MONROE – Essex Homes wanted to develop an age-restricted community called Oakton within a doughnut hole of Waxhaw, but Union County commissioners did not find the filling to be appetizing.
Commissioners denied the rezoning request June 15.
The rezoning would have yielded 46 units in the form of duplexes and triplexes on 11 acres at 2414 Providence Road S. The site, known as McCorkle Farm, is within the county’s jurisdiction, but it’s surrounded by Waxhaw land.
Commissioner Richard Helms said he didn’t have clarity on what the age-restricted aspect of the project entailed. He then made a motion to deny the request, calling it inconsistent with county’s comprehensive plan.
During the June 1 public hearing, Bob Bennett, of Essex Homes, said the project would have “really no impact on schools” due to restrictions on children in the deed. When pressed by Helms, Bennett acknowledged the law allows a percentage of homes exempt from such restrictions. He didn’t give commissioners an exact number.
“There’s people that I know in this area who have kids graduating from college and want to stay in this area because all their friends and family live in this area,” Bennett said. “But there’s nowhere to go.”
Another aspect of the plan that hurt the rezoning was a commercial building on 2.2 acres fronting Providence Road. The petitioner didn’t identify a use for the project, which prevented a traffic analysis from being done.
The uncertainty with traffic along congested Providence Road was a reason the planning board recommended commissioners deny the project. The petitioner agreed to conduct a traffic analysis once the use was identified.
Bennett told commissioners that his team “failed miserably to give a good presentation” at the planning board meeting, citing confusion as to who was supposed to give the presentation.
Senior Planner Lee Jenson explained the N.C. Department of Transportation planned to widen Providence Road to four lanes, but he was unsure when due to the department’s funding issues.
“That’s a corridor that ‘s the most crammed together, running late,” Helms said June 15. “We’ve learned from experience we can’t count on the DOT to deliver.”