a. Mobility Plan Update: Mobility Plan Committee Chair Matt Dellinger provided an overview of recent events and the next steps in the process: That
public comments and committee feedback were being consolidated and that once those edits are made the Planning and Livability Boards will review the draft plan. He noted that the draft plan is still available online for review and encouraged Mobility Plan Committee members to respond to the poll indicating their availability to meet and finalize feedback.
c. Summers Walk Master Plan: Planning Board Chair Matt Dellinger began by outlining the Planning Board s required action for the item: Issuing
official comments related to the site plan to further guide technical review of the proposal by staff. Senior Planner Trey Akers presented an overview of the proposed master plan, with Matt Gallagher of Blue Heel Development (the applicant) covering the site history and highlights of conversations with the Summers Walk HOA. Akers noted that the project team had responded positively to each of the items raised by Planning Board
members in previous meetings: Adjustment of the proposed path to allow a fuller experience of the open space areas; increased traffic calming;
clearer action on affordable housing (information provided to Davidson Housing Coalition); and, information about specimen trees on site. He also shared that through a revised site design a large specimen tree would now be saved and become a focal point of the development. Akers and Gallagher emphasized that a collaborative spirit had resulted in an improved plan, which Planning Board members commended. No further comments were offer by board members.
a. Potts Street Residential Master Plan - FYI Presentation: Planning Board Chair Matt Dellinger began by discussing the status of the master plan,
noting that the proposal was currently in a lawsuit and that as part of that lawsuit the court had ordered for the town to fulfill the outstanding process requirements for reviewing the master plan. Planning Director Jason Burdette provided an overview of the proposal for 250 apartments on approximately 15 acres along Potts Street. He described the site context and evolution of plans before touching on highlights of the staff analysis. In the ensuing discussion, board members discussed the following:
- Transportation: The general topics covered in the Transportation Impact Analysis, including whether the Potts St. realignment was studied; proposed
street connections and current status of each; fire access; whether the multi-use path easement across the YMCA property had been secured; and, the status of the NCDOT roundabout in Cornelius and the pedestrian/bicycle implications of that project in Cornelius and Davidson.
- Housing: The compatibility of the proposed buildings and parking areas with surrounding residences; the need for integration of the proposal into
the surrounding community fabric to a greater extent and in a context-sensitive manner; the anticipated price-point of the apartments; and, whether affordable housing is required for multi-family development (no).
- Overall: The lack of creativity concerning numerous aspects of the proposed site and building designs; the need for greater continuity with
surrounding buildings/context; and, the number of outstanding issues or clarifications required as listed in the staff analysis.
The Planning Board also received public comment on the proposal. Many of the public s comments reflected the Planning Board s earlier discussion.
Topics included: Concerns about the lack of connectivity and vehicular traffic impacts; impervious coverage requirements of the Watershed Overlay District; water quality and ecosystem concerns; access to the lake via the western parcel and required easement; the siting and scale of the buildings, including height, as well as stepping up the scale of the buildings gradually as they move away from existing homes; the impact of the Potts St. realignment on the proposed park and open space areas; and, the importance of verifying the plan s details. Overall, members of the public noted that they are not opposed to development but would like to see a more collaborative effort by the landowner to produce a plan that more appropriately reflects the character of development in Davidson.
The applicant proposes 250 multi-family residences located on approximately 15.441 acres primarily on Potts Street. The master plan includes open
space, park, and multi-use path features along with street infrastructure. The applicant intends to meet all applicable requirements as part of the Master Plan process identified in Davidson Planning Ordinance (DPO) Section 14.8; the proposal is being reviewed according to the requirements in effect on the application submittal date (May 23, 2017).
The total master plan area consists of three parcels two fronting Potts Street (PIDs 00320511, 00324101) and a third parcel adjacent to Lake
Cornelius (PID 00320536, addressed as 513 Catawba Avenue). The overall land area straddles the jurisdictional line between Cornelius, NC and Davidson, NC; however, only the Davidson, NC portions of the land area are included as project area in the master plan.
