More than 250 apartments are likely in store for the southeast corner of Marvin Road and U.S. 521/Johnston Road.
If approved, the rezoning request filed by Childress Klein Properties would allow 18.8 acres to be developed into 281 multi-family residential units. The request is on track to go before Charlotte City Council at their Dec. 17 meeting.
The petition requests the acreage be changed from R-3 zoning –vacant/single family land use– to UR-2(CD), which would allow Childress Klein to build apartments. Childress Klein partner Kelly Dunbar said plans for the Marvin Road apartments have been in the works since last December, and the developers reached out to surrounding residents with informal, formal and follow-up meetings.
“We’re trying to be transparent with the neighborhood,” Dunbar said. “Childress Klein Properties has been an upstanding corporate member of the Charlotte community since the late 1980s.” Dunbar said. “We feel this site is a good fit.”
According to documents filed with the city clerks office, close to 30 people attended a formal public hearing on Oct. 15. Dunbar said only two people spoke in opposition.
Kenneth Hammond spoke during the hearing and he and his wife, Denise, filed the lone protest petition against the project. “We’re adjoining landowners, we share about 1,200 feet of property line,” Hammond said.
Having lived there since 2004, Hammond said he and Denise always knew the adjoining property would be developed, but they have concerns about the density, as well as their own privacy.
At one point, an assisted living facility was suggested for the property, which Hammond said they would have preferred.
“We liked that idea, folks are much more quiet and it’s a less transient population … this is worse for us than that would have been, but better than some commercial alternatives I could think of,” he said.
“I’d love to see a lower-density but I understand from the developers point of view. It’s all about dollars and cents , what maximizes their profit.”
Hammond said they’ve worked with the developers to increase the buffer zone between properties, agreeing that Childress Klein would replace a 6-foot fence along the property line with a masonry wall; planting vegetation such as holly that’s expected to grow at least 30 feet and removing balconies from the buildings closest to their home.
Hammond said while the other concern voiced at the public hearing had to do with increased traffic, he said that wasn’t his primary concern as a homeowner.
“Traffic is much less a concern to us than the buffer has been. That is potentially what could impact our property the most negatively.”
However, Hammond said they plan to rescind their protest petition once they’ve seen the revised site plan.
Dunbar said they’ve committed to making a number of traffic improvements that would increase the safety and efficiency of the intersection. If they’re able to get permits to do so, Dunbar said, they’d like to increase the left-turn lane onto Marvin Road.
“It currently backs up into the passing lane, so we’d like to increase that holding lane,” he said.
Dunbar said another possible intersection improvement would be a traffic light that would only stop northbound traffic in the evenings.
“The southbound traffic never stops and that would improve the efficiency of that intersection by up to 70 percent,” he said. David Eaker, the second person who spoke during the public hearing, said he spoke on behalf of a number of area residents who only have access to their neighborhoods –like Farmington and Kenilworth II– via Marvin Road.
“I just can’t see the logic in it, they’re going by numbers in the book rather than common sense,” he said. Eaker said the additional cars won’t just mean more traffic headaches, but also new students to already over-crowded area schools.
Eaker said he owns 2.5 acres on Marvin Road and said he’s been there long enough to see Ballanytne grow to its current size.
“I’m not against growth, they’re making bad decisions which (are) going to affect more than just Marvin Road,” he said. “This is a really big issue and (city council members) have said they know traffic is a problem down here. It’s going to create a nightmare and once it’s in, you can’t do anything about it.”