Petition for a Building Moratorium in west Concord
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Mr. Mayor and members of the Concord City Council:
We have established this petition to formally request the City of Concord to implement a building moratorium on residential subdivisions with more than ten (10) lots and all forms of multi-family residential development for all areas west of I-85 that fall within the city limits of Concord (excluding those projects already approved). NC General Statue 160A-381 permits the City to implement moratoria, provided that specific guidelines are followed. Our request is that you implement such a moratorium effective immediately for a minimum of one (1) year while you work with State, County and/or other officials to address infrastructure needs based on the pace of growth. If the City is unable to complete a plan within one year, the moratorium should be extended under the General Statute guidelines until such a plan is finalized. Specifically, we are requesting that you find and implement solutions to our congested two-lane roads and overcrowded public schools that have resulted from overdevelopment. These are key infrastructure issues that affect the City’s ability to keep up with growth. We feel that it is grossly irresponsible for the City to continue approving development in this area without a solid infrastructure plan in place.
We realize that this poses potential legal concerns with developers; however, the City is in the unique position to throttle the volume of development. There has certainly been a tremendous amount of development already approved that will be allowed to continue even under this proposal. Furthermore, within the past year there are other areas of the state (Pender County, Brunswick County) that have considered or implemented moratoria due to infrastructure issues.
As the greater Charlotte region grows, the suburbs are growing too. As you are well aware, the western part of the City has developed rapidly in recent years. While you helped us to prevent hundreds of apartments and townhomes from being approved on Poplar Tent Rd. in January 2019, there have been approximately 4,000 other housing units approved in this immediate area that are at various stages of construction (some have not even been started yet) — placing a burden on the community's quality of life.
The pace of development has not stopped or slowed down. On January 21st, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved 300 additional homes on Odell School Rd. – a decision which is now being appealed to the City Council. On February 3rd, the Cabarrus County Board of Education held a public hearing to once again address overcrowding at Cox Mill Elementary School and to quickly identify a plan to realign school boundaries in time for next school year. This is despite having just completed a comprehensive realignment plan in April 2019 that was scheduled to take effect this August 2020.
While land owners have rights to develop their property, the City has a responsibility to properly manage growth so that its citizens maintain a reasonable quality of life. We understand that you do not want a reputation of turning developers away, but you also have the responsibility to ensure that your existing citizens have the infrastructure needed to support what you have already put into motion.
We understand that the City does not directly control or manage roadways or the public school system, but we feel that it is grossly irresponsible to continue approving residential development which adds to the population density without first having a solid plan for infrastructure. Otherwise, citizens pay the price while we wait for years for the infrastructure to catch up. An integrated plan with NCDOT and Cabarrus County Schools may slow your timeline for growth but it is nonetheless necessary. The City should not make decisions in a silo while the consequences of those decisions have a downstream impact to other government entities and the citizens it serves.
We ask that you immediately begin the process to adopt this moratorium so that you can work with your fellow government partners to properly support the citizens in west Concord.
West Concord Residents
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