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Around the Town: Meet Keith Eicher

Helping Cornelius Plan for the Future

If you've lived in Cornelius for a while, you'd agree that the Town has changed dramatically over the years. Behind much of that change is a group of Cornelius residents who volunteer their time to help the Town plan for the future.

They are known as the Planning Board. And at the helm of the board, is Keith Eicher.
Meet Your Neighbor, Keith.

He's been part of our community since 2013. Like many Cornelius residents, Keith and his wife moved to Cornelius to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

He comes to us from Leland, NC (near Wilmington), where he served on the Town's Planning Board for 2 years.

Keith's time in Leland inspired him to get involved in Cornelius (not to mention, it makes his post-retirement life active and busy!)

His time with the Town of Cornelius Planning Board began in 2014 as an alternate board member. He became a full member in 2017 and is currently serving as Chair.

Keith also serves on the Town's Predevelopment Committee, Housing Study Committee, and Land Development Code Advisory Board.
Fun Facts about Keith

  • He's Illinois born and bred. Keith grew up in Carbondale, Illinois. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Illinois University and his doctorate from Northern Illinois University. He left Illinois to pursue a 29-year career as a faculty member at the University of Richmond.

  • He's a theater buff. Before even moving to Cornelius, Keith had season tickets to the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Needless to say, he's excited about the opening of the new Cain Center for the Arts!

  • He loves to travel. His trips include sojourns to the Netherlands and France. Like many of us, COVID-19 has impacted Keith's travels recently. He's had to postpone a much-anticipated cruise and anxiously awaits traveling the world again.
About the Planning Board

You may not be familiar with what the Planning Board does, but rest assured, their job is critical to the Town. In fact, it's the only legislative body the Town is required to have.

Here's what you should know about your Planning Board:

  • Board members are all volunteers. They serve three-year terms for up to two terms.

  • They act as an advisory board to the Town Board of Commissioners.

  • They hear and make recommendations on new projects and help maintain the integrity of zoning regulations and land codes.

  • They hold public hearings to ensure that everyone's voice is heard.
One of the things Keith enjoys most about volunteering on the Planning Board is working with the other committee members. Together, they are thorough and diligent. They work hard to make sure that as Cornelius grows, it grows in a way that benefits everyone.

Keith also works close with the Planning & Zoning Department, led by Planning Director Aaron Tucker (pictured here).
"Chairman Eicher has become a valuable asset to the Town and the Planning Board. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and does a fantastic job guiding the Board in the decision making process. Keith has dedicated many hours to serving our community; staff is excited to be able to work with Keith as chairman for the next year.”
- Planning Director Aaron Tucker
What's In Store For 2021?

This year, one of the Town's priorities will be updating its Land Use Plan, which was last updated in 2014. Since then, the population in Cornelius has grown considerably. And most of the land in Cornelius has already been developed, so what little open space is left needs to be carefully used. Enter: the Land Use Plan.

Along with the Planning Department, the Planning Board must decide what to designate for residential projects, commercial projects, and the soon-to-be Arts District.

As residents of Cornelius, your input is valuable to the updated Land Use Plan. Be on the lookout for upcoming surveys and stakeholder engagement opportunities to share your thoughts.

In the meantime, feel free to submit any questions or feedback for the Town's consideration to our Planning Department or share it with Keith.
Improving Traffic Flow in our Town
Heads Up: Construction on the intersection of Bailey Road and NC Highway 115 begins Monday, January 18.

The project's goal is to increase the intersection capacity by adding or extending turn lanes on all sides.

There should be no impact on traffic flow for the first 3-4 weeks of the project.

In February, residents can expect lane closures during non-peak hours (9 am - 4 pm), potentially impacting school drop-off and pickup. One lane of traffic will remain open in each direction at all times.

Traffic will be shifted to the center turn lane, which will accommodate left turns, right turns, and straight movements.

The Town and its contractor, NJR, have been working diligently to ensure as little interruption as possible. Construction is estimated to be complete by August 2021, before the start of the new school year. Learn more here.
2021 Brings More Days for Play
Great news! The PARC+ program has been extended into 2021. Additional weeks have been added through February 19.

If you've been waiting to snag a spot, now's your chance! A few open spots still remain. Visit PARC's website to register.

What is PARC Plus?

Established on August 24, 2020, the PARC+ program provides childcare for families and parents struggling with the pressures of the COVID-19 crisis and transitions to remote-learning.
PARC+ is a safe and educational environment that provides children time for online learning, arts, exercise, homework, and more!

Held at the Cornelius Art Center, Parc+ operates Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 5:30 pm and is available for 1st through 6th graders.

Parents have been thrilled with the service so far! Visit the PARC+ website to learn more.
What You Need to Know
Governor Roy Cooper extends the modified 'Stay at Home.' The order requires people to be at home from 10 pm – 5 am to last through at least Friday, January 29.

Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution is currently underway. The vaccine is now available to adults over 75 years old. Schedule your appointment here, and learn more about the vaccine here.

The new tool is called Open for Business, and it helps residents locate businesses in Mecklenburg County that are open during the pandemic.

For the most up to date information on COVID-19, visit mecknc.gov/COVID-19.
Town of Cornelius Communications || Website || Email || 704.892.6031