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Hearings for rezoning requests delayed after public notices fail to run

Five rezoning requests that were supposed to be heard today by the Charlotte City Council have been rescheduled for next month.

According to the agenda for the combined zoning and business meeting, the public hearings have been deferred until 6 p.m. May 16 because they were not published in the April 15 edition of The Charlotte Observer and, therefore, did not meet state requirements for the publishing of such public notices.

The rezoning requests that had to be postponed are:

  • from University City Partners for the adoption of a text amendment to update uses and development and design regulations for research districts (RE-1, RE-2 and RE-3);
  • for the rezoning of approximately 23.96 acres south of West W.T. Harris Blvd. between Interstate 485 and Reames Road from residential (R-3) to neighborhood services (NS) by Percival McGuire Commercial Real Estate Development;
  • from Singh Development LLC to change approximately 22.65 acres on the east side of Providence Road across from Providence Country Club Drive from residential (R-3) to residential conditional (R-3 CD) and institutional conditional (INST CD);
  • from Cambridge-Eastfield LLC for a neighborhood services district (NS) site plan amendment for approximately 0.55 acres on the southeast corner of Prosperity Church Road and Arbor Creek Drive; and
  • for approval of an “urban residential, pedestrian overlay district-optional” (UR-3 CD PED-O) site plan amendment for approximately 1.6 acres on the northwest corner at the intersection of Wesley Heights Way and Duckworth Avenue.

The five items will be added to the May 16 agenda, which already has 11 cases scheduled for public hearings that evening at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.

State statute requires the first legal advertisement announcing a public hearing for a rezoning to be held at least 10 days prior to the hearing. A second advertisement is also required.

On April 14, the legal advertising group at the Observer notified the city clerk’s office that the ads for the public hearing did not run April 11, according to a memo from the city manager’s office to the City Council.

“After the city clerk’s office was made aware that the April 11 ad did not run, they made three requests that the ads be placed in today’s (April 15) paper so that the statutory requirement could be met,” the memo says.

The legal advertising staff at the Observer told the city that the deadline had passed and the ads would not run in the April 15 issue, the memo says.

City spokeswoman Kim McMillan said today that she has sent a letter to the Observer’s legal advertising department to determine why the notices did not run. By roughly 10 a.m. today she said she still had not received a response from the paper.

McMillan said that while the city tries to use different newspapers for advertising its legal notices, including those announcing public hearings, it is required to run the rezoning requests through the Observer.

Chad Martin, classified advertising manager for the Observer, could not be reached for comment.

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

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