The site design has evolved in response to DPO requirements and various meetings with town and county officials. The original plan submitted in May
2017 proposed 19 townhomes and 276 multi-family residential units. A number of regulatory and site constraints emerged over the ensuing months, including: Reconciling requirements of two different municipal zoning codes (Cornelius, Davidson); treatment of stormwater; location within the Lake Norman Critical Watershed; and, potential
transportation impacts. An informal site visit was conducted in July 2017 with the project team, staff, elected officials, and members of the
community. Initial concerns raised through the visit ranged from the amount of impervious coverage (i.e. hardscape) and the infrastructure necessary to support the proposed development to the compatibility of the proposed buildings with surrounding residences.
The design continued to evolve from 2017-2018 with the addition of stormwater treatment facilities and shifting of building locations. Eventually,
the size of the stormwater facilities increased and townhomes were removed from the proposed plan in early 2018. Some amount of open space has remained along Potts Street throughout each iteration and, likewise, the parcel adjacent to Lake Cornelius has always been designated open space. A Transportation Impact Analysis was conducted in the Summer of 2018 and the results are discussed in this report.
In August 2018, the Davidson Board of Commissioners approved Resolution 2018-12, bringing approvals of water and sewer extensions to the Board, as
permitted under a 1984 agreement with Charlotte Water. Charlotte Water has not yet classified the Potts Street Residential development as a connection or extension; in August 2018 the Davidson Board of Commissioners denied approval of water and sewer extensions.
A lawsuit was filed by Davidson Acquisition Company, LLC and Crescent Acquisitions, LLC in October 2018. In mid-April 2019, a court order directed
the town to fulfill the remaining process requirements for the development proposal as soon as possible this included scheduling a Public Input Session for Thursday, May 2, 2019 and the soliciting of the Planning Board s comments during their scheduled review at their May 20, 2019 meeting.
The proposed development is located on Potts St. about 500 feet north of its intersection with South Main Street/NC 115. Surrounding uses are as
follows: To the east the development borders Potts St. and the railroad tracks across Potts Street; to the south a mix of undeveloped and single-family residential parcels; to the southwest the Lake Norman YMCA; to the west undeveloped parcels adjacent to Lake Cornelius; and, to the north and northeast it borders single-family residential parcels along Catawba Ave. and Potts Street. Outside of its surrounding context, there are a number of different uses in the area. The project s location affords access to a variety of places including the South Main St. area, downtown Davidson, the Circles @ 30, the Lake Norman YMCA, and businesses along NC 115 in Cornelius.
The subject parcels lie within the Village Infill Planning Area, which the Davidson Planning Ordinance (DPO) describes as the traditional,
residential neighborhoods surrounding the historic town center (DPO 2.2.4.A). Through its standards this area provides for infill development and encourages a range of housing types; at the time of the proposal s submittal, the multi-family building type was an allowed building type within this planning area.
The ordinance emphasizes that development and buildings, in particular should be designed to be pedestrian-oriented (i.e. front streets and
sidewalks) and compatible in scale with surrounding buildings. In addition to the minimum standards applicable within this planning area, an overlay district places an extra set of standards on buildings in the Village Infill to reinforce the importance of size relationships between adjacent parcels. DPO 2.3.4.A notes that while Davidson s older neighborhoods will change the character of these areas is to be preserved through thoughtful, context-sensitive development. The
Potts Street Residential development lies within the Village Infill Orange Overlay District, which restricts buildings to 32 feet in height. This is
measured from the bottom of the first floor to the highest point on the roof where there is no ridgeline. Building elements which are not intended for human occupancy are excepted from the height restrictions. There are numerous other ordinance criteria governing building features such as fa ade design, window placement, and materials. Because the buildings are multi- family, their design is subject to approval by the Davidson Design Review Board (DRB), a citizen advisory board tasked with ensuring the design meets the ordinance requirements and respects the town s approach to high-quality, contextually-appropriate development. Given the single-family residential uses on the northern and eastern boundaries, it will be imperative for the larger-scale multi-family buildings to respect the character of the existing development. Clarification as to how this proposal meets DPO 4.4.1 has been requested, especially since surrounding buildings have been documented in the National Register Historic District.
The proposal currently lacks a building presence along Potts St. the front door to the development. As such, it does not appear to meet DPO
4.3.1.A.7, 4.3.1.B.1, which require plans to integrate existing and proposed streets into plans and contain buildings fronting such streets. This is inconsistent with existing development to the north and south where buildings line the Potts Street, albeit with significant front setbacks on the order of 30 to 50 feet. The approved realignment of Potts Street has significant impact on the proposal s ability to comply with DPO standards. The realigned street shall be shown on the plans and accounted for when verifying DPO compliance.
