Council approves Dilworth hotel, Ballantyne apartments

The Charlotte City Council approved a rezoning Monday that would allow a hotel with up to 130 rooms to be built in Dilworth.

The council also agreed to rezone land off Endhaven Lane near Ballantyne where developers have planned a 200-unit apartment complex.

Council members approved the Dilworth hotel rezoning in a 7-4 vote, with Claire Fallon, Al Austin, Patsy Kinsey and LaWana Mayfield voting no.

The Rainier Group sought to rezone 1.14 acres at the northwest corner of the intersection of East Worthington and Cleveland avenues. City staff members said it was consistent with their plans for development along the light-rail line in South End.

Kinsey, who represents the area, said she voted against the hotel in part because it’s not on a major thoroughfare. But council member David Howard said he would support the hotel, even though it was an unusual project.

“If it were townhouses, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it,” he said. “It’s the use, it’s not the size.”

Council member Vi Lyles said she thought the hotel would add to the fabric of the neighborhood.

“We are trying to create this transit-oriented development” near the East/West Boulevard light-rail station, Lyles said.

The apartment complex vote was more straightforward.

Charlotte-based Trotter Builders said it will build the apartments on a 10.3-acre site north of Interstate 485 and the Ballantyne Corporate Park, which has welcomed insurance company MetLife. The developer would reportedly spend $30 million on the project.

The property, near the intersection of Endhaven and Misty Ridge lanes, was zoned for 33 single-family homes.

Residents in nearby communities, including White Oak, Berwick and Orchid Hill, opposed the project, saying it would allow too many units on the two-lane road.

Council members unanimously approved the rezoning. But council member Ed Driggs, who represents the area, said the residents had valid concerns, including density and traffic.

“The developer spent a lot of time addressing the issues, but residents do have a couple of remaining concerns,” Driggs said.

Driggs, however, said he didn’t think reducing the number of apartments allowed would improve traffic.

Trotter Builders said it made a number of changes to the development, including adding 800 feet of decorative fencing on the side of the complex that’s closest to Endhaven Elementary School.