Update 6/30/16 – Charlotte officials and residents continue to debate the rezoning request from Taylor/Theus. Despite concessions the developer has already made, new discussion during a June 20 hearing focused on potential security issues for the neighborhood, according to the source.
Pat Sullivan, a resident who lives within 100 feet of the project site, was the only person to speak against the development during the hearing. Sullivan compared the rezoning request to “putting lipstick on a pig” and argued security features at the self-storage facility would be too passive, the source reported. “The primary use of this land being self-storage is still a concern for the safety of our neighborhood,” he said.
“The concerns before were about traffic, safety and the visual,” Jeff Brown, an attorney representing the developer, said during the meeting. “We do not believe there is any safety concern at all. The traffic is demonstrably lower, and the visual is tremendously positive.”
Developer Bill Theus also addressed the council, noting safety hasn’t been a concern at any of the company’s other self-storage facilities, including in Charlotte. “We don’t understand the security concern,” he said. “It is a very passive, quiet business, and if something develops, we’ll deal with it.”
As a concession, Theus said he is willing to consider limiting tenant access to the building from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. and installing a gate on the property, according to the source.
A council decision on the rezoning request is expected next month.
5/10/16 – Taylor/Theus Development Holdings has reapplied for the commercial rezoning of the property near Ardrey Kell High School on which it intends to build a self-storage facility. The company has proposed a lower-classification project, eliminating two of the office buildings and associated parking that were part of its original plan. The new project would feature an indoor storage facility designed to look like an office building, according to the source.
As part of its new proposal, Taylor/Theus also indicated it would preserve 40.9 percent of the trees on the property, up from 15.4 percent in its initial plan, the source reported. The trees will serve as a buffer between the self-storage facility and residences, helping to obscure the structure, according to a letter that went out to residents from law firm Moore & Van Allen PLLC on behalf of the developer.
“I certainly think it’s an improvement,” John Halpin, president of the local homeowners’ association, said during a recent community meeting. “We’ve got to educate the rest of the neighbors so they can make an informed decision.”
Since the Charlotte City Council voted against the initial rezoning request in December, state law has eliminated the kind of protest petitions that required unanimous approval of the developer’s initial rezoning application. A simple majority from the council will be required to approve the new request, according to the source. No public hearing date has been set.
12/16/15 – A self-storage development proposed for Charlotte, N.C., was nixed this week by city officials after residents contested it and filed a petition with 1,000 signatures. The commercial rezoning necessary to advance the project required a unanimous decision from the Charlotte City Council. Seven of the 12 council members, including the mayor, voted against it on Dec. 14.
Taylor/Theus Development Holdings LLC wished to build a 105,000-square-foot climate-controlled self-storage facility as well as medical and general offices on the northwest corner of Ardrey Kell and Community House Roads. The 5.6 acres of undeveloped land is in a wooded area near Ardrey Kell High School, according to sources.
The land had been previously recommended for residential use per the city’s South District Plan (SDP), a land-use plan adopted in 1993. However, city staff suggested last summer that the site would be difficult to develop for that use due to its size and said self-storage made more sense, one source reported. Tammie Keplinger, the rezoning-planning manager for Charlotte-Mecklenburg, noted during a July public meeting that the SDP was created before the high school was built. The lot is near the school’s athletic fields, which often host evening events.
Residents who spoke in opposition of the development last summer said the area didn’t need additional office buildings or self-storage units, one source reported. They also feared a commercial project would increase traffic in the region, which is dotted with sidewalks and bike lanes.
“The area residents came out overwhelmingly opposed to this,” said Ed Driggs, a District 7 councilmember.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts and council members Ed Driggs, Julie Eiselt, Claire Fallon, Vi Lyles, LaWana Mayfield and Kenny Smith voted against the project.
Taylor/Theus Development is a limited-liability company based in South Carolina.
- The Charlotte Observer: Residents Oppose Site Plan for Storage, Medical Offices
- The Charlotte Observer: Denied: City Council Votes Down Self-Storage Facility on Ardrey Kell Road
- The Charlotte Weekly: Proposed Storage Units Must Overcome Security Hurdle
- The Charlotte Weekly: Door Shuts on Storage Units Project
- The Charlotte Weekly: Developer Resubmits Self-Storage Project