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A little help from the neighbors

Eastland Mall Opponents

About 45 opponents of a rezoning request for a church near the former Eastland Mall attended Monday’s City Council meeting to express their opposition, but celebrated later when they learned the rezoning request had been withdrawn. Photo by Sharon Roberts

The nearly four dozen people who donned matching orange “No Rezoning” protest shirts and attended the Charlotte City Council meeting Monday didn’t stay long. Or need to.

The east side residents came to let the council know they opposed a rezoning for a church near the former Eastland Mall.

Ministerio Internacional Nueva Vida Inc. had requested the rezoning to institutional district to develop 20 vacant acres into a 2,000-seat religious institution. The entire 70,000-square-foot building would have included child care accommodations and a sanctuary at the northeast corner of Wilora Lake and Vernedale roads.

Tammy Keplinger, a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department’s rezoning staff, said the church plans to proceed with a smaller church, which will not require a rezoning after all, to which the opponents stood up and hooted and applauded.

When Mayor Jennifer Roberts called for a vote from all those in favor of approving the withdrawal, members of the audience chipped in, yelling: “Aye!”

Sharon Roberts

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