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Development of church property cleared by Charlotte council

The Charlotte City Council on Monday night approved rezoning 7.1 acres of church-owned land on the southwest corner of Morrison Boulevard and Sharon Road that will be redeveloped with a mix of residential, retail, entertainment, office and hotel uses.

Council members also approved a request by Metrolina Tradeshow Expo owner Linda Wells Pistone to rezone 96.67 acres on the east side of Statesville Road, north of Old Statesville Road.

Tim Robertson, director of industrial leasing for Charlotte-based Beacon Partners, said his company is buying the expo site from Pistone and plans to develop an $80 million, 1.2 million-square-foot industrial park there.

The church land is owned by Sharon United Methodist, whose steeple is an area landmark. The church would remain at the site.

A rezoning petition from developer Childress Klein requested a change for 7.1 acres from R-3, or single-family residential, and B-1SCD, business shopping center district, to MUDD-O, mixed-use development, optional, with five-year vested rights.

“This petition will do two things,” said Council Member Kenny Smith, who represents the area involved. “One, it is going to provide critical access in and around SouthPark with the connection of Coltsgate (Road) and Morrison (Boulevard).

“And then, two, we’re going to let our friends in the faith community who’ve had a home in the SouthPark area continue to be an integral part of the neighborhood.”

Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles, who supported the development, said, “We have all known that SouthPark is a key employment center for our community. The idea of having an employment center surrounded by wonderful housing, wonderful opportunities for places to walk and drive – we’ve got some work to do. But it’s a great start.”

Vested rights allow projects to be completed according to land-use plans and regulations in effect when the projects were proposed or approved, without regard to any subsequent changes in land-use regulations.

The Rev. Kyle Thompson, pastor of Sharon United Methodist, told council members during a public hearing last month that “our vision is to be the spiritual crossroads of the SouthPark community. We’ve been doing that…for 50 years. This plan will ensure that we are able to continue to do that for the next 50 years.”

The church will continue to hold meetings for Alcoholics Anonymous, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and groups fighting human trafficking in Charlotte, Thompson said.

City council members also were told that Sharon United Methodist wants to become a greater part of the community fabric, openings its doors on more than Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, with a facility for concerts and community and cultural events.

At the Metrolina Expo, Pistone’s petition proposes uses in the I-1, or light industrial, zoning district on land currently used as the Metrolina Expo.

“We’re coming to the end of an era. It’s been around for quite some time.” said Councilman Al Austin, whose district includes the expo. “But a new vision, and I wish Linda well.”

In other action, the council approved:

*Another Childress Klein petition to rezone 1.53 acres on the north side of Coltsgate Road between Sharon Road and Cameron Valley Parkway. Plans call for the construction of up to 200 residential dwelling units, including independent and dependent living units, and up to 8,500 square feet of medical and general office uses on two undeveloped parcels within the SouthPark area.

*A petition by Hwy. 521 Partners LLC to rezone 13.22 acres on the southwest corner of Providence Road West and Johnston Road for a mix of office, financial institution, retail, entertainment and hotel uses. The site is being developed in the Ballantyne West area across from Hall Family Farm.

*A request by Parkwood Residences LLC to rezone 3.63 acres on the southeast corner of North Brevard Street and East 21st Street. Plans call for redeveloping a site in the Optimist Park neighborhood with single-family homes to allow up to 351 multifamily units. The site is within a quarter-mile walk from the Parkwood transit station on the Lynx Blue Line.

*A petition by City Center Hotel Inc. for 8.64 acres on the west side of Collins Aikman Drive between McCullough Drive and West W.T. Harris Boulevard. The petition sought a zoning change and site plan amendment to vacant property in an office/business development in the University City area to increase the number of hotels allowed to three from two; allow residential dwellings; relocate a street connection; and amend development standards from the current zoning.

*A request by Charlotte Douglas International Airport to rezone 2.02 acres on the southeast corner of Boyer Street and Withrow Road near Billy Graham Parkway from multifamily residential to general industrial.

*A proposal by petitioner Domenic Polzella Jr. to rezone 7 acres on the east side of Bob Beatty Road, north of Reames Road, and east of Old Statesville Road for a mix of office, industrial and warehouse distribution.

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