Red Cross discusses rezoning land owned by Pfeiffer University
Published 10:55 am Monday, March 20, 2023
Rezoning 50 acres of land Pfeiffer University owns next to West Stanly High School was discussed last week at length by Red Cross Town Council.
Councilman Andrew Smith reported to the board March 13 that no action was taken by the planning board the previous week about rezoning the land from general business to residential/agricultural (R/A).
Smith said what he was concerned with was Pfeiffer deciding to “liquidate that property and see it as an investment and put that money elsewhere.”
Doing so “will leave our community in what I consider to be a less than ideal situation for us to protect our rural quality of life,” he said.
Rezoning the property “would have the least impact on us if it were to be sold and developed,” he said.
Pfeiffer President Scott Bullard said he and his wife live in the town and “are here for the long haul,” noting his wife is a teacher at Endy Elementary School. He said he had just signed a five-year contract extension with Pfeiffer.
Bullard said Pfeiffer has made investments in building medical programs focused on rural medicine, like the Center for Health Studies in downtown Albemarle.
Pfeiffer has owned the properties in Red Cross for three years and they were appraised with the current zoning designations, he said.
Bullard said Pfeiffer wants the zoning to remain the same, noting the university believes it has an under-enrolled academic program on the Misenheimer campus. Pfeiffer is pondering what the enrollment would be if the program were closer to West Stanly.
“We thank you for your patience with us,” Bullard said.
Bullard was asked by a person in the audience about signing a legally-binding document saying Pfeiffer has “the best interests of Red Cross’ people in mind.”
Bullard said it’s complex with “higher (education) law, but I’m fine with that.”
Smith later said “if I were a shrewd businessman, I would say we would want to rezone it anyway because you just want to make sure your bases are covered.”
However, he later said he trusted Bullard when he said Pfeiffer had no plans to sell the land.