|By Kathryn Wellin, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Feb. 12, 2005 - An Iredell County businessman has filed plans with the Mooresville Planning Department for a 17-story hotel on Lake Norman -- complete with condominiums, restaurants, conference space and a nautical museum.
Placo Development says 40 condos would top the 200-room hotel. A skywalk, doubling as a nautical museum and aquarium of the 23 fish native to Lake Norman, would connect the hotel to a lakeside restaurant.
Developer Burton Gellman's proposal says the restaurant would bring 40 jobs to the area, the hotel 80 and the conference center 40.
Mooresville buildings may be no more than four stories, which is why the developer is seeking a rezoning and conditional-use permit for what he calls the Nautilus Hotel & Conference Center.
"Probably the only things in town that would rival this right now would be our water tanks," town planner Craig Culberson said.
The site is 9 acres on the west side of Williamson Road, across from the Diamondhead subdivision and Pier 33 condos. Ponderosa Circle lies just south of the property.
The town planning board intends to hear the proposal March 17. If the board recommends the plan, the town board would call for a public hearing May 2, before making a decision.
The property is not in the town limits but in its "extraterritorial jurisdiction," meaning the town has final say over its zoning.
"It's a unique proposal," Culberson said. "It's never come before the board."
Nearby residents are both for and against the project, Culberson said. The public may comment at both the planning board meeting and the town hearing.
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