WEDDINGTON – More than 300 Weddington residents have signed a petition to stop the new water tower proposed for Hemby Road following Union County Public Works’ decision to move forward with a rezoning application.
Union County Public Works officials held a meeting Thursday, July 11, to give residents a chance to weigh in on possible designs for the new water tower coming to Weddington. But many of the nearly 15 residents in attendance were still focused on the location of the tower, saying, regardless of the design, the tower will disrupt their community.
“I’m really not here to entertain why (the tower) should be somewhere else. … My direction from my board is to move forward with this site,” Public Works Director Ed Goscicki told residents.
Public Works plans to submit a rezoning application to Weddington on Friday, July 19, which could clear the final hurdle to constructing a tower.
“On Friday, as soon as Union County Public Works submits the official conditional zoning request … we are going to have our attorney put a formal argument against that,” Linda Watt, a resident in the Waybridge subdivision, said.
Weddington Town Council has not commented on the petition, and is currently working with the town attorney to decide which route to take.
Although a majority of residents at the meeting favored the design with a concrete base and taller bowl, some community members feel keeping a more traditional look with the 180-foot, 1.5-million-gallon water tower is important. Many residents at the meeting asked to see at a design with multiple legs, as opposed to the single tower design shown at the meeting, much like the tower in Waxhaw.
“We are all in favor of keeping that rural flavor,” said one Providence Woods South resident during the meeting.
In addition to the design of the tower, Public Works also is working with the adjacent property owner on Hemby Road, from whom they bought the $375,000 piece of property to add an additional landscape buffering from the most “offensive” angle of the tower.
Trees surround the tower on three of four sides, and Goscicki and his staff are doing what they can to make the tower less noticeable. They plan to work with Weddington leaders to make the tower better suited for the surrounding community.
But for some residents, the tower will be an eyesore regardless of any aesthetics added around it.
“The water tower is 180 feet tall, so I am going to see it out of my second story window. Some other residents are going to see it right there,” Watt said. “I don’t care how many trees you put around it, you aren’t going to hide it.”
The need for water in the community is expected to grow in the next 10 years, with some subdivisions, like Rosehill and Chestnut, already experiencing water pressure problems.
“The immediate problem is there, but in 10 years it’s going to be a problem all of the way to city hall,” Goscicki said during the meeting.
Residents will have opportunities at planning board, council and public meetings to let their representatives know what they think about the proposed plans for the tower. The next planning board meeting is Monday, July 22, at 7 p.m. in the town hall, 1924 Weddington Road.