City gets update on Piper Station project

Charlotte City Council members learned more about a proposed apartment complex expansion on Ballantyne Commons Parkway at their zoning meeting earlier this week, though didn’t get a chance to vote on a few other planned developments which have drawn concern from area residents.

The Piper Station Apartments already exist on Ballantyne Commons Parkway at Rea Road, where there are 212 apartment units. The developer, RAM Realty Services, recently purchased the property and has started renovating the older units in hopes of adding another 120 units nearby and joining the two properties.

The land where the new units will go has been rezoned a number of times in the past, staff said at the Monday, March 18, zoning meeting, with the most recent use for the land being a proposed self-storage building, office space and a day care.

The developer’s agent, Walter Fields, spoke at Monday’s council meeting and told council members about “several very productive meetings” with nearby single-family homeowners. One homeowner spoke Monday in favor of the project, and no one signed up to speak against it.

Council also voted to approve the redevelopment of the Camden Pinehurst apartment complex, near the corner of Providence and Fairview roads.

The complex was built in 1967, and developers say it’s time for improvements and expansion. With council’s approval this week, developers will increase the complex by 180 more units while building four-story and three-story buildings that will be moved further from nearby homes than what’s currently there. Developers also will add a traffic signal at the complex’s northern entrance on Providence Road near Strawberry Hill for $90,000. Residents had raised concerns the redevelopment would increase traffic, though Charlotte Department of Transportation officials say the increase will be minimal. Nobody spoke against the proposal at last month’s zoning meeting.

A number of projects in the south Charlotte area were moved to a later date for a vote or discussion, including a controversial townhome project in SouthPark and a  development on Wade Ardrey Road.

Developers ran into opposition from both area residents and some council members last month when discussing the 44-townhome, three-story project planned for 6500 Park South Drive in the SouthPark area. Residents worry the project will lower their property values and increase storm runoff around their homes, while council members voiced concerns that the project just didn’t fit the area.

“They’re behemoths,” said council’s Claire Green Fallon, speaking to the project’s size at the city’s February zoning meeting. “These things are awfully large and way out of character for the neighborhoods.”

The developer asked the city to delay voting on the project until its May 20 council meeting following requests from council members for continued discussions and modifications on the proposed townhomes.

Council again delayed its vote on a 27-home development on Wade Ardrey Road, between Turkey Hill Road and Ardrey Crest Drive. The zoning committee has recommended approving the project despite residents complaining the quality of the homes could lower their property values.

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