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STEELE CREEK NEWS

Rezoning Petition Would Add Apartments, Townhomes, and Shopping Centers on Brown-Grier Road

(August 8, 2016) Pulte Home Corp has submitted a rezoning petition to rezone a 127.23 acre site on both sides of Brown-Grier Road from its current classification of R-3 (up to three residential units per acre) to Neighborhood Services (commercial) and R-17 MF (CD) (up to 17 units per acre multi-family with conditions). They plan to build an 80,000 square foot shopping center with a grocery store on the northeast corner of Steele Creek Road and Brown-Grier Road, up to 292 multifamily residences (apartments) adjacent to this, and 550 attached single-family houses (townhomes) on both sides of Brown-Grier Road. See the areas marked "NS" and "R-17" on the map below.

The site currently is a dairy farm that has been run by the Grier Family for several generations. The current buildings on the property, including the farmhouse built by John Grier in 1836, will not be preserved.

There will be a Community Meeting at 6:30 PM on Thursday, August 11 in the Fellowship Hall at Central Steele Presbyterian Church at 9401 South Tryon Street, on the corner of S Tryon Street and Westinghouse Blvd (NOT at Steele Creek Presbyterian on Steele Creek Road). Representatives of the petitioner will provide maps and other details of the petition for discussion by area residents and other property owners. See NOTICE.

Grier Farm Rezoning

See the page on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department's web site for Rezoning Petition 2016-120 for more information on the petition. Use the link to the Site Plan to see details of the planned development. The image below shows a portion of Sheet 4 of the Site Plan.

Grier Farm Rezoning

Following the Community Meeting, the Charlotte City Council will hold a Public Hearing for the petition at its monthly Zoning Meeting. The date for the Public Hearing has not been set but will be on September 19, October 17, or possibly November 21. The public has an opportunity to speak for or against the petition at the Public Hearing. The Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission will meet a few days after the Public Hearing to discuss the petition and make a recommendation to the City Council. The City Council typically votes to either approve or deny the petition at its next monthly Zoning Meeting. During the process, action may be deferred to later meetings to resolve outstanding issues and possibly make changes to the petition.

Note the following about this petition:

The Petition is Inconsistent with the Steele Creek Area Plan

Grier Farm RezoningCenters, Corridors & Wedges is the overarching policy for organizing and guiding development in Charlotte. The Grier Farm property is in a wedge area. Wedges primarily contain low density housing, typically up to 4 dwelling units per acre, with limited moderate density housing and supporting services. However, the amount, intensity and type of new development will be determined by the applicable area plan.

The property currently is zoned R-3, which allows up to 3 units per acre. According to the Steele Creek Area Plan, the area north of Brown-Grier Road should have up to 6 dwelling units per acre, and the area south of Brown-Grier Road should have up to 4 dwelling units per acre. Click on the map to the right or this link to see a map of Southwest District Future Land Use.

The proposed rezoning calls for significantly higher residential density than the area plan allows and is inconsistent with adjacent neighborhoods. Commercial development is also inconsistent with the area plan.

This Rezoning Will Set the Tone for Future Rezoning

Last year the City Council approved rezoning that allowed 271 apartment units on the southwest corner of Sandy Porter Road and Brown-Grier Road. This also was inconsistent with the Steele Creek Area Plan. Previous rezoning for Whitehall Corporate Park created a tree buffer along the east side Sandy Porter Road between the intensive development at Whitehall and lower density residential development west of Sandy Porter Road. The apartments jumped the buffer and set a precedent for other high density development to the west.

If the property on Brown-Grier Road is rezoned for commercial use and for up to 17 residential units per acre, this would set a precedent for adjacent properties. Specifically:

  • A 176 acre parcel to the north (labeled "Future Development" on the map above) also is zoned R-3. The owners likely will also request a zoning change to allow similar development to that requested on the Brown-Grier Road property, possibly including additional commercial development along Steele Creek Road.

  • The petition requests Neighborhood Services zoning for the triangular parcel on the southeast corner of Steele Creek Road and Brown-Grier Road. This property is too small for a neighborhood center. It is likely that future rezoning requests will be filed to add commercial rezoning to properties adjacent to this corner so that a larger center can be built there.

If this rezoning is approved as submitted, it is likely that all future development in the area will be similar, and few, if any, new single family neighborhoods will ever be built again.

The Site Plan Does Not Identify Proposed Uses in the Neighborhood Services Area

According to the notes on the Site Plan, the area proposed to be zoned NS "may be devoted to any non-residential use or uses allowed by right or under prescribed conditions in the NS zoning district (including any combination of such uses), together with any incidental or accessory uses associated therewith that are permitted under the Ordinance in the NS zoning district." Also, "The buildings located [in the area] may have drive-through service lanes/windows as an accessory use." In other words, any use allowed by NS zoning is allowed. Typically conditional rezoning petitions include details about building placement, buffer areas, limitations on number of drive-throughs, and other conditions.

Public Participation

The public has several opportunities to participate in the rezoning process. They may express support or opposition to the rezoning, but they also can express concerns that the petitioner may address by altering the rezoning request.

Opportunities include:

  • Review the petition. Details are online at Petition 2016-120.
  • Attend the petitionerís Community Meeting on Thursday, August 11 at Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church.
  • Contact the petitioner or agent to discuss concerns. The agent is John Carmichael of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson P.A. at (704) 377-8341.
  • Contact staff with questions and suggestions concerning the petition. The staff contact is Claire Lyte-Graham at (704) 336-3782 or cgraham@ci.charlotte.nc.us.
  • Inform the City Council and the Zoning Committee of your position. Steele Creek's District Representative is LaWana Mayfield at 704-336-3435 or lmayfield@charlottenc.gov.
  • Attend and speak at the Public Hearing at the monthly City Council Zoning Meeting. The Public Hearing for this petition has not yet been scheduled.
  • Attend Zoning Committee Work Session and Council decision meeting to hear the discussion.

City Council Meetings can be viewed on the GOV Channel, available online or on many cable providers. City Council Meetings also are streamed live at charmeck.org, and past meetings are archived and available for viewing.

See also:

A rezoning plan could add 850 homes and more in Steele Creek. Here's what residents need to know, Lake Wylie Pilot, August 2, 2016

Pulte planning massive new mixed-use development in Steele Creek, Charlotte Observer, July 14, 2016

Central Steele Creek VBS

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