INDIAN TRAIL – The Indian Trail Planning Board showed unanimous support Aug. 21 for a plan to redesign the area around Secrest Short Cut Road from residential to a mix of zoning districts that support more employment and commercial opportunities.
The area runs parallel to the Monroe Expressway and intersects the interchange at Unionville-Indian Trail Road. It’s mostly zoned low-density residential, or one dwelling unit per acre, and approximately 1 percent is commercial, employment or open space.
Town staff wants to put a plan in place for the land to guide future development as the new expressway comes online and held two open houses over the summer to gauge public opinion. Attendees expressed a desire for more office space, shops and businesses, bike and pedestrian facilities and traffic improvements. Most did not want to see any more homes built and liked the idea of a mixed-use land scenario with employment, commercial, high, medium and low-density residential zones.
On Aug. 21, staff presented its recommendation for a land use plan that includes an employment district along Secrest Short Cut Road, centralized by commercial district where Sardis Church Road meets West Unionville-Indian Trail Road. The plan also showed more medium-density (three units/acre) and high-density residential (6 units/acre) zones, as well as areas designated as open space.
Staff explained to the board that the recommended plan would increase the non-residential square footage of the area from 237,000 square feet to 1.97 million square feet, meaning fewer homes and more offices, shops and restaurants in the future. The changes would support a more balanced tax base, connect residents to parks and open space, and support the local economy.
“Considering the state’s just spent $800 million on putting in a new high-capacity, high-speed corridor through the area, we felt that we really need to take advantage of that,” said Bjorn Hansen, Union County transportation planner. “It’s not a question of will the growth come? It’s coming. It’s where best to put it and we feel that near an interchange is the best place to put it.”
The planning board’s recommendation will go to town council, which will review the plan at a meeting tentatively set for Sept. 25. The county’s planning board is holding its own independent review and will be making a recommendation to county commissioners, who will discus it sometime in October.
Residents can voice their opinions
Indian Trail and Union County leaders are seeking feedback on what residents would like to see when it comes to future growth near the Monroe Expressway interchange at Unionville-Indian Trail Road.
The Secrest Short Cut Small Area Plan draft is available at www.co.union.nc.us/departments/planning-buildingdevelopment/planning-zoning/calendar/secrest-short-cut-small-area-plan.