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Commercial Rezoning Requested in Residential Area on S Tryon St

(October 4, 2009) Stacy Mitchell & Janet McMillen are requesting rezoning of an .85 acre parcel on S Tryon St next to Savannah Townhomes from R-3 to O-1(CD). They plan to remodel and enlarge an existing house on the property. They plan to use the structure as a residence but also include an office area where Ms. McMillen would conduct her business as a Spiritual Advisor, providing astrological services, palm reading, etc. She expects approximately 4 to 5 customers a week, by appointment only.

See a site plan with drawings of the revised building here: Petition 2009-067. The plan includes a large concrete driveway with four parking spaces. The planned stucco structure is a significant improvement over the current house, which was built in 1963.

All activities that they plan are allowed under current rezoning, except for a planned commercial sign. They want to construct a sign that will be 4 feet high and 9 feet wide to advertise their business. (It would be a 4' by 5' sign with two 2' pillars on the sides.)

Current city ordinances allow for a small sign posted on the side of the building, but Mr. Mitchell and Ms. McMillen believe this would be inadequate to advertise their services.

The public hearing will be held at the Charlotte City Council rezoning meeting on October 19.

The Steele Creek Residents Association Land Use Committ
ee opposes this rezoning because they believe it will set a precedent and provide a good argument for other property owners along this stretch of S Tryon St to also request office or commercial rezoning for their properties. This rezoning could lead to strip commercial development along S Tryon Street.

The Land Use Committee believes that it would be acceptable for the petitioners to proceed with their plans, but not under a non-residential zoning, and not with a 9'x4' sign.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Staff agrees. Their analysis states: "Staff does not recommend approval of this petition. The request for commercial development on this site would encourage strip commercial along this portion of South Tryon Street. This petition is inconsistent with the Southwest District Plan which when considered in conjunction with the General Development Policies would allow up to six dwelling units per acre."

To comment on this story, please visit the Steele Creek Residents Association Message Board.