South Charlotte

Ballantyne zoning plan gets mixed reviews

On Jan. 21, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners is expected to decide on a Ballantyne zoning petition that has conflicting recommendations from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg staff and zoning committee.

In the petition, Southern Apartment Group – Ballantyne LLC wants 3.78 acres at 14732 Lancaster Highway rezoned, from multifamily residential to neighborhood services.

Although the property is in a portion of unincorporated Mecklenburg County designated as being in Pineville’s sphere of influence, the town has not accepted jurisdiction, Pineville planner Sonja Sanders said.

The existing conditional site plan for the property allowed 22 dwelling units, at a density of six units per acre, Sanders said.

The current zoning petition is asking for a maximum of 24 multifamily residential dwelling units, with the units at the rear of the site, Sanders said. Those residences would be limited to three stories and 40 feet in height, she said.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg zoning committee has recommended approval of the petition with a few modifications, such as an increased parking ratio to one space for each 350 gross square feet of office space, Sanders said.

But Charlotte-Mecklenburg planning staff is not recommending approval of the petition in its current form.

“The proposed development density of 10 dwelling units per acre is inconsistent with the General Development Policies, which only support a density up to six units per acre,” reads the staff recommendation. “In addition, the office component was not included in the prior rezoning and is out of character with the surrounding residential dwellings.”

The proposal also asks for a maximum 10,000 square feet of general and medical office uses, not to exceed one story and 30 feet in height, Sanders said. Office uses would be at the front of the site along Lancaster Highway, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg documents.

The zoning petition asks for no more than four principal buildings, said Sanders.

Kenneth McManus, who lives nearby, said he is concerned about Lancaster Highway’s ability to handle another multifamily community.

“I don’t think the road can handle what’s already there,” he said. “I’m surprised the apartments they’re building can be filled. Where in the world are all of these people coming to fill them?”

Still, nearby resident Terri Sanz said she’d rather see a residential use than other types of uses, including an office park. “We have office parks all over the place,”she said. “I would prefer to keep it residential.”