Zoning vote postponed for proposed mixed-use development in NoDa

Whiting Avenue renderings
Whiting Avenue renderings(Source: Revolve Residential)
Updated: Oct. 15, 2018 at 6:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte City Council was set to vote Monday on zoning for a 2.5 acre mixed-use project in NoDa, but developers requested to defer for another month while they work to address issues that have been raised by residents. City Council members are also interested in more research before voting to approve multi-use zoning for the development.

The project, which is being developed by Revolve Residential, has been in the works since May. The plan is for a piece of property on Whiting Avenue, which would include 16 single family homes and four affordable living townhomes. The design also includes a plan to repurpose a long-standing Baptist church, that is currently operating as Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary, and turn it into a co-working office and event space.

Developers say the plan was originally well-received and approved by the majority of the NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association, but over the last couple months, some in the community have expressed concerns regarding traffic, noise, congestion with a nearby Montessori school, and what-ifs about the proposed event space planned for the church.

“That potential event space, what does that mean? 150 people are here, are they drinking? Is it a 2 a.m. thing? Is there loud music?” said new neighbor resident Amanda Campbell, when asked about the project Monday.

It’s the fear of the unknown, Campbell says, that’s making some residents uncomfortable about the project, and it seems there is good amount of that fear circulating the NoDa neighborhood. Tim McCollum, who’s been leading the project for Revolve Residential, says he’s made a concentrated effort to be transparent with residents, and address concerns throughout the community, but he’s found some neighbors are operating out of misinformation, and he hopes he can remedy that with some more open discussion about the project.

Those in opposition, though, feel the project is too commercial for their mainly residential part of town, and worry adding that many homes and any sort of commercial space could add to traffic, noise, and potentially hurt the charm of the neighborhood.

All these concerns are why the developer requested to defer City Council’s zoning vote Monday night, in hopes of using the next month to reach out to those not in favor, and help find a compromise that works for both the project and the community.

Eric Hoenes, who’s lived in the neighborhood for eight years, feels the Whiting Avenue project is already meeting so many of the neighborhoods needs as it currently stands. He says the neighborhood association appreciates the repurposing of the church, and the addition of four affordable housing units, and believes it would fit nicely with the community makeup. Hoenes also added that he believes Revolve Residential has been more accommodating and considerate throughout the process than most developers they’ve dealt with.

“This is one of the few developers that’s actually come in and read our vision plan, that was put together about 12 years ago for what we wanted to neighborhood to look like,” Hoenes said.

Regardless, it appears the community is still split on the pros and cons of the property, and it will be at least another month before any decisions are made to move forward. In that time, McCollum says he’ll be working to touch base with residents on the fence, and work to find a functional solution for the project.

The petition to change the zoning for the project to multi-use will be deferred to next month, and is expected be on the city council agenda for November 19.

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