Huntersville residents oppose potential development

by: Holly Maynard Updated:

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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Hundreds of Huntersville residents wrote letters and emails to town leaders, voicing their opposition to potential development off Gilead Road.

Joe Melton told Eyewitness News he loves living in the Wynfield subdivision off Gilead, but he doesn't love what could soon be coming just west of his neighborhood. Right now land there is zoned for about 40 homes. However, a local developer is asking the town to change the zoning so it can build about 110 homes there. Hundreds of other homes nearby have already been approved but not built yet.

Melton has a number of concerns.

"You've got air quality, water quality, traffic... potentially overcrowded schools," he said. "It's ludicrous!"

Melton also said the traffic on Gilead Road near Wynfield is bad already, and it will only get worse.

"It's inconvenient, and it's a safety issue," he said.

Schools could be affected, too. Right now, nearby Torrence Creek Elementary is overcrowded. A school being built nearby on Stumptown Road will help alleviate that problem, but Commissioner Ron Julian said the new school could easily become overcrowded with the addition of so many houses.

Julian said he also doesn't approve of the zoning change as it stands because it is not consistent with the town's long-range community plan that puts higher density neighborhoods closer to the town center and less dense neighborhoods towards the periphery of Huntersville.

"I don't think it's fair to those residents who put that community plan together," Julian said.

The developer, MI Homes, said it has met with residents to make the plan more agreeable, even increasing the amount of land that would be between the two neighborhoods and increasing some lot sizes. However, Commissioner Charles Jeter said he's still doubtful.

"We've got a lot of homes that need to be sold in this community," he said. "I'm real concerned about adding 110 homes on a piece of land that probably shouldn't have more than 44."

Another commissioner, Danny Phillips, said he is not yet sure where he stands on the issue. There is a public hearing Monday night, and town board members expect to vote in the next month or so.