HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Huntersville town commissioners voted 4-2 to approve rezoning for Golden Cow Creamery’s fourth location, bringing the local ice cream chain to north Mecklenburg County.

The development, located at 14516 S. Old Statesville Road, will be the first new commercial building built in downtown Huntersville since 1999.

“It’s not like people are knocking down the door to build downtown, so I do not think we should turn this down,” said Downtown Steering Committee member Elaine Kerns. “It’s difficult to have to go out of this area to do things. There’s so much population here in Huntersville, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a thriving downtown.”

It’s not just ice cream Alex Hannah wants to bring it to the area. He envisions his property as an all-day experience with space for other businesses to operate as well. He told Queen City News that he hopes to bring on two to three other tenants.

“We want somewhere where you can come in the morning, maybe get coffee, stay for lunch, stay for a beer, get some ice cream,” said Hannah.

Project opponents, like Commissioner Rob Kidwell, pointed out the building does not meet the town’s Downtown Master Plan, which requires buildings to have two to three occupiable stories. The design for Golden Cow only includes one story.

However, town staff noted that the building’s design gives the appearance of a second story from the outside and meets the minimum height requirements.

Others fear Golden Cow would put the Huntersville Ice Cream Shop out of business. It’s located just about 350 feet away.

The shop’s owner told Queen City News that, while of course, the new competition is bittersweet, as a lifelong Huntersville resident, he knows this kind of commercial development is just what the town needs.

“It’s happened to us everywhere we’ve been in South End and where else in Charlotte,” said Hannah. “So, we don’t wish anyone bad will, and there’s plenty of room in Huntersville for more than one ice cream shop.”

Commissioners Kidwell and Stacy Phillips were the two dissenting votes.