CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte City Council signed off at a zoning hearing on a rezoning request July 15 that would allow up to 23 townhomes and two single-family homes on Carmel Road in south Charlotte. The vote was 10-1.
The 5.12-acre site will redevelop three single-family detached homes on four parcels with a residential infill community consisting of two single-family detached parcels and up to 23 townhomes near Carmel Vista Lane and Quail View Road. The vote changed the current zoning of single-family residential to urban residential.
A community meeting on April 11 was attended by 52 nearby residents, who voiced several concerns about the project, including increased traffic, tree save and storm water issues.
District 6 councilmember Tariq Bokhari represents the area in question and supported the rezoning but he told the council it was one of his more difficult decisions he has made in the last couple of months. Bokhari said he made his decision after looking at the ordinances on how the city is set up.
“This was a bit more controversial than most,” Bokhari said. “The density is consistent with other nearby townhomes. It warrants this type of zoning classification. When you look at the things that the neighbors have raised, grading concerns, this is an engineering design, not a land-use concern. Tree save, this is not an optional item, they are strictly enforced during design. They can’t not do that. Storm water during design is a macro view. The greater details then go in after the design phase.
“The things that they have requested are not things that are done at this stage almost at all. In the end, staff supports this, zoning committee voted on this unanimously. I know that this is not what every single member of the community wants there, but it is my role to not necessarily to do the popular thing but do the right thing based on our rules.”
At-large council member Dimple Ajmera voiced concerns about storm water issues at the site and originally said she was inclined to vote against the rezoning but ultimately voted in favor.
“There was a report sent to the council by the neighborhood, and that report cited various concerns around storm water,” Ajmera said. “I’m quite concerned about our storm water system in general. We as a city continue to have storm water issues, and that problem is continuing to increase over the years. We have a huge back log of existing storm water issues.’’
Charlotte city planner John Kinley said as the developer gets further into the project with more detailed plans, they would be required to comply with storm water rules, including reducing the number of units constructed if necessary.
“This is just an opportunity to get into the next part of the process,” Kinley said. “If they get into those plans and the storm water infrastructure they are proposing doesn’t work for exactly what they propose on site and they can only do 20 units and one-single family house, that is what the outcome generally is. They can do that because they are entitled up to 23 units.”