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City Council OKs mixed-use Cherry development, SouthPark townhomes

Midtown project approved

The Charlotte City Council on Monday approved rezoning petitions for a large mixed-use project in the Cherry neighborhood and a townhome development on the south side of Fairview Road. The council voted 11-1 to approve a petition that Midtown Area Partners II submitted requesting the rezoning of almost 2 acres on the northeast corner of Baxter Street and South Kings Drive in the Cherry neighborhood. District 1 Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey, that neighborhood’s representative on the council, voted against the petition.

“I will be voting against it, you heard what I said last week,” Kinsey said before the vote.

Kinsey said during a Sept. 21 council meeting at which the project was rejected that she didn’t support the petition because the proposal deviated from the neighborhood’s area plan regarding setbacks, height, streetscapes and residential density. She objected to the proposed parking structure because it would encroach on an area recommended for residential use. That was subsequently reduced to 187,450 square feet from the 220,000-square-foot structure proposed on Sept.21.

She also objected to the height of the project’s tallest building, which had been proposed Sept. 21 at 106 feet.midtown

“I am very glad that the petitioner did lower the height to 100 feet.” Kinsey said.

The council voted 7-5 in favor of the petition on Sept. 21, but state law required three-fourths of the council to vote yes for it to be approved. The state requirement that three-fourths of municipal body approve a rezoning when a sufficient protest petition is filed was eliminated last month when Gov. Pat McCrory signed a new law, which will apply to rezoning petitions filed Aug. 1 or later.

The other council members who voted against the proposal Sept. 21 were District 2 Council Member Al Austin, District 3 Council Member LaWana Mayfield, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes, and Council Member At Large Claire Fallon.

After that vote, Barnes asked for it to be reconsidered because the developer’s attorney told him they would be willing to lower the height of a building in the project from 106 feet to 100 feet. The building was reduced in size from 275,0000 square feet to 270,000 square feet. Midtown Area Partners II, a subsidiary of developer Roy Goode, now plans to build up to 4,600 square feet of commercial uses at street level, compared with 7,000 square feet in the previous proposal. According to plans filed with the city, the development could include office space, retail, up to 225 hotel rooms and as many as 300 multifamily housing units.

Midtown Area Partners could not be reached for comment on changes to its plans.

The council also voted unanimously, 12-0, to approve the Fairview Road rezoning between Park and Closeburn roads and the plan consistency statement for the development.

The almost 2 acres is owned by Marion McGaha and Charlotte Parker, and the plans for the property call for 18 attached townhomes to be built.  The land is zoned single-family residential.

The plans for property call for up to eight townhomes to be built on the Parker property, which is a little less than an acre, and as many as 10 townhomes to be built on McGaha’s land, said James Parker, Charlotte Parker’s husband. The townhomes will be two stories and 2,800 square feet with two-car garages, he said. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms and other features in each unit hasn’t been determined, he said. Parker said he is looking for a builder for the development and the units will be designed by Charlotte-based Narmour Wright Architecture. The Parkers will live in one of the units and McGaha will live in one as well, he said. Construction could start on the units in the spring of 2016, he said. He estimated that it could take up to eight months to complete construction.

The council also decided to defer until Oct. 19 a vote on Robert Drakeford’s petition to rezone a little more than an acre in Plaza Midwood that would allow 12 single-family homes to be built. Mayor Dan Clodfelter said during the meeting that the city attorney’s office is still working on some legal issues regarding the matter.

The council had voted 8-4 at its Sept. 21 to approve it, but a three-fourths vote was required because a protest petition had been filed. The council then need to vote on a plan consistency statement, but was unable to determine the wording needed. Because consistency statements need to be approved at the same meeting at which a rezoning is approved or denied, the entire matter was tabled until Sept. 28.

Terrie Hagler-Gray, the city’s senior assistant attorney, said the city attorney’s office needs more time to research the procedures for the consistency statement.

The proposed development would be on McClintock Road near St. Julien Street.

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