MINT HILL – A number of residents from Mint Lake Village have rallied together to try and sway Mint Hill leaders away from approving a gas station for the corner of Idlewild Road and N.C. 51 near their townhomes.
The residents spoke out Thursday, Feb. 27, at a public hearing in front of the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners, telling town officials they felt the gas station would bring added traffic and crime to the area, be a poor representation for the entrance to town and would vary greatly from the project many who moved to the area in recent years were told would be constructed on the lot.
The land was rezoned in 2007 to make way for office and retail buildings at the intersection – a draw for some who spoke at the public hearing as they considered moving into Mint Lake Village. A gas station previously existed at the spot.
But developers say the market in the area will no longer support the planned offices, and a gas station is not only a better option but is “much needed” and would be “well received,” said the developer’s representative at the public hearing.
The station would include “state-of-the-art” LED lights facing inward to cut down on the amount of light spilling over into nearby homes. The nearest home is a little more than 300 feet from the edge of the lot, according to the developer, and further from where vehicles and customers will actually be.
The developer also pledged to work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on right of way acquisition when the roundabout is built at that intersection, in addition to a promise to construct sidewalks along the lot.
The station would be owned by Sam’s Mart but leased to 7-Eleven, as many of the new 7-Elevens in the Charlotte area are. The company has made a strong push in the last few years to expand into North Carolina.
The station would include three pump islands but no car wash, though some residents are wary a car wash would be added in a future rezoning. They’re also wary that Mint Hill leaders will opt to allow a gas station at the corner instead of the improvements residents feel could be more beneficial to an area of town many feel should serve as a gateway for visitors.
“We who live in Mint Lake Village are deeply concerned about the future of our end of Mint Hill,” said one resident who spoke at Thursday’s meeting. He worries the station will destroy the potential gateway and lead to all-night traffic and “beer cans and other trash dumped into our yards and our neighbors yards.”
Another Mint Lake Village resident who spoke Thursday said she is concerned what impact a gas station would have on residents’ “quaint village” that is “a little haven within the town of Mint Hill.”
“Why would we want that entrance to be different” than what was approved in 2007, the woman asked town leaders, saying it should instead be used as an opportunity to welcome town visitors.
Other concerns voiced regarding the project include the planned roundabout at the intersection, which some worry will have to be widened to handle increased traffic, and what type of people will visit the lot – which is around 300 feet from the nearest home – during the overnight hours of operation.
Mint Hill leaders will next meet March 13, a Thursday, at 7 p.m. at town hall, 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane, where they could vote on the proposal.
• Also at Thursday’s meeting, Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch said the town had not received any further updates on road work needed on the shoulder of Lebanon Road. NCDOT officials have said it might not be until June when the state resumes maintenance of that stretch of Lebanon, which recently was part of a resurfacing project that has caused many in town to complain about the safety of the road.