STOP Seversville Rezoning Petition 2019-167

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We do not support Grubb Properties' zoning petition 2019-167 to rezone the old Mechanic Man location on State St and the parcel directly behind it on Katonah Ave.  We want the issues listed below to be resolved before this zoning petition is approved. We understand the need for affordable housing in Charlotte, but it should not be built at the expense of the Seversville community's overall needs and quality of life. 

Grubb intends to build 140 units on 0.7 acres and only provide 20 parking spots. 

It is not fair to expect Seversville to compensate for the shortcomings of this proposed development.  Grubb shouldn't expect Seversville to absorb parking of 140+ residents and their guests.  Grubb also  needs to effectively manage the increase in traffic they will bring to this area.  These issues need to be considered and resolved before they become real world problems. 

List of Issues:

  • Parking - Grubb has proposed to build 140 units on 0.7 acres of land with only 20 parking spots provided. 
    • A non-vehicular community in this area is not a reasonable expectation.  Walkscore.com labels this area as car dependent.  There is limited bus service on State St. The 5Points plaza is half mile away and the only amenities are Church’s Chicken, the Two-way convenient store, and a few barber shops. West side meats and Bojangles are a little further. The nearest grocery is 1 mile away, Aldi.  Something as simple as purchasing laundry detergent requires a trip to Walmart and crossing Freedom Dr, a very busy thoroughfare that is seven lanes wide on the direct route from the proposed development to Walmart. 
    • Grubb's current plan is to deter residents from owning a car by asking them to pay for parking or sign an affidavit that they don't own a car under the threat of eviction if they lie.  This approach is difficult if not impossible to enforce and relies heavily on neighbors to help enforce it.  Excessive street parking and relying on neighbors to enforce the no car policy will lead to contentious relations between current Seversville residents and this proposed development.  This is not an ideal solution and will lead to an "Us vs. Them" mentality rather than creating an inclusive community.  
    • Street parking limits visibility for drivers. This area has a lot of driveways and limited visibility will lead to accidents. There have been multiple complaints on Nextdoor about hit and runs, the streets are narrow and it's difficult to support additional traffic and parking needs. If you drive through Wesley Heights, you'll notice at the street widths are similar to Seversville but parking on both sides of the street leaves no margin for error (for both people and property damage) and cars must take turns passing each other. 
  • Placements of the two entrances and exits pose safety concerns
    • The entrance to State St is near Turner where the two streets meet at an awkward angle with only a stop sign to direct traffic. An increase in population density will naturally lead to more drivers/Ubers/cyclists/pedestrians. Right of way needs to be clear, perhaps a traffic light needs to be added there. 
    • The other entrance opens to Katonah, a narrow street that can't support two way traffic when cars are parked on both sides. There are no sidewalks on Katonah and pedestrians (people accessing the Greenway or children walking to their bus stop) must share the middle of the road with cars and unfortunately we don't have room to build sidewalks due to the small sizes of the lots. 
  • Proposed development will be six stories tall directly next to single family homes
    • Building a six story structure between the greenway and single family homes will create an eyesore and not fit with the rest of the neighborhood.  There is an apartment complex in Seversville but it is only three stories, it has its own parking lot, and it provides some green space.  A six story structure on 0.7 acres leaves little to no greenspace and is a stark contrast to the rest of the neighborhood's structures.  Peter Grisewood, responsible for Urban Forestry, further confirms the concerns regarding green space pointing out that the site plan does not include the required 15% tree save area. 
    • Given the height of the structure and the fact that it would be directly next to single family homes, some people will literally live in the shadow of this development.  They will lose hours of natural light in their homes, backyards and gardens. 
    • If you recall, as Southend development began to increase, new structures were typically four stories tall.  This helped large buildings blend more naturally with existing buildings.  Seversville is poised for change, we should follow some of the best practices we have learned from successful developments in other neighborhoods.  

Edit: This is a grass roots movement that is not affiliated with the Seversville Community Organization.