HUNTERSVILLE – Town commissioners, on the eve of the election, opted to defer the votes on alignments for Everette Keith Road, Verhoeff Drive and Hambright Road – as well as the Eastfield Road Small Area Plan – until January.
Several spoke out against the thoroughfare alignments, citing uncertain costs and concerns about hasty planning.
Four potential alignment plans from Everette Keith Road to Eastfield Road, which could take four to six homes and cost $24 million to $31 million to implement, raised the ire of residents.
“All of the proposed alignments negatively impact the value of my property,” Frank Schotthoefer said. “The predictions made by the proponents of this project are pure speculation. The cost is still up in the air. There’s uncertain costs, uncertain benefits, uncertain investors and an uncertain timeline.”
Bill Coxe, Huntersville’s transportation director, said the staff has worked to finalize the plans and provide as much information as possible leading up to the commissioners’ vote.
Still, many residents sided with Schotthoefer. Tony Termini questioned the board’s haste in voting prior to the election. The board responded.
Commissioner Ron Julian championed the cause of postponing the vote and having another workshop between town staff and board members. Julian’s proposal passed by a 5-1 margin. Commissioner Sarah McAulay opposed.
The Eastfield Road Small Area Plan, which had undergone several meetings with residents, will also be decided in January.
The decision will be made by the commissioners voted in by the Nov. 5 election, since they were deferred. Some, Mayor Jill Swain cautioned, could have differing viewpoints on which alignment plan best fits the town’s needs.
The board also:
• Recognized its public safety officers who won yearly honors;
• Conducted a public hearing for EPCOM Communities’ request to rezone 16.76 acres for an active senior housing community;
• Voted 5-1 (Commissioner Danny Phillips opposed) to execute an agreement with RKG Associates Inc. to prepare a Strategic Economic Development Plan;
• Deferred consideration of Town Manager Greg Ferguson’s merit review until an upcoming meeting.