Developer weighs next step
The Village of Marvin Council refused Tuesday, Dec. 13, to accept a proposal from Toll Brothers to build 103 homes on the 105-acre Ezzell Valley property in the northwest corner of Marvin School and New Town roads.
After a closed session to consult with Town Attorney Kevin Bringewatt and interim Village Administrator Lisa Thompson, council members said they agree with Thompson’s analysis that the town’s development rules would permit only 90 homes on the land and require more concessions than the developer has offered.
Toll Brothers has expressed interest in developing the Ezzell Valley subdivision that was the subject of a court settlement agreement between William and Louise Nolan and the village in March 2008. But the sticking point for the two sides comes down to what that settlement says exactly.
John Carmichael, a Charlotte attorney specializing in land use and zoning, acknowledged to council members that the settlement agreement is not clear. He noted that neither he nor the village’s attorney had participated in crafting the agreement.
But Carmichael pointed to a plat attached to the agreement that shows 106 home lots. The Nolans developed that plat to comply with development standards the village was using in 2003, when the Nolans first proposed the subdivision. He argued that the village and the Nolans would not have attached the plat if they hadn’t meant to use it as a guide.
While also acknowledging ambiguity in the agreement, Bringewatt pointed to written language in the document saying the subdivision would be “governed by” rules in effect in 2008. Under the 2008 standards, Thompson said, the Ezzell Valley site could not accommodate more than 90 lots.
Both sides agreed that Toll Brothers would not have to comply with the village’s tree ordinance and stormwater, drainage or floodplain regulations. And if the village and developer can agree on the number of lots, the village also agreed to accelerate the approval process for Toll
Council members said they are not rejecting the 2008 settlement agreement. Instead, they said Toll Brothers’ proposal does not fit the conditions of the agreement, and they asked town staff to continue negotiating on a compromise with the developer.
After the meeting, Bob Cardos, of Toll Brothers, said he would not comment.
In other business Tuesday, the council members also:
• Agreed to raise the hourly pay for Village Clerk Mary Shkut from $15 to $20 and extended Shkut’s work week from 25 to 30 hours. The motion passed 3 to 1, with Openshaw dissenting.
• On Openshaw’s motion, approved a $500 bonus for Thompson for the additional workload and responsibilities she’s assumed as interim administrator. The council also approved $50 Christmas bonuses for other village employees.