Developer seeks green light for Lancaster Road Apartments

by Mike Parks

(Above) An artist rendering of the Lancaster Road Apartments. The apartment complex would go up off Lancaster Road near the Providence Pointe neighborhood if Charlotte City Council decides to rezone the land this summer. A public hearing on the topic is scheduled for June 18 where people can speak for or against the 250-unit apartment complex. Rendering courtesy of Charlotte planning department

A development team looking to build an apartment complex south of Ballantyne is still working out the kinks with local residents over the proposed project.

GCI Acquisitions wants to build a roughly 250-unit apartment complex on Lancaster Highway between the entrance to the Providence Pointe neighborhood and the intersection with Johnston Road. The land currently is vacant. The issue was supposed to come up for a public hearing before Charlotte City Council earlier this month, but the developer asked the hearing be pushed back until mid-June while GCI and neighbors work to come closer together.

The Lancaster Road Apartments would be wedged between Lancaster Highway and a portion of the Providence Pointe neighborhood, and a number of residents on Stewarts Bend and Myers Mill lanes would see the apartment complex behind their homes instead of only trees blocking their view of the highway.

Members of the Providence Pointe neighborhood homeowners association did not return calls for comment prior to South Charlotte Weekly’s press deadline, though members of the city’s planning department said the developer had asked for the public hearing to be delayed specifically to work with residents of the neighborhood.

According to documents submitted to the city by the developer, the apartment complex would be split by Landing Place Lane, which the developer would have to extend from Providence Pointe all the way out to Lancaster Highway, and would include a play area for kids, clubhouse and pool. The buildings would all be at most three stories, except for a handful of buildings backing up to Clems Creek that would be four stories facing the creek. The buildings facing homes in the Providence Pointe neighborhood would only be two stories, according to plans.

The developer plans to keep a buffer of trees between the complex and the closest homes in the neighborhood.

The proposed community would have a minimum 1.5 parking spaces per unit, meaning at least 375 parking spots. The Charlotte Department of Transportation estimates the complex would see 1,700 vehicle trips per day, which would “have a minor impact on the surrounding thoroughfare system.”

But that statement is based on a comparison of how many trips the land would see if it was developed under current zoning ordinances, which is 680 trips.

The land, along busy Lancaster Highway, is vacant. The transportation department has asked the developer to study how much traffic the complex would add at the Lancaster Highway intersections with Clems Branch Drive and Landing Place Lane to see if traffic signals would be needed once the development was finished.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system estimates the project will add 56 students to area schools. Ballantyne Elementary, Community House Middle and Ardrey Kell High, which the complex would send kids to, are all already considered at capacity without mobile units.

The city’s planning department has recommended city council approve rezoning the land for the project. The more than 16 acres were rezoned in 2003 to make way for 64 townhomes, but that project never came to be.

The public hearing is scheduled for June 18, at which people can sign up to speak for or against the proposal to city council members. Council could then vote on the issue at their next zoning meeting.

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