The minimum five-foot front and rear setbacks are met, as is the 10-foot side setback, by clustering the buildings into the middle of the parcel. It
s one way to deal with the scale of the buildings; but it comes at the expense of orienting the buildings towards existing streets or around public spaces. Likewise, this clustering is not consistent with other larger-scale multi-family development such as the Bexley Apartments on Davidson Gateway Drive (which lines several streets and faces two types of homes, including single-family homes). The approach there showcases the benefits of utilizing multiple building heights (a mix of two- and three-stories) and designs depending on a building s location on the street or which street/building type it faces rather than a more uniform building approach as proposed with Potts Street Residential.
It s possible that a mix of larger-scale and smaller-scale buildings will afford greater site flexibility as well as a more suitable transition from
the surrounding single-family homes to the larger multi-family buildings. The Village Infill standards permit such an approach by allowing single-family, duplex, and attached housing types along with townhomes.
Vehicular access to the site is planned via Potts Street and Public Street A. The proposed street network contains four streets (Public Streets A-D)
and one street type: Neighborhood General Street (DPO 6.7). As proposed here, it contains sidewalks, street trees, and on-street parking on both sides of each street. There are four connection points to surrounding parcels. Additionally, the plan provides an alternate fire access pathway from Potts Street. This access was approved by the County Fire Marshall in July 2018. It is assumed that Potts St. will receive the concentrated impacts of the development s full vehicular traffic until additional connections via adjacent parcels are made. However, per DPO 6.6.1, proposed developments must conform to adopted transportation plans: The lack of an additional connection to Catawba Ave. fails to meet the connectivity requirements identified in the Davidson Circulation Plan (Pg. 42); the connection to Catawba is required by the Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA).
Work is underway to complete the Potts-Sloan-Beaty connector linking North Main St. at Beaty St. to Potts St. at South Main St./NC 115 via a
continuous vehicular route. The project will feature an improved streetscape with bicycle and pedestrian facilities and is anticipated to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2020. Concurrently, NCDOT is working with Cornelius and plans to improve South Main Street s intersections with Potts St. and Davidson St. realigning South Main St. as it passes under the railroad trestle and installing an expanded traffic circle to improve the safety of vehicular movements at this busy juncture that provides a link between Davidson and Cornelius as well as connection to a major regional destination, the Lake Norman YMCA. These improvements are accompanied by enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities. However, the proposed plan does not accommodate the realigned Potts St. as required per DPO 4.3.1.A.7, 4.3.1.B.1. Nor is this omission consistent with DPO 6.6.1 or 6.6.3, which require developments conform to adopted transportation plans (see CRTPO s Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Inset D) and improve existing sub-standard streets.
A Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) was required by the DPO due to the size of the development. TIAs study the potential impacts of developments
on current/projected vehicular and pedestrian/bicycle movements. The TIA was conducted in the fall of 2017 assuming 246 dwelling units 14 townhomes (260 total units); the subsequent reduction in dwelling units to 250 total units is assumed to result in less traffic impacts. The TIA evaluated six scenarios. They included:
Concerning pedestrian and bicycle improvements, the plan illustrates a multi-use path connection from east to west from Potts St. to the Lake
Cornelius parcel as required by the Walks Rolls Plan for a connection to the Lake Norman YMCA. This path is contingent on an easement connection across the YMCA s land that has yet to be provided; It s not clear that the required greenway access has been or will be provided (DPO 6.5.3.B), or that lakefront access has been secured (DPO 2.2.4.E). The plan also
shows a five-foot sidewalk along Potts Street. Overall, the internal pedestrian connectivity appears to meet several requirements; however,
additional clarifications or revisions are required to ensure that the following standards for sidewalks and paths are met: Mid-Block Crossings (DPO 6.5.3.A), Interior Sidewalks (6.8.1.E), Crosswalks (6.8.1.G), Greenway Routing (6.8.3.E), and Access to Parks (14.15.2.D).
