Reporters, public turned away from community meeting on Panthers practice bubble

An attorney representing the Panthers calls it a “misunderstanding.”

Confusion about Panthers public meeting

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Attorneys representing the Carolina Panthers held a rezoning meeting at the Double Tree Hotel for their practice bubble Wednesday night. But when reporters and some members of the public showed up to attend hotel staff told them there was no meeting.

The community meeting is required under Charlotte’s zoning ordinance.

The Panthers are petitioning the City of Charlotte to allow them to build signs and branding along with a new practice facility for the team.

It falls on the petitioner to advertise and hold the public meeting and report back to the city what members of the public had to say about their petition. Those comments are then used in front of the planning commission and city council to decide whether the petition should be approved.

Sources tell WBTV that the group representing the Panthers reported 10-15 people were in attendance for the meeting. When WBTV called the organizers we were directed to attorney Jeff Brown with Moore and Van Allen. WBTV has requested records documenting who those people were and what they said.

“We learned of a misunderstanding when media arrived,” attorney Jeff Brown wrote in a statement emailed to WBTV.

“Notice for this meeting followed the standard protocol of announcing a rezoning community meeting, a process that includes notification of the rezoning petition to representatives of registered neighborhood associations and property owners near the site.”

City councilman Justin Harlow represents the district where the bubble would be built and says he’s asking some of the same questions as WBTV.

He said that meetings should be easy to find and in public places and “mishaps like that shouldn’t happen.”

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