Automotive care center, retail proposed for busy corner

Rezoning request made for 9 acres at Rea and Ardrey Kell roads

by Mike Parks

The site will go at the southeast corner of the Ardrey Kell/Rea intersection. The Blakeney Shopping Center sits diagonally from the lot.

Charlotte planners are considering a rezoning request that would make way for four new buildings at the corner of Ardrey Kell and Rea roads, including one facility for automobile care.

The application, made by Tim Sittema and Peter Pappas of the Crosland retail group, asks the city to change zoning on 9 acres of land at the southeast corner of the intersection. Currently, only one building is allowed on the site.

Sittema and Pappas, under the Blakeney Heath Limited Partnership name, filed in hopes of constructing four buildings on what amounts to 3.5 acres of land, with the other 5.5 acres consisting of flood plains. The buildings would include an automobile care facility, a bank, and two other buildings. Sittema and Pappas could not be reached for comment.

Keith H. MacVean, an agent for the partnership with King & Spalding, LLP, said he’s been part of at least one sit-down discussion with area residents so far. People living in the Hunters Gate and Landing Glen communities, MacVean said, have raised some concerns about possible noise associated with the automobile care center. A representative for Hunters Gate was not prepared to comment on the issue prior to press deadline.

Another community meeting, scheduled loosely for mid-April, will give more neighbors a chance to discuss the issue. Those making rezoning requests must hold community meetings on the issue and turn in minutes of those meetings to city planners.

A rendering of the proposed site, seen here, shows where the four buildings would go on the lot. The rest of the land, shown on the right of the rendering, is a flood plain developers won’t use.

In an interview with South Charlotte Weekly on Tuesday, MacVean said noise from the automobile care center should be negated at least somewhat by the placement of the center in current plans, which have it at the back of the lot and separated from the two communities by flood plain acreage. MacVean did not have information on what companies, if any, had been contacted about possibly filling that space or any of the others proposed for the land. He did say that the automobile care center would focus on light maintenance and tire sales.

“We left the meeting with questions about noise and light from the automotive repair facility, and then some questions about how you deal with waste oil and things like that,” MacVean said. Other than that, he said, people are “fairly comfortable” with the change.

MacVean added that any area resident with concerns or questions can contact him at 704-503-2637.

Though still early in the process, city planner Sonja Sanders said her office is supportive of the uses Crosland has proposed for the land, aside from some design and layout issues that must be dealt with before moving forward. An official staff recommendation is still many weeks away, Sanders said, and many departments – such as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and Charlotte Area Transit – have yet to send her their comments or concerns regarding how the project could impact them. The other three corners at Ardrey Kell and Rea roads already have developments in place, including the Blakeney Shopping Center.

Following the community meeting, and pending any concerns from city officials, Crosland will submit a revised site plan prior to the first scheduled discussion of the topic before Charlotte City Council on May 16. People can speak for or against the rezoning application at that meeting.

Assuming there are no delays or deferrals of the issue, the earliest council could vote on approving or denying the application is June 20.

Learn more about the rezoning request online at Click on “2011 Petitions” and scroll down to petition number “2011-027.”

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