Charlotte City Council met on Monday for a short hybrid meeting, attempting to wrap up some zoning decisions they missed when they were forced to cancel last week’s meeting due to an inability to make a quorum (which they barely made this time around) before moving into the regularly scheduled business meeting, which covered a public forum and a couple of annexations.
On the Agenda:
- Zoning Decisions
- Public Forum
- Annexation and Other Business
Only six members attended Monday night’s meeting: Marjorie Molina, Renee Johnson, James “Smuggie” Mitchell, LaWana Mayfield, Malcolm Graham and Tariq Bokhari. Not in attendance: Braxton Winston, Dimple Ajmera, Ed Driggs, Dante Anderson and Victoria Watlington.
Because only six council members were at the meeting, any decision had to be approved unanimously, effectively giving everyone who was there veto power. Mayfield voted No on the first three zoning votes, including one for a large townhome development on Ridge Road in northeast Charlotte, pushing each of those decisions to the July 17 zoning meeting.
Council did approve one small and rather minor rezoning on Providence Road before moving into a closed session.
Kicking off the public forum, Colleen Tolson said she and fellow residents at Crest on Providence apartment complex in south Charlotte are demanding a return of rent money due to inhabitable conditions including leaks, mold, and unusually high water bills despite the water regularly being turned off.
Kelsey Joseph, a volunteer with CMPD’s Animal Care & Control, spoke about the crisis at the shelter and what it’s like to have to walk down hallways of full kennels to decide which dogs need to die while other dogs wait in vans in the parking lot. The organization needs more funding for new facilities.
An elderly resident spoke to council about what she said is a recent trend she’s noticed toward building sidewalks with brick rather than regular concrete. She said it might look “village-y” but is dangerous for folks like herself who walk with a cane or are otherwise disabled.
Annexations and Other Business
Before a vote to annex 26 acres at Steele Creek and Hamilton roads for a coming 119-house development, LaWana Mayfield asked how these annexations are justified when the Charlotte Fire Department is already stretched thin.
A city staff member said departments such as CFD are polled before the annexations come in front of council and are found to be within their ideal 4-minute response time. This specific development would be expected to create 45 new calls per year, which equals about a $46,000 cost to taxpayers.
The next annexation was for 22 acres along Northlake Centre Parkway that will be the site of a coming 312-apartment development. Mayfield asked about capacity impacts along Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road, which she said is still an “old Charlotte country road.”
“What road-widening project is being planned in this area and other areas where we have annexation requests?” asked Mayfield. “We’re bringing in the need for more resources, but are we aligning that with the effort to protect and sustain neighborhoods?”
City manager Marcus Jones said his staff has been working on an infrastructure bundling process that’s never been done in Charlotte before and will aim to help curb capacity issues and impacts of the current 2,000 road projects currently happening or in the queue around Charlotte.
His staff is currently working on a presentation to put in front of council in the next month or so.
Renee Johnson moved to increase an allocation of $237,500 planned for University City Partners, an amount they should have received as part of CARES Act funding in 2020 but were not due to a ranking error by city staff that affected UCP’s score, denying them the grant.
Johnson wanted the total increased to $250K, the max grant amount allowed, to cover inflation.
Marjorie Molina blocked the substitute motion to raise the amount to $250,000. The original amount of $237,500 was approved by all six in attendance.
Charlotte City Council will not meet next week due to the holiday, and will come together again for another business meeting on July 10.
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