The City of Charlotte will host a series of additional meetings and work sessions this month to gather public input on the draft Prosperity Hucks Area Plan.
The city is proposing the plan to guide development in the fast-growing northeast corner of Charlotte near the Huntersville and Cabarrus County lines, especially in light of the anticipated opening of nearby Interstate 485 around the end of the year. On both sides of I-485, there are several large tracts of undeveloped land.
The plan seeks to provide a blueprint for the creation of a walkable, mixed-use “village”; improved traffic flow; and integrated greenways, bike paths and parks with higher density development at the core transitioning to lower density development at the outskirts.
Neighborhood groups in the area have protested, at meetings and on the streets, proposals for apartments near the intersection of Prosperity Church Rd and the new I-485 extension. The neighbors want to see more retail shops and open space and are concerned about traffic congestion that could accompany high-density development.
The city has deferred until Oct. 20 a public hearing on one proposal, in which Halvorsen Development Corp. is seeking a rezoning for apartments at Prosperity Church and Ridge roads. The Florida-based developer wants the zoning changed for 38 acres of land from single-family residential and commercial center district to just commercial center district. In plans submitted to the city, Halvorsen proposes a retail and residential mixed-use community that would accommodate 292 multifamily units with up to 100,000 square feet of office, retail, commercial, personal services and restaurant uses.
The development would be accessible from Ridge, Prosperity Church, Cardinal Point and Benefield roads.
Several other apartment and town home communities have been proposed on a total of about 200 acres.
Because of these concerns, the city has been holding meetings with neighbors and developers, and has pushed back its timeline for finalizing and voting on the plan from the end of this year to early 2015.
“We are working with draft plans and continuing to work with neighbors and groups on those things,” said Kent Main, Charlotte-Mecklenburg planning coordinator.
The city has set up three meetings in September, and will continue to meet with stakeholders in October, Main said. The city staff will work on the draft plan in November and December, adjusting it based on feedback. At the beginning of next year, the city’s Planning Committee and Council will hold public hearings, and a City Council vote is now projected for March.
The draft Prosperity Hucks Area Plan was created in 2013 and will update the 1999 Prosperity Church Road Villages Plan. It includes changes in road configurations and new roads to help ease traffic from the interstate.
“Area plans establish a vision for the physical development of a specific geographic area, and provide a detailed set of policies that are intended to guide the location, form and character of future development and redevelopment,” according to the city’s website. “Additionally, area plans help to inform future investments in infrastructure and public facilities.”
“The intent was to provide a range of allowable densities from the lowest where the Village Center met single-family neighborhoods to the highest at the very center of the Village Center.”
The city has scheduled meetings at the following times and locations: