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June 14, 2021

Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — Town aldermen on Monday approved a new 2040 comprehensive land use plan, an official zoning map and a new set of land development ordinances.

Kannapolis-based N-Focus was hired about a year ago to provide planning services for the town. Several months ago, it was contracted to develop the town’s comprehensive land use plan and its development ordinances to clean up many inconsistencies and comply with state law. Doing so also allows the town to apply for federal and state grants and protects the town’s overall vision for the future.

While the town’s comprehensive land use plan shows how Landis wishes to look long-term, the unified development ordinance, as N-Focus President Richard Flowe said, lists the specifications for how to get there.

The plan lays out eight objectives aimed at attracting, growing and retaining economic opportunities for commercial and residential developments, with policies and suggestions to reach them. Due to the size and nature of the community, other goals include keeping the “small-town feel” and remaining family-oriented.

Flowe said he took a commonsense approach to more robust districts and land use tables, more uniformity in setbacks in residential districts, the creation of open space for new neighborhoods and an increased focus on the type, scope and scaling of buildings.

The plan includes six primary districts that reflect the area they cover, including residential, commercial, institutional, employment, rural and other. Residential districts are broken down even further to provide guidance for single-family, mixed use and Main Street residential developments. Commercial districts are split into the U.S. 29 area as well as the Interstate 85 area. It includes vehicle services and repair businesses and Main Street businesses.

Institutional districts include civic buildings such as schools, churches and parks. Examples of employment districts include industrial facilities and a heavy industry overlay to protect the community from harmful substances.

The plan also provides guidance for rural development related to agricultural or mini-farms.

Flowe said state law requires the official zoning map be adopted by July 1. The comprehensive plan can be adopted by next summer. Since the town didn’t have a comprehensive plan, which is required before establishing a zoning map, he recommended moving forward with the adoption of both.

Local resident Nadine Cherry said during the public comment period she didn’t support the 2040 Comprehensive Plan because it included too much information to digest without ample time for locals to review.

Otherwise, of the handful of public comments received for the plans, most related to questions about petitioning zoning changes for properties between U.S. 29 and Beaver Street. David Wood, who lives in Mooresville but owns property on Ridge Avenue, requested his property be changed on the zoning map to mixed use No. 2 because both commercial and housing developments surround his property. Doing so would broaden the opportunities for that area but wouldn’t impact the zoning of businesses currently in that area, Flowe said.

Brian Johnson, who owns about 7 acres on Beaver Street, also requested that the area be designated mixed use No. 2. Johnson said he’s been approached by two developers proposing townhomes or condominiums in that area. Additionally, eight property owners covering a 27.5-acre stretch in the area have expressed support for a mixed use designation.

Regarding the new land development ordinance, Nathan Graham, who lives on Kimball Loop, requested the town consider taking over several side streets to mitigate confusion of whether it’s the town or state’s responsibility to maintain the road.

Flowe said he recommends the town take over some of those streets as soon as possible because it would receive gasoline tax funds from the state, which can be reserved for future maintenance costs.

The board ultimately approved of the 2040 comprehensive land use plan, the official zoning map and the new land development ordinance after making revisions related to the zoning of specific properties. Two parcels were revised from single family residential No. 3 to commercial No. 29. A group of 56 parcels was revised from single family residential No. 2 to single family residential No. 1. Additionally, the board included Wood’s and Johnson’s requests in their motion.

The LDO, comprehensive land use plan and the official zoning map can be viewed on the town’s website at townoflandis.com.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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