Protesters at a meeting about developing a 19-acre site near Beatty Street in Davidson this summer Matt Kaminer
Protesters at a meeting about developing a 19-acre site near Beatty Street in Davidson this summer Matt Kaminer

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Development

Davidson abandons controversial plan to develop 19 acres of public land

By Katherine Peralta

kperalta@charlotteobserver.com

September 29, 2017 12:38 PM

Officials in Davidson have terminated a controversial project to develop 19 acres of publicly owned land.

In a close vote this summer, the town’s board of commissioners approved plans to enter negotiations for the $1.65 million sale of wooded land near Main and Beatty streets to a developer. On Friday, the board said town officials and the developer were unable to agree to contract terms.

“This current board of commissioners will not pursue development of this land, but options could be considered for the property going forward,” Davidson Mayor John Woods said in a statement.

Town commissioners had touted the plan, called Luminous, as having a mix of housing, shops, restaurants, a public park and a hotel.

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The project, they had said, would offer a slew of benefits, including adding to the town’s tax base and preserving open space for affordable housing.

Davidson town residents have been vocal about their opposition to the project. Citing a desire to keep the site quiet and undeveloped, residents held protests at town meetings, petitions and talk of running against town commissioners.

Protesters had also said that the development plan would violate the integrity of a 1985 agreement between the town and the late Venie Clontz, who sold the land to Davidson. Staff writers Ely Portillo and Matt Kaminer contributed.