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Building proposed for Piedmont Town Center draws opposition

Some neighbors are fighting the construction of another multiuse building being proposed for the site of Piedmont Town Center in SouthPark, saying it will take away from a wooded area and increase traffic and crime.

But the site’s developer, Charlotte-based Crescent Resources, says it is limited in its options on the site on Carnegie Boulevard because of constraints on available land created by water-quality and stormwater-retention requirements.

The project was discussed Monday night during a City Council zoning meeting.

Keith MacVean, a land-use and real estate consultant for Crescent, said Crescent is supportive of the environmental requirements, which include a retention pond for stormwater. But only about half of the nearly 8-acre site is developable thanks to the requirements and a new road, which will be included to increase connectivity, he said.

Elliott Cauble, whose mother is a resident at the nearby Picardy neighborhood, said Crescent plans to remove too much of the surrounding tree canopy, which blocks the neighboring homes from the noise of Piedmont Town Center. He said the construction of a new road through the development will increase traffic and crime.

Thomas Golen, a resident of Piedmont Row, a condominium included in the Piedmont Town Center development, said Crescent’s plan removes too much green space. To quell traffic on the new road, Golen suggested a traffic circle be added to the plans.

Cauble said he spoke with MacVean three times, but he “did not offer a square-inch more of buffer any of those times.”

MacVean said Crescent could not find “common ground” with Caldwell and Golen.

But Councilman Warren Turner was hopeful that a solution could be found.

“Is there any possibility to save any more of the trees in this area,” Turner said. “Is it our requirements that make this an even more difficult project?

MacVean said the problem with increasing the buffer width to save more trees is that it just pushes the whole project toward Carnegie Boulevard. That would make the project even more of a challenge, he said, citing the need for the retention pond and the future road off Carnegie.

“There’s really not a lot of room to move everything forward,” MacVean said. “The site is tight.”

Turner asked city staff to research if there was a way to satisfy all sides through providing Crescent with more opportunity to save green space by consolidating the wetlands with the planned pond.

“I would hope that we could get together with staff as well as the protesters here to see if that is in fact an option,” Turner said.

The proposed building will include 67 new multifamily residential units and, possibly, nonresidential uses on the ground floor. It is planned to be approximately 100 feet in height and five or six stories.

The zoning committee of the city’s planning commission still has to make a recommendation to the City Council, which will make the final vote.

Tara Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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