From Under the Water Tower comes a heads up on a rezoning in the Elizabeth neighborhood. Deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 2, to email comments to neighborhood organizers about the rezoning request along Seventh Street. The public hearing is Sept. 21.
The developer is seeking rezoning from R-22 to MUDD (mixed use development) to build up to 390 residential units along Weddington Avenue and Seventh Street, near the historic Palmer Building on Firefighter Place and near Lupie's Cafe.
The neighborhood had a meeting seeking comments about the rezoning on Aug. 27 and is sharing those comments with the developer, Winter Elizabeth of Atlanta, according to the Elizabeth Community Association. You can see some site-plan details at the neighborhood site.
The rezoning doesn't directly affect Merry Oaks, but it raises a couple of thoughts with broader community impact:
1. The comments in a PDF from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools officials at the Rezoning.org site note that "adequacy of existing school capacity in this area is a significant problem." The officials estimate the development, when completed, could add 118 students to Eastover Elementary School, 80 students to Alexander Graham Middle School and 93 students to Myers Park High School. Those kinds of numbers are important to keep in mind when considering redrawing school boundaries: There is talk of moving some people out of the feeder zone for Myers Park High to East Mecklenburg High. Numbers like these might add more weight to that concept. The numbers also highlight how school quality affects development and real estate. If school performance for the Garinger High School district were stronger, would demand for development and housing in that district in east-central Charlotte be stronger? Would growth and development be more evenly spaced across the county?
2. The comments in a PDF from stormwater services at the rezoning site appear to be minimal. Given the density proposed in this development under MUDD zoning, and given its proximity to Briar Creek, it seems deep consideration should be given to the effects of flood zones downstream. In the long run, that consideration could save Mecklenburg County money and save homeowners the hassle of unexpected flooding. The county has spent millions buying homes in floodplains along Briar Creek in recent years. Should dense MUDD zoning get further examination? Can dense urban design have features that absorb and slow stormwater runoff to avoid urban flooding?
Background from the Charlotte Business Journal in 2008.
Planning documents for growth in "Centers, Corridors and Wedges" from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department.
FEMA floodplain maps.
Image credits: Google maps (top) and FEMA maps (middle).