Apartment expansion gets board’s support

Plans to expand and improve an aging apartment complex near the corner of Providence and Fairview roads has gained the support of Charlotte’s zoning board, though the project would add more cars at the busy intersection and students at three overcrowded schools.

Developers want to renovate the Camden Pinehurst apartment complex, built at Providence Road and Strawberry Hill Lane in 1967, with new buildings and nearly 180 more units than what is currently there. The proposed plan calls for mostly four-story buildings and some three-story buildings, which would allow the developer to put 580 units on the roughly 36 acres of land while still moving buildings further away from area single-family homes. Some of the buildings currently are around 10 feet away from the nearest homes on Columbine Circle.

The project also would add sidewalks through the property and set aside land for a greenway connection, while most of the four-story buildings would sit along Providence behind a roughly five-foot decorative masonry wall. A signal would be added at the complex’s northern entrance on Providence Road near  Strawberry Hill, with the developer paying $90,000 for the signal construction. The complex’s southern entrance would remain right-in, right-out with a median blocking left turns.

Residents raised questions about what impact the project and nearly 180 extra units would have on traffic at a community hearing on Jan. 17 at Christ Lutheran Church.

The Charlotte Department of Transportation estimates the expanded complex would add around 1,160 vehicles a day to area roads, which the department considered a minor impact.

The project also would have a minor impact on area schools, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials. In their report to the city planning department, school officials estimate the project will add 21 students to three already-overcrowded schools. Students would be split between Sharon Elementary School – putting it at 150 percent capacity – Alexander Graham Middle School – putting it at 113 percent capacity – and Myers Park High School – which
would stay at 108 percent capacity.

No one spoke against the proposal at a public hearing before Charlotte City Council last month, and the city’s zoning board voted to recommend council approve the plan when they take the issue up again,
likely at the March 18 rezoning meeting.

If approved, the developer said at the community hearing they would work with current residents to find homes at nearby Camden properties. The company owns a number of apartment complexes in south Charlotte. The developer said construction could start in the summer of 2014 if the project is approved this month. Work would take 28 to 32 months to complete.

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  1. The reason why “no one spoke against the proposal at a public hearing” is because as renters we weren’t allowed to! Camden is also trying to keep this all very quiet moving new people in all the time. People are uprooting their families, changing their children’s schools etc. to move in all with no idea that Camden plans to push them out. The complex officials won’t really tell the residents anything and, again, have tried to keep them in the dark or say that “it probably won’t even happen so don’t worry.” Clearly this is a case of a developer with lots of money just wanting more. They want it on both ends…rent from the renters until its inconvenient for them to have them there because of a project that will net them more in the long run. The one point on their side is the apartment complex is old. Still….just be honest and up front though about your plans! And to the City Council….what a joke!!!?? Those people care nothing about the actual residents. they didn’t even lift a finger when they were made aware of this.

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