MINT HILL – Mint Lake Village residents are up in arms again as Mint Hill leaders begin discussions on a possible 7-Eleven that could soon be constructed on the corner of Idlewild Road and N.C. 51.
A gas station was located on the land until 2007, when the new property owner tore down the facility in hopes of building a small office complex. Now, nearly eight years later, the developer, BWN Investments, is back at the drawing board in hopes of returning a gas station to the corner.
“What (the developer) feels is they cannot build the (office) building they were approved to do. They don’t think there is a market for that,” John Hoard, Mint Hill’s senior planner, said.
Mint Hill’s Board of Commissioners will hear comments from the developer and residents at the Thursday, Feb. 27, public hearing during the regular town meeting at 7 p.m. at the Mint Hill town hall, 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane. The public hearing was originally scheduled on Feb. 13 but was postponed due to inclement weather.
The planning board will discuss the project following the public hearing and either give it a favorable or unfavorable recommendation and can add any conditions the board feels necessary. Commissioners should vote on whether to approve the rezoning permit at a meeting in late March.
A similar plan for the property, at 13101 Idlewild Road, was discussed last year. That plan included a car wash, but after pushback from residents and the town the developer decided to drop the car wash from the plans.
“What they are presenting to us is just a convenience store, a 7-Eleven. It’s very similar to what is across the street over there. A small little convenience store with gas pumps out front,” Hoard said. “A car wash was been discussed in the past, but the applicant has not presented that at this time.”
As currently proposed, the project does line up with the town’s land-use plan, comprehensive transportation plan, pedestrian plan and the Charlotte Regional Transportation Organization’s thoroughfare plan, according to Mint Hill’s public hearing memo for the project.
Although this current proposal does not include a car wash, some residents feel it’s only a matter of time before more undesirable development comes along with the gas station.
“Everybody was upset about the looks of (the previously proposed project) and how inappropriate it was, so (the developer) finally backed off,” Mint Village Lake resident Judy Cook said about the previous project that included a car wash.
Residents living nearby also have concerns about the facility being open 24 hours a day, saying it will bring more noise and traffic into the area at all hours. With improvements coming to the intersection of Idlewild and N.C. 51, Cook said there has been some discussion in the past of creating a gateway into Mint Hill, although the plans were never included in overall planning documents for the town. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will construct a roundabout at the intersection in June 2015, with work totaling around $500,000, to help improve traffic flow in the area.
Although the residents from Mint Lake Village will only have one representative speak at the public hearing, other residents and community members will have a chance to address the board with any concerns or questions they have for the project.