Local projects get green light from zoning staff

The building near Barclay Downs was approved by the city’s zoning committee despite some residents’ concerns. Now the city votes on it in September.

Three development projects slated for south Charlotte may move forward soon despite some residents’ concerns after the city’s zoning committee voted in the developers’ favor last week.

The projects – all of which are apartment complexes – would go at spots on Barclay Downs Drive, Carmel Road and Lancaster Highways. All three have seen contentious meetings between developers and local residents, though the two sides on the apartment project on Carmel Road have come to terms somewhat.

Here’s the current standing of each project:

• The Woodfield at SouthPark would include up to 280 multi-family units on a little more than 3 acres of land bordering the Barclay Downs Swim & Racquet Club near the corner of Barclay Downs Drive and Morrison Boulevard. The building would reach eight stories in height in spots, though closest to the club would be just less than 69 feet tall.

The concerns are many, according to area residents and members of the club. They say the height of the complex will make it tower over a portion of the nearby club, as well as cast a shadow during certain points of the year onto one of the courts, possibly causing some icing issues for members. They also say packing that many people onto 3 acres is going to contribute to what’s already a nightmare on area roads.

In exchange, the group of area residents protesting the development say they’d like to see it shrink in size to something less dense, with a building no taller than 40 feet. They’d also like to see the building pushed back further from the club, from the current 48 feet to at least 100 feet.

Developers say they’ve already cut down on how many units they’d like to have at the building, as well as lowered heights closest to the club. They plan to make around $100,000 in traffic and pedestrian improvements on area roads. Also, the developer points out, there’s a number of other projects already completed in the area that come much closer to the Barclay Downs neighborhood than the complex will be.

• The zoning committee had been torn on the Lancaster Road Apartments project, voting earlier this year to defer the project until last week. That was before the group got more information about traffic in the area and heard from Charlotte Department of Transportation official Mike Davis on exactly what the project could do in terms of adding vehicles to the road.

The developer has promised to pay for some road and pedestrian safety improvements around the project, which runs close to Ballantyne Elementary School. They’ve also agreed to lower the amount of units that could be built at a nearby property by around 100, which would lessen the traffic impact if that project every comes to fruition.

Though the zoning board is now in favor of the project, some concerns may remain with area residents. They’ve complained about the number of units being built at the complex, which borders the Providence Pointe neighborhood and will, in places, come close to homes there. Neighbors said the complex would be too dense at 252 units, so the developer decreased that to 248, which didn’t have too much of an impact on neighbors’ stance on the project.

When the issue came up for a public forum before Charlotte City Council earlier this summer, council members also expressed some concerns about traffic in the area and the speed limit on that particular stretch of Lancaster, between Johnston Road and Providence Pointe. Council will have a chance to consider more information from Charlotte Department of Transportation prior to their vote.

• The plan to demolish Quail Valley Apartments and replace them with a high-end apartment complex caused some concerns earlier this year, but now most neighbors have fallen in line with the developer’s plans thanks to some concessions.

Neighbors were concerned the higher-density project would strain area roads, so the developer backed off original plans for more than 400 units on the site. The developer also has rearranged some buildings on the property to appease residents and back off area roads and neighboring properties.

City council likely will vote on all three projects at the Sept. 24 meeting. Public forums before council already were held on each project. If council approves the projects, developers can then move forward with construction.

Find more information on these projects at the city’s zoning website, www.rezoning.org.

Mike Parks, editor@thecharlotteweekly.com

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