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The Mooresville Board of Commissioners approved the nomination of Lisa Qualls as Mayor Pro Tem. Qualls (left) will serve as mayor when Mayor Miles Atkins (right) is absent from office or board meetings.

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners, in a 5-1 vote Monday, delayed acting on two controversial requests that would allow the construction on Alcove Road of two eight-story buildings, one a 125-room hotel and the second a 100-unit attached residential complex.

Developer Rick Howard sought a conditional use permit to construct the two eight-story buildings on property currently permitted for a five-story, 125-room hotel. Related to Howard’s request, Langtree Group, LLC also sought Monday a conditional zoning request that would increase the total number of residential units in the proposed buildings from the currently permitted 319 units to 388 units. The conditional zoning request would also reduce nonresidential space from no more than 177,000 square feet to 161,000 square feet.

But, Commissioner Bobby Compton asked fellow commissioners if they would consider continuing the matter to the board’s Feb. 3 meeting to ensure they have “all the information needed to make a decision.”

The board would then have additional time to meet with town staff and the planning department to review the Alcove Road Overlay, or the area’s zoning regulations, in the OneMooresville Plan, the town’s updated comprehensive plan, Compton said.

The 8-acre property on Alcove Road is located off Interstate 77’s Exit 31 and is designated as “Employment Center” in the OneMooresville Plan, meaning the zoning is intended to support office buildings, light production facilities, businesses, hotels, conference centers, retail and restaurants, said Craig Culberson, town interim planning and community development director.

The town’s planning board approved both requests Nov. 14.

A continuation would also allow the board to listen to public input and hold a workshop on the subject after the holidays, Compton said.

In two separate votes, Commissioners Gary West, Barbara Whittington, Lisa Qualls, Eddie Dingler and Compton approved the continuation of the two agenda items until Feb. 3 while Commissioner Thurman Houston cast the sole vote against it.

These two actions prompted the majority of the audience filling Town Hall, who had attended Monday’s meeting to listen and participate in a public hearing for these specific issues, to file out noisily. “Thanks for nothing,” one woman was heard saying as she left the room.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners in a 5-1 vote approved the rezoning request from Sequoia Forest, LLC to rezone 11 acres of parcels bordered by Charlotte Highway and the Greencroft subdivision from R-2 and R-5 to completely R-3.

The applicants intend to combine the parcels for a single-family development with no more than 33 units, said Culberson. Although the property owners have submitted no formal site plans to the town yet, Culberson said the applicants have said the new neighborhood would have an entrance off Charlotte Highway and connect to a new road via North Ramey Way in the Greencroft subdivision.

One of the parcel owners is Thomas Bowles, an Iredell County commissioner who said Monday it is the landowners intent to build a single-family residential neighborhood on the property.

Qualls said she was concerned with being asked to approve merely a conceptual plan and not a site plan with exact details of how the development could affect nearby residents. Qualls also disliked the appearance of granting Bowles an exception when just two months ago the board denied an R-3 rezoning request because the applicant had not filed a site plan with the town.

“My concern is the lack of transparency from this with the applicant being a current seated commissioner in Iredell County,” Qualls said.

However, according to town documents filed with the rezoning request, an approved site plan is not required for a conventional rezoning request.

Other Mooresville commissioners and several people who spoke at the public hearing held on the matter were also concerned the landowners could change the development’s concept plan after being granted the R-3 designation.

Ultimately, West, Whittington, Houston, Dingler and Compton voted to approve the rezoning request while Qualls voted to deny it.

In other business, the Board of Commissioners approved the nomination of Qualls as mayor pro tem. The mayor pro tem serves temporarily as mayor when the mayor is absent.

Qualls takes over the position from Houston who has previously served as mayor pro tem for six years, said Mayor Miles Atkins.

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