The N.C. Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Myers Park Homeowners Association in its fight against the city of Charlotte and Queens University over a parking deck built on campus.
The parking deck has already been built, however, and the ruling is unlikely to require the city or university to tear it down.
The parking deck, on Wellesley Avenue, was opposed by neighbors, who felt it would bring too much traffic to their street.
The case turned on small print in how the city decides whether to grant a rezoning.
The homeowners association focused on a city decision that applied to parking decks that are adjacent to institutional uses, such as a school. In the Queens case, the city exempted the university from having to account for the size of the deck.
There is a limit to the size of new construction on property next to single-family homes.
The appeals court, in its 3-0 ruling Tuesday, said the city shouldn’t have exempted the parking deck from size restrictions.
Sadler Barnhardt of the Myers Park Homeowners Association said the decision gives residents a victory.
“What the neighbors wanted was a voice in this situation,” he said. “They wanted some balance.”
Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann said the city hasn’t determined whether it will appeal the decision.
“We think this is an isolated case,” Hagemann said.
The City Council approved the rezoning in 2010, based on the interpretation that the deck was exempt from the size standards.
The homeowners association filed a lawsuit in late 2012. The city initially won in June 2013 on summary judgment, but the case was appealed and now has been decided in favor of the homeowners.
Richard Vinroot, an attorney who represented Queens University, said the parking deck was finished before the association lost its case in 2013. If the university had been required to account for the size of the deck, it’s possible it would have been smaller or other new buildings on campus would have been reduced in size, he said.
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