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Cornelius will fight Metro, county land reserves decision

City will continue to seek land for jobs, industrial use

For Metro and Washington County leaders, last Tuesday's nine-hour meeting culminated in an agreement on where to designate urban and rural reserves in the county. It also added a note of finality to the swirling political milieu that has dominated the regional planning effort since the state struck down a reserves package last October.

But for leaders in Cornelius, that conclusion was the start of the next stage of the fight.

The deal, which set aside a 352-acre urban reserve north of Highway 26 for future use by the city of Hillsboro, and left 363 acres of land north of Cornelius which the city sought to be set aside as an urban reserve without a designation, will likely leave the city struggling to fill the expected demand for 700 acres of industrial land over the next 30 to 50 years.

Instead, the city has about 75 acres of vacant industrial land, and 110 acres of industrial land overall.

Richard Meyer said the city would likely continue to seek more reserves for future industrial use.

'We're not going to let up,' Meyer said.

The reserve process has set aside relatively sizable urban reserves to the east of the city and on the city's southern edge.

But city and county planning officials say both areas are more suitable to residential development because of their location near TV Highway.

Meyer said regional planners expect the metro-area's growth to require another big look at reserve areas in 20 to 30 years during which, without an industrial reserve, Meyer said, Cornelius will have to wait.