Park South plan evolves, comes back to council

A controversial townhome plan in the SouthPark area has transformed, and was presented anew to Charlotte City Council this week as a still-controversial high-end community.

The group Park South of Union had proposed building a 46-unit townhome project at 6500 Park South Drive – an idea that drew the ire of a number of residents and some on council in February as a project that wouldn’t fit the character of the area. Along with a complaint the townhomes would be too tall, residents also voiced concerns about what will happen with stormwater runoff when the mostly vacant land becomes inhabited.

The water complaint still exists, though the proposed project is now down to 15 single-family homes. Developers say they’ve gone to extremes in ensuring they do all they can to control stormwater runoff once the project is in place, adding the developer’s water controls would be much better than what’s happening now at the site. The roughly five acres were partially developed before a previous project floundered, leaving the lot vacant.

“We’ve tried our best to explain” the stormwater improvements, said Babak Emadi, speaking on behalf of the project at the Monday, April 15, council meeting. “I simply don’t understand why (some neighbors) don’t accept the answers we have given them.”

Councilman Andy Dulin, who represents the SouthPark area, said he still has some concerns about water runoff, though added residents should be pleased with changes to the plan from what was seen in February.

“My first and still main concern is how these guys are going to handle the water,” Dulin said at Monday’s meeting, specifically pointing to issues with runoff and the nearby Teversham community. But Dulin said this might be the best residents can hope for. “I think this is a pretty good plan now,” he added.

Dulin expressed his wish that the developer and residents keep working over the next month to hammer out any remaining details on the issue before council votes, likely at the May 20 meeting. While the developer could build the 15 homes on the site without having the city rezone the land, they want to add a private road, which requires a different zoning classification. If the project is approved, the developer said it could become a gated community.

Council also voted this week to rezone land for two small communities and the expansion of an apartment complex in south Charlotte.

Council voted to approve the development of 27 single-family homes in the 9600 block of Wade Ardrey Road, in the Ballantyne area, following an earlier discussion insuring the homes would target the same architectural standards of others in the area; a 40-home, maintenance-free, age-targeted community, at the corner of Old Ardrey Kell Road and Providence Road West – despite some protest from area residents; and adding 120 units to the Piper Station Apartments on Ballantyne Commons Parkway near Rea Road and Brittany Oaks Drive.

An additional project – changing a two-story home at 7612 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy. into office space – was up for discussion but received no debate.

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