and Rea roads. Brown could only say Food Lion was told the only available capacity could come through Waxhaw.
“That’s the information we were provided,” Brown said.
This isn’t the first time Food Lion has been involved with the area, as the company already has a store in Waxhaw, located at 1301 N. Broome St. Brown said she didn’t have any information regarding how the first store’s application was handled.
Recent county announcements also seem to contradict information given to Food Lion. In March, commissioners freed up 445,000 gallons of wastewater capacity per day for nonresidential projects. Part of that capacity came from failed projects that didn’t meet the county’s permitting requirements and the complete postponement of other projects in the pipeline. Of that portion, 45,000 gallons per day was allocated to tap only projects across the county. The remaining 400,000 gallons was made available for commercial projects.
Additionally, Public Works Director Ed Goscicki told commissioners earlier this year that the department hoped to eliminate the need for an allocation plan within 18 months, and intends to return to a first-come, first-serve basis for new applications.
Public Works officials did not respond to questions about the Food Lion project by press time.
Plans for the property
Currently the property, which meets Anklin Forest subdivision on the north and the Quellin subdivision on the east, is zoned R2 residential, a decision made by the Waxhaw town council at its Oct. 11 meeting. Because the property was zoned residential by the county, it had to be zoned residential by the town after being annexed.
Brown emphasized that Food Lion has no plans to ask for a commercial rezoning of the property, as they’re still in the due diligence phase, determining what options are available.
“We do not have any plans there to build a store,” Brown said. “We’re evaluating the feasibility.”
She acknowledged that the North Carolina Department of Transportation was conducting a traffic study on the property, as requested, part of a larger data collection process. So why the company spend $3 million on a property when they already had a store in town? Brown said she had limited information. It was a piece of property the company was interested in, she said, but didn’t know what could be done with it yet.
“It is land we do have, but we’re not to that point yet,” Brown said.
Food Lion doesn’t have a timeline for when data collection will be finished and said regardless of what happens, the other store on Providence Road would not be impacted.