This area faces pressure associated with growth and development - most notably land use challenges in the City of Concord's Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and land in Cabarrus County that may one day be annexed within Concord's city limits.
There has been increased developer interest in this portion of the county - between Concord and Mount Pleasant, due to Cabarrus County school's favorable reputation and lower property taxes than adjacent Mecklenburg County. The recent improvement to US Hwy 49 has greatly improved access to the southern portion of the study area, fueling residential growth pressures.
Developing this Central Area Land Use Plan is the result of a meeting on October 24, 2007 between the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners and the Concord City Council. The two elected bodies requested their respective staffs to pursue changes in the January 21, 2006 Settlement Agreement between the two local governments to start the process of slowing residential growth pressures in areas now in the unincorporated area of the county but to the south and east of Concord.
Currently, there is an agreement in place for a particular area in the unincorporated portion of the county that requires the city of Concord to allow developers to tap onto city water and sewer lines. Because of this, neither the county nor the city have any control over the extension of utility lines in this area, and hence, have little control over growth. The Board of County Commissioners and Concord City Council believe this agreement is not working and are seeking input from citizens to help fix it by creating a new land use plan for this area. This new plan will replace both the city's and county's plans, which currently differ significantly. With a new land use plan that both the county and city agree to - and which has included citizens' input - there will no longer be zoning changes when a voluntary annexation occurs.