Hundreds sign petition against development plan for downtown Huntersville

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Residents spoke out Monday night against a plan to develop a plot of land near downtown Huntersville into apartments and townhomes.

The land in question is just behind Discovery Place Kids. While some neighbors want to see the land developed, others are not on board with the developer’s plan and feel it will take away their small-town feel.

“I look out and see trees, and soon I’m going to look out and see lights and buildings? It’s just disheartening,” said Amber Kovacs, one concerned neighbor.

Hundreds have already signed a petition that Kovacs created.

“The last major part of land we use to build things like that because they are saying roofs bring retail but if you only have roofs, where is the retail going to go?” Kovac said.

Those who have signed the petition are against a proposed development near Gilead Road and Highway 115.

“The first time I heard this, I was like, ‘Oh, more retail. How fantastic is that?’ Until you look further at the plans and realize it’s not mostly retail and it’s just apartments,” Kovacs said before the meeting.

A developer wants to utilize nearly 10 acres, including land from the city, which backs up to an old neighborhood. The plan includes building 140 apartments and 61 townhomes.

The plan also calls for 12,000 square-feet of shops or restaurants along Gilead Road, but it is unclear how much of that will actually be for other businesses.

Those who signed the petition -- and the group “Save Downtown Huntersville” -- have concerns about how the project will impact traffic, the crowding of CMS schools and the overall feel of the town.

The developer sent Channel 9 a statement saying their project will “be a catalyst to revitalize downtown Huntersville.”

Those against the project, aren’t convinced.

“Would we like more to do? Of course, just to have different things. And I love putting money back in our local economy,” Kovacs said. “But we don’t have that. We’d like more to do, but this isn’t providing that.”

A final decision on the project was not made Monday night. The town board will take a vote sometime in November.

“We are concerned that this development that has so much apartments and housing units -- that it will increase traffic in the neighborhood -- that our boys won’t be able to enjoy walking and biking,” resident Tammy Johnston said.