Lastly, the project proposes to meet the parking requirements on-site through a mix of off-street and on-street parking spaces. Table 8-1 requires a
minimum of 1.0 parking spaces per unit, with a maximum of 2.0 spaces per unit allowed. The project s envisioned 360 spaces fall within the 250-500 parking spaces permitted for the project. This includes 79 on-street spaces, which should help to create a buffered walking environment for pedestrians.
Concerning the parking areas, the approach of breaking the parking areas into smaller bays appears compliant with the DPO. With the extensive parking
areas required for this proposal, as the project moves forward it will be important for the site design to be mindful of the parking area design and landscaping requirements. To that end, additional clarification is required to ensure that: The appropriate amount of bicycle parking has been provided and sited (DPO 8.3.1, 8.6.4.A, 8.6.6.A, 7.4.1.F.3) as well as factored into impervious coverage calculations; the design of the parking lots meets the placement (8.4.1.B), size (8.4.1.C), access (8.4.1.A, 8.4.1.D, 8.4.5), and landscaping requirements (9.6).
All parcels included within the proposal are currently heavily wooded with mature trees. The ordinance requires that a minimum 20 percent of the
mature tree canopy be preserved (DPO 9.3.2.A.4). According to the DPO mature trees are those over 12 inches (eight inches for smaller maturing trees). Per the Environmental Inventory (Sheet C-001) 691 trees are located on site, with 138 required to be preserved. The data indicates 145 trees (20.8 ) have been saved. However, the following issues have been identified:
Land Areas: It is unclear whether all project areas have been included in the calculations. Based on C-001, it does not appear that the parcel east
of Potts St. has been included (PID 00324101B) and it is unclear whether the Lake Cornelius parcel has been considered (PID 00320536). There is inconsistency in the conservation areas depicted on C-001 and C-003. This should be clarified in the Cycle 6 technical review.
Open Space Trees: It is unclear whether mature trees in all designated open space areas have been preserved per DPO 9.3.2.A.1. Specifically, the open
space areas on Lake Cornelius and on the south/southwest side of Street A near its intersection with Potts St. illustrate open space but do not designate tree preservation. This should be clarified in the Cycle 6 technical review.
A significant amount of the proposed tree preservation for the project has been accomplished at the front of the development. The preservation of
tree stands along the northern/northeastern boundaries seem to offer greater screening benefits. This particular use does not require a buffer; however, the ordinance contains requirements for natural buffers adjacent to parking areas that must be fulfilled as the project moves forward (DPO 9.6.2.F). The plans illustrate a 25-foot vegetated buffer along the western, northern, and northeastern boundaries. Additionally, lighting impacts must be taken into account and the standards of DPO 10 met for the buildings, streets, and parking areas. Clarification on these features has been requested.
Ordinance, the project must provide undisturbed open space equal to at least 17.5 percent (2.62 acres) of the project area. Sheet C-003 illustrates
these areas, which do not appear to be depicted consistently across all sheets including C-002 and C-004 (the latter possibly showing grading conflicts where designated open space is located on the west, north, and east sides of the main parcel). Nearly all of the proposed open space is shunted to the proposal s periphery as residual land area; it is not used as an organizing element as in many other Davidson neighborhoods.
Although there are no minimum open space standards, the ordinance requires a neighborhood park, which is sited along Potts St. at the development s
entrance. The park contains a designated area for a dog park, which will be an important feature given the proposed building types. However, there are a number of revisions and/or clarifications required to ensure the designated park areas meet requirements. These include: Making the park(s) a focal point of the development (DPO 7.4.1.A.2); ensuring the parks are adequately sized based not only on the minimum requirements but also on based on intended function (7.4.1.C.1, 7.4.2.A.D); providing adequate amenities and access (7.4.1.F.1, 7.4.2.A.E); and that future ownership and maintenance is clearly outlined (7.5).
The project s parcels are located in the Critical Area of the Lake Norman Watershed. Within this district the DPO limits more intense development
such as this to a maximum of 50 percent built-upon-area (BUA, or hardscape). The plan indicates that that total site area of all parcels has been considered in calculating the permitted BUA. However, DPO 17.7.1 and 126.96.36.199 indicate that the total project area shall include total acreage in the tract on which the project is to be developed. Mecklenburg County has determined that tract requires contiguity. At this point, it is unclear whether the BUA calculation was done correctly. Because the parcels are non-contiguous, the project (in its current iteration) will be required to pursue the Density Averaging process outlined in DPO 17.8 and as required by state statute. The state watershed statute [NCGS 143-214.5(d2)(2)] only permits averaging on up to two non- contiguous parcels (the plans currently indicate three). This should be clarified in the Cycle 6 technical review.
