HUNTERSVILLE – A 52-home senior living neighborhood is on its way to town.

Commissioners unanimously approved Jan. 6 a rezoning request from EPCON Communities and its sketch plan for the 15-acre subdivision to be built near the intersection of Terry Lane and N.C. 73.

Residents and commissioners voiced concerns over the increased traffic the Courtyards at Huntersville will bring, but the issues weren’t enough to override the proposed community.

“Fitting our unique homes into (the town’s) code has been a bit challenging,” EPCON Communities CEO Phil Fankhauser said. “We’re not (proposing) a single-family home on single-family lots. What we’re proposing is an age-restricted community with a condominium-ownership format. They’re not just houses, but also part of a senior’s lifestyle.”

The Courtyards at Huntersville will be restricted to those at least 55 years old, which Fankhauser said should also limit the added traffic to the area.

Fankhauser pointed to safety precautions inside the community, such as having no stairs for the homes, as ways the subdivision sets itself apart from others and adheres to the town’s growing need for senior-living communities.

“It’s important to think of our plan as a very specialized form of housing,” Fankhauser said. “The Huntersville 2030 plan speaks to the need of senior housing. We’re just a pebble on the beach in the traffic situation, and we know it’s going to add some traffic, but we want to be part of the solution, as well.”

Wes Smith, who has handled engineering and design work for the subdivision’s plan, said the traffic impact would be less than a normal subdivision.

“We’re looking at an average of about 264 car trips for the community per day, versus an average of 576 per day in a single-family subdivision,” Smith said. “Most of the residents of this community won’t travel during peak hours, either. They won’t be on the road when a lot of the town will be.”

Mayor Jill Swain also gave her input on the proposed subdivision’s traffic expectations.

“It’s restricted to those 55 and older, and that’ll be me soon,” Swain said. “I don’t anticipate sitting in a courtyard all day.”