by Aaron Burns

HUNTERSVILLE – Residents looking for the town board to deliver a knockout blow against M/I Homes’ proposed 82-house Avery Park subdivision came away empty-handed on Nov. 19.

Instead as the board deferred its vote until the Jan. 22 meeting on the 42-acre subdivision, which would border Charterhouse Lane to the south, Wynfield Creek Parkway to the west and Gilead Road to the north.

“We’re going to get this decision right,” Mayor Jill Swain said.

Nine residents spoke out against the subdivision with concerns about increased traffic in surrounding areas and potentially lowered house values around Avery Park.

Margaret Banks Basinger, who owns the land, said last month that her intent to sell was because of the land’s high tax rate.

Resident Larry Dorman said the town’s recently adopted 2030 Community Plan and M/I Homes’ proposed subdivision simply weren’t in sync, largely because of the number of houses in the space – nearly two houses per acre. The plan calls for no more than one house per acre.

“Why start off changing the 2030 plan already?” Dorman said.

Resident Jim Beaty agreed.

“This is just the wrong plan for this space. And why here?” Beatty asked. “There are plenty of places this could just be dropped in. Don’t put the cart before the horse.”

M/I Homes Vice President Bob Wiggins said his company’s willingness to adapt to residents’ requests should carry weight in the town board’s vote.

M/I Homes modified its original proposal from 110 homes to 82, which would range in width from 65-75 feet. The buffer to Wynfield was increased from 50 to 150 feet.

“This is a very important (issue) for M/I Homes and Mrs. Basinger,” Wiggins said.

In other business, the board:

• Awarded its Sam Furr and Statesville Road streetscape project to Conover-based Ingle and Son Landscape Inc. and funding for repairs to the Hugh Torrance House and Store.

• Accepted Commissioner Charles Jeter’s resignation, effective Dec. 31. Jeter won a seat in N.C. House District 92 on Nov. 6.

Avery Park proposed subdivision

• Average cost for one of 82 houses would be $300,000

• Lot sizes were changed from 40, 50 and 60 feet to 65-75 feet wide