August 23, 2021

Jim Duke’s Newsletter

Lake Norman

“In My View”

From The Desk Of Commissioner Jim Duke

Hello Everyone,



  Spoiler Alert:  It’s Election Season, so read with a critical eye!

Yes, The Sky Is Falling!  
Yes, it is if you believe the stuff that is coming out of Dave Gilroy’s rant about unsustainable growth and the consummate failure of 5 commissioners to adopt his personal view of “Our Town”.   I believe the hysteria Dave is generating has one goal…bump at least one commissioner and put himself back on the dais.  Dave, if you want my job, you’ll need to come up with something more concrete.  One that doesn’t deny the fact that boat loads of people want to live in Cornelius and there are precious few ways that under the law we can legally deny property rights.  Look at what is happening regionally.  There is a food fight over developable land, but at least those projects approved by our Planners and Boards are of exceptionally high quality.

It’s our fault, really.  We keep improving facilities and approving projects that make this community so darn attractive.  Add to this a tsunami of folks wanting out of the urban areas.  If we hadn’t improved our parks, committed to building beautiful greenways, and building a regional Arts Center, these folks might have chosen Huntersville or somewhere on the south side.  Blame us Dave, we are guilty!

What Dave is saying is:  We want far fewer people who rent or can’t afford a single-family home.  Unfortunately, not everyone can live on the water and everyone who wants the best schools, solid public safety, and a Town government that listens is excluded from Dave’s World!  I agree with Dave that we need to safeguard our rural areas as much as possible and I will fall on my sword if anyone wants to develop Potts Plantation’s 500+ pristine acres.

Let’s Look at Reality:   What has been done over the last few years?  Together with other sources we have invested $ 24.3 million in actual spending just on the east side of Town.  Millions more are in reserve to pay for roads and amenities for our residents.  The Board and Town planners have honed in on projects to ease traffic congestion, expand our greenway system, start construction on the Cain Center for the Arts, as well as push to make possible a $ 40 million County Sports Complex.

A Good Rule of Thumb!   For me some density is tolerable so long as we have adequate road structures in place to support it.  I said “no” to the Mayes Road development because it couldn’t be supported by Mayes Road.  There is talk of another road to alleviate traffic, but we’ll have to wait for it.

Talk About Your Balance!   Cornelius is a bedroom community, and we are always going to be stuck with a lower percentage of commercial venues.  I believe you can make a case for needing some density to support additional commercial property.

So, let’s look at what “Commercial” is coming.

  • A main hospital campus and medical offices.

  • An Arts Center with a 400-seat theater.

  • Thirteen NCDOT road improvement projects in the works now.

  • A cooperative project to revitalize the Smithville Community.

  • Planning for an Arts District and Festival Street improvements in Town Center,

  • Major improvements to roads allowing for walkability and biking,

  • Working toward completion of the 13 mile Emerald Necklace greenway system.

  • A new medical office building near Antiquity

  • A major expansion of LKN Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram facility








Copyright © 2021 Cornelius Town Commissioner Jim Duke, All rights reserved.

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Cornelius Town Commissioner Jim Duke

17401 Staysail Ct

Cornelius, NC 28031

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