Mooresville approves 350 Lake Norman town homes on wooded acres, despite protests

After Mooresville initially panned the project, a Lake Norman developer received the go-ahead Monday night for a mixed-use community on 52 acres, mostly wooded, between two Interstate 77 exits running through the town.

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning for Cornelius-based North State Development to build 350 two- and three-story town homes and retail-commercial space in the 400 block of narrow, two-lane Alcove Road.

Southwest 33 Associates of Mooresville owns the land, planning department documents show.

Alcove Road runs north-south between two Interstate 77 exits: Langtree Road exit 31 to the south and U.S. 21-Williamson Road exit 33 to the north.

Commissioners also unanimously approved annexing the property and extending water and sewer lines to the community, called “Alcove Road.”

Attainable housing, no apartments

The developer’s latest plan was more palatable to the board than its original proposal last year for 660 homes with no attainable housing, which are dwellings priced for households in the moderate income range or 80-to 120% of area medium income.

Five percent of homes in both phases of the development will be attainable housing, North State managing partner David Dupree told the commissioners Monday night. In this case, none will be apartments, commissioners said. The town is overloaded with apartments, they said.

Mooresville’s average home price is $475,000, Dupree said. The attainable housing would be affordable to firefighters and teachers, he said. The original proposal called for no such homes.

Under the current zoning of the property, someone could have built up to 930 housing units of various types, Dollar Generals and gas stations, Dupree and town officials said. The acreage has been zoned commercial for 16 years, Dupree said.

“None of us were on the board” 16 years ago, commissioner Lisa Qualls said. “We’re the cleanup crew, folks.”

A Dollar General would be allowed under the rezoning approved Monday, said Erika Martin, Mooresville director of planning & community development, although Dupree said no such stores are planned, and neither are gas stations.

The developer also submitted revised plans recently that cut the number of homes for a second time this year, to 350, all of them town homes, Martin said. The original proposal called for a mix of housing types, town documents show.

The development also will have 10,000 square feet of commercial-retail space and 25,000 square feet of public space.

“We feel like we’ve come up with a good plan,” Dupree said. “... We’re a local developer, so we take pride in what we do.”

“Substantially changing our lives”

Some commissioners last year criticized the project over traffic, fire response and other concerns, but said at a June 12 meeting that the developer has worked to address the issues.

Two neighbors told the board they liked the developer’s plans, while at least a half-dozen residents of Templeton Bay, a waterfront community of 52 single-family homes, said it would ruin their views and way of life.

Her children will now never know a time growing up when construction wasn’t occurring near their quiet setting that’s full of trees, Nicole Kaiser, president of the Templeton Bay Homeowners Association, told the commissioners.

“You are substantially changing our lives,” Kaiser said.

Qualls said residents had the chance to pool their money and buy the acreage when it became available 16 years ago.

Having the developer cut its number of homes so significantly “is the best we can get to mitigate pain,” she said.

“We’ve done about everything we can do to protect you,” commissioner Eddie Dingler said. “I get it. I don’t vote for high-density projects. But we’re at the best spot we can be at.”

Fairview Flyover road

Development construction will be tied to when the town secures land for a nearby fire station, Mooresville planning department documents state.

Monday night’s rezoning approval also requires that a planned second phase of the development can’t start either until the state Department of Transportation begins construction of a long-planned road nearby known as the Fairview Flyover or after two years pass from Monday’s vote.

The road is so named because it would connect Alcove Road on one side of I-77 with Fairview Road on the other side of the interstate.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2027, Martin said an NCDOT official told her Monday. The work would take two years.

“I had brown hair when (NCDOT) first proposed this project,” Mayor Chris Carney said. “That was a long time ago.”

“I sit on transportation,” said Qualls, who is chair of the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization. “I can guarantee you, when it’s finished, we’ll all be dead.”

In its zoning application, the developer said it has worked closely with NCDOT on plans for the road. Construction of the Flyover is scheduled to begin in 2025.

Dog park, open recreational space

The first phase of the development would include 250 town homes and 25,000 square feet of public open space, Dupree said.

A dog park and multiple open-space park areas are planned, along with a club house, swimming pool and walking trails.

The developer promises a 30-foot vegetative buffer along Alcove Road and a pedestrian connection across a realigned Fairview Road.

The development’s landscaping will make the road “far more friendly to the eye than what otherwise would be displayed should (the Flyover) be built on its own,” according to the developer’s rezoning application.

In its zoning application, the developer said its project will enhance the tax base, provide more housing for seniors and others and offer more retail to Mooresville.