CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A controversial rezoning request to build a Walgreens drug store and office building in Dilworth was rejected by Charlotte City Council Monday night, delighting neighbors who had waged an aggressive campaign of e-mails and yard signs against the project.
Developer Lincoln Harris’s rezoning lost 9-3, with only Warren Cooksey, Andy Dulin and David Howard supporting it. Mayor Anthony Foxx, who was allowed to vote, sided with the neighbors and voted no.
The developer wanted to build a Walgreens and a two-story office building on two acres at East Morehead Street and Kenilworth Avenue. To move forward, Lincoln Harris would have to demolish several buildings, some of which were built at the turn of the century.
One building that would have been torn down include a Tudor-style apartment building on the corner, an adjacent white house and three houses on Kenilworth. Those properties are all owned by Edward Springs and his company, Edward H. Springs Interiors.
Lincoln Harris appeared to make a last-minute attempt to sway council members.
In an e-mail sent to council member Patsy Kinsey, who represents the area, a Lincoln Harris executive said the developer has an alternative plan for site that would contain “none of the softened commercial edges” in its Walgreens plan.
“I have come to the conclusion, based upon a number of discussions, these …neighbors were told by a core group of opponents that if the Lincoln Harris petition were to be denied , we will simply ‘go away’ and the property will remain the same,” wrote Alex Kelly, Lincoln Harris vice president. “This email is to confirm that this statement is completely false.”
The e-mail then suggested a backup development plan would have more impact on neighbors, and that it would be in Dilworth’s best interests to approve the original rezoning request.
“This is a serious decision....which could have a detrimental effect on other’s property values,” Kelly wrote.
The e-mail said that the alternative development plan would have “no development concessions offered to the neighborhood. All of the negotiated concessions will go away.”
It would be 30,500 square feet total, including nearly 15,000 square feet for the pharmacy.
The e-mail detailed what Lincoln Harris would build if its first plan fell through. It said that alternative plan is OK under the current zoning.
The alternative plan would total 135,000 square feet of space, including 43,000 square feet of medical office space. It said that project would “harm the economic value of rear homes” and create more traffic.