In addition to the BUA criteria, high-density developments must also feature stormwater controls. At the time of this project s submittal, the
ordinance permitted only wet detention ponds as the primary treatment system. These facilities tend to be large structures requiring significant land area, as the plans illustrate in the project s northwest corner. The ordinance has since been revised to allow a more context-sensitive approach to stormwater treatment by allowing other facilities to serve as a site s primary features so long as treatment requirements are met. With anticipated plan revisions due to the Potts St. realignment, an opportunity exists to more fully integrate this facility into the project design as an organizing facet that is beautiful, rather than a utilitarian feature relegated to the periphery. Examples of such approaches include: Water St., Celebration, FL; Harbor Bend Rd./Harbor Isle Dr., Harbor Town, Memphis, TN; and, even Harbor Park Dr. in Davidson, NC.
Below is a list of town-adopted documents and a brief summary of each s applicability to the proposed master plan:
The General Principles for Planning in Davidson (2015) include tenets to guide development in Davidson. Principles relevant to this proposed
development are listed below. They can be summarized as: Residential development should be context-sensitive in its design, include a variety of housing and transportation options, and be integrated with thoughtful open space/preservation.
Growth Reserve context, describing these areas as places for future infill development [that] serve as transition areas between the more intense
growth targets and existing low-intensity neighborhoods or protected open space. Residential development, public services and civic uses (such as churches and schools) and additional neighborhood-support centers are ideally located within the Village and Smart Suburban Growth Reserve. The plan also discusses the importance of balancing infill development with the impacts of such development on local residents quality of life (Pg. 65 Maintain Quality Design Sound Planning Principles).
The Town of Davidson Water/Sewer Policy (2018) requires a determination by Charlotte Water regarding their ability to serve a site as well as whether
a development proposal constitutes an extension (i.e. construction of a non-existing line) or connection (i.e. tapping into an existing line). This proposal has not yet received a determination from Charlotte Water.
Below is a list of items that require further clarification/resolution prior to the plan s approval. Several of these have been noted previously in
the Planning Staff Review section above. They are consolidated here to provide a single location for the identified issues. Note: These notes are based upon plans submitted during Cycle 5 which were approved by the County Fire Marshall and LUESA Land Development (Mecklenburg County); the Town of Davidson and LUESA Zoning determined Cycle 5 had unresolved issues and were not approved. Outstanding items shall be addressed by the applicant in Cycle 6 EPM submittal. Integration of the approved Potts Street alignment into the site is a minimum requirement to verify compliance with DPO standards. This may not be a complete list of outstanding items.
Application/Preliminary Sketch Plan Submittal: May 2017 Transportation Impact Analysis Completed: December 2017 Master Plan Schematic Design
Submittal: July 2018 Planning Board FYI: April 2019 Public Input Session: April 2019 Planning Board Review Comment: May 2019 Revised Master Plan Schematic Design Submittal: TBD Final Master Plan Submittal for Review/Approval: TBD
STAFF REVIEW COMMENTS Note: All references to the Davidson Planning Ordinance are abbreviated DPO and pertain to the ordinance in effect at the time
of application submission (May 2017). Additionally, a response to each item below must be provided as part of the next plan submittal. If responses are not received as part of the next submittal, intake will not be performed and the documentation will not be reviewed.
Action Required: Please provide revised plans illustrating the approved Potts Street realignment, confirmed/needed easements; building set back
lines; building labels (i.e. A, B, etc.); and the requested open space/parks information. Based on revisions and the anticipated unit count, TOD staff will contact CATS and request plan review for a stop. Application Response: XXXX
ii. Acreage Considerations: The plans do not appear to reflect the Potts Street realignment. The proposed realignment significantly impacts this
development s ability to comply with the DPO. Also, the plans shall reflect that the western parcel s inclusion is contingent on dedicated access (easement) and Board of Adjustment approval through the Density Averaging process (DPO 17.8).