Indian Trail Residents Say Town Can't Handle New Development


by Audrina Bigos

 INDIAN TRAIL, NC - Residents in Indian Trail say they're running out of time to block a proposed apartment complex. Many argue it would cause more problems in a county already battling overcrowded schools and congested roads.

"When you come in to an area to develop, you shouldn't be leaving it worse than you found it," said Mayor Michael Alvarez.

Alvarez says the latest 348-unit proposed complex by Bonterra Builders would do just that - make the town worse. 
"The timing of this project couldn't be any worse," said Alvarez.
After a heated redistricting fight in Union County, he says residents are already fed up with overcrowded schools.
"The cafeteria, the gym, the bathrooms, the access to parents bringing and picking up children, it's unsafe, it's already an unsafe situation," said Cathi Higgins, an Indian Trail resident.
Higgins is helping  spread a petition against the apartments that would sit at the corner of Plyler Road and Unionville Indian Trail Road.
The plan adds to more than one thousand units the Indian Trail Town Council has already approved.
"I want them to make sure the roads are in place, the schools, are adequate, make sure we have enough utilities and deputies," said Higgins.
Council members Gordon Daniels and Gary Savoie voted "yes" for the apartments during an initial vote in a June 10 meeting.
There's major concerns that campaign money is influencing their vote. According to campaign finance records, both of those council members  accepted a combined  $3,500 dollars from employees of Bonterra Builders in October of 2013
"10 to 12 employees from the developer each donated $300 dollars each to their campaigns so the perception is, you can buy a vote," said Alvarez.
"I absolutely think it's unethical and it forever taints their vote," said Higgins.
Politics aside, Alvarez says Indian trail isn't ready for this development and Union County residents will have pay for the infrastructure to support the new residents.
"Wesley Chapel, Weddington, Monroe and other surrounding areas are going to feel the tax burden created by this vote," said Alvarez.
The apartment developer points to need. Indian Trail is expected to add about 700 residents per year, over the next five years.
The town council will vote on the project Tuesday night.
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