Development

City Council delays votes on 3 controversial apartment projects until June

Rendering of a planned apartment in Elizabeth at the corner of Seventh and Caswell streets.
Rendering of a planned apartment in Elizabeth at the corner of Seventh and Caswell streets.

Three controversial plans for new apartment buildings will be up for a vote next month, after the Charlotte City Council delayed decisions on the projects.

The buildings, which would each add hundreds of new apartments to booming neighborhoods, were all scheduled for an up-or-down vote at Monday’s regular rezoning meeting. But in all three cases, the votes were pushed back to City Council’s June 20 meeting.

City Council rules allow such decisions to be deferred, usually at the request of a developer, and developers often use such deferrals as a chance to address outstanding issues or gather more support for a project. That’s especially likely if they know city staff or the community opposes their plans. In all three cases deferred this week, neighbors have said they’re against the proposed apartment buildings because they think they’re too dense.

The three votes pushed back to next month involve apartments in:

▪ The Park Road corridor: Park Road has seen a huge surge of new apartments, and the aging Melrose Place apartments on Woodlawn Road look ripe for redevelopment. The apartment building’s owner has submitted a proposal to tear them down and build a new complex with up to 265 units on the site.

Neighbors say the plan is too dense and would encroach on the surrounding single-family houses. City staff is recommending City Council vote against the project.

▪ Elizabeth: Apartment developer Faison wants to build a mixed-use building with 123 apartments and ground-floor retail at Seventh Street and Caswell Road. Neighbors have said they’re worried the project will add to congestion in the area and usher in more dense apartments up and down Seventh Street. Staff is recommending approval of the plan.

▪ Cotswold: Greystar plans to tear down the Masonic temple on Randolph Road and build an age-restricted apartment community for people 55 and over. Neighbors are worried that the project will encroach on their houses and set a precedent of bringing denser apartment developments to the area. Staff is recommending City Council approve the plan.

All of these deferrals mean June’s zoning meeting could feature a slew of controversial votes – assuming the projects aren’t deferred another month.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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