The Charlotte City Council cleared the way Monday for 430,000 square feet of industrial development northwest of Charlotte Douglas International Airport by approving a rezoning on the north side of Wilkinson Boulevard.
Raleigh-based Brookwood Capital Partners requested the rezoning of 46 acres west of Interstate 485. Some of the land is already zoned for industrial uses, but about half of the property, near the terminus of John Gladden Road, was zoned for single-family homes.
The request was inconsistent with the Dixie Berryhill Strategic Plan, a city document that maps out how the area should be developed. That recommends the land be used for apartments, retail and mixed land uses.
City staff, however, recommended in favor of the rezoning.
In its written material about the rezoning, the city said “conditions have changed since the plan’s adoption” in 2003 and the proposed industrial uses are now “consistent” with how Wilkinson has developed.
The rezoning passed 10-0, with Patsy Kinsey absent. Council members LaWana Mayfield and John Autry said they were concerned about overriding the city plan for the area, but said they voted yes in part because the plan is more than a decade old.
The Dixie Berryhill Strategic Plan said the area would be well suited for a “transit-oriented community,” according to the city. The city said there are no plans to develop rapid transit along the corridor, which made the industrial rezoning more palatable.
The city has a long-term plan to build a streetcar along Wilkinson that would end at Charlotte Douglas. But there is no money to build the line and no active plans for that segment of a streetcar line.
In other action, council members debated a rezoning request for nearly 34 acres west of Prosperity Church Road across from Ridge Road. The land in question would be adjacent to a new exit on the last section of Interstate 485, which is nearing completion.
The proposal, by Boca Raton-based Halvorsen Development, would allow 100,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurants and up to 292 apartments. The current zoning would allow only 200 apartments.
The rezoning debate is part of a larger issue of how areas of northeast Charlotte along I-485 develop. The city has proposed creating a number of mixed-use communities in the area as part of the pending Prosperity Hucks Area Plan.
Some residents oppose bringing apartments into the area.
“We don’t want apartments,” said Ed Gullage, who spoke against the rezoning. “We wanted a product that showed ownership.”
Gullage added that the council members shouldn’t approve rezoning before the Prosperity Hucks Area Plan is finished.
“One of the main reasons that this should be voted down is you are putting the cart before the horse,” Gullage said. “The area plan is still under construction. It has not gone to you before a vote. A major portion of that property is going before you with no plan in place.”
Under the current zoning, the site could generate 5,600 vehicle trips a day, according to the city. The proposed rezoning would create 9,600 new vehicle trips.
Council members did not vote on the Prosperity Church Road rezoning Monday. A vote could come later this year.
At-large council member David Howard said he thought that the proposal was what he called a “downsizing” in that the developer is asking for fewer residential units than could be built. Under the current zoning, a developer could build 474 residential units on the site, including single-family houses and townhouses. Halvorsen Development has proposed building only 292 units, though all would be apartments.