When Jennifer Lowery and her family moved into the Casalino subdivision last year, they never thought the vacant land behind their home would be developed into commercial space.
Lowery is worried about a proposal to rezone four acres at the corner of Beulah Church and Waxhaw-Indian Trail roads from residential to business. The project could add up to 30,600 square feet of retail or office space.
“I really just don’t want retail in my backyard,” Lowery told Union County commissioners Oct. 5.
Lowery is not only concerned about the safety of children who play and ride their bikes through the neighborhood, but she’s also worried about property values if her family someday decides to move.
Wesley Chapel Councilman Mike Como said there’s been a lot of concern about the project from residents of his village. This prompted the village council to send a resolution to the county opposing the project.
On the other side of the roundabout lies Arborbrook Christian Academy and Central Baptist Church. Further up Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road is Nena’s Market, whose owners oppose the project as well. A senior living facility will be built just north of the site.
“Based off the future build-out of these two corridors, we feel this is the ideal location for a small neighborhood commercial center,” said Mark Kime, an architect with LandDesign. “We don’t envision that this be redeveloped as residential especially with the improvements of the roundabout. It just doesn’t seem like it would lend itself to a residential use.”
Kime said they don’t have any tenants lined up at this time.
Dean Harrell, who applied for the rezoning, said he’s had some interest in the site for medical uses and from an animal hospital.
Harrell said a convenience store with eight-pump gas station was originally proposed for the project, but they took that off the table based on feedback from the community. Harrell has agreed to a list of permitted uses.
The Union County Planning Board recommended commissioners add conditions that include no drive-thrus or no exterior exercise facility as well as impose hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
David Williams, of Indian Trail, told commissioners that the plan didn’t have enough details for his liking.
“I understand the applicant has made changes to the map based on public input; however, what’s been submitted by the applicant is pretty loosey-goosey to my mind and thin on details. I think it sets quite a dangerous precedent to conditionally rezone based on applications that are that thin on details.”
Commissioners will decide on the rezoning at an upcoming meeting.