The Charlotte Council approves petitions for CMS schools, housing



The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has plans and funding for a new primary and secondary school in southern Charlotte.

South Charlotte will get two new schools – and many new apartments.

The city council on Monday night approved two petitions for resonance from Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and developer Woodfield Development. This paves the way for a new primary school to open next year across the street from Ardry Kello High School, and a new secondary school to be built about 3 miles near Ballantyne, and is expected to open in 2024.

Both are designed to address the overcrowding problem of schools in the area and provide housing nearby for teachers and staff.

Both petitions included the construction of several hundred apartment buildings, including apartments and townhouses.

A large number of apartment buildings are tied to the primary school petition provoked opposition from some neighbors and a board member representing the district. CMS and Woodfield originally proposed building 475 homes with this petition.

SMP Ed Drigs and some neighbors have expressed concern about the impact of a large number of homes on the neighborhood, especially on Ardry Kell Road. “It’s one of the busiest roads in Charlotte,” Drygs said Monday night.

CMS and Woodfield have since cut back on their original plan to include 349 units – 299 apartments and 50 townhouses. They also included plans to build a 14,000-square-foot recreation center in partnership with the county as well as two parks.

It is unclear when the housing project will be completed. Colin Brown, an attorney representing both CMS and Woodfield, said the intention is to move forward as quickly as possible.

The petitioners also increased the number of affordable units from 10% of the total to 15%. There have been other improvements, including wider sidewalks and a reduction in building height.

There is a time limit associated with both petitions. Construction of the secondary and possibly primary school could be postponed for a year, and the window is difficult to open until the start of the planned school year, school district officials said.

Drigs was the only board member to vote against the elementary school petition.

Without giving details during Monday’s meeting, Drygs said the proposal he made to CMS and Woodfield, which would have made him vote for, was not accepted. He also said the CMS should not hold the city council responsible for the timely delivery of schools.

“Checks the boxes” for affordable housing

Board member Rene Johnson said the petitions are “worth the frame” when it comes to bringing affordable housing to an area where it would not otherwise exist, while building schools to tackle overcrowding.

Some board members expressed frustration with the petition because they felt against the schools, pursuing a project that could affect congestion.

Pro Tem Mayor Julie Eiselt said she ultimately supported the petition for primary school because the city needs to alleviate overcrowding.

Charlotte needs to create neighborhoods that are more pedestrian-friendly than car-friendly, council member Braxton Winston said during a meeting Monday.

Winston said the more people will go to school, the less there will be traffic. “People don’t create traffic jams,” he said. “Cars create traffic jams.”

New CMS High School

There has been much less controversy over the CMS and Woodfield’s plan for a new high school.

This petition calls for a maximum of 311,000 square feet of high school and 420 apartments north of Interstate 485, near Ballantyne. The plot covers an area of ​​about 74 acres, northeast of North Community House Road.

Board members unanimously approved the high school petition Monday night.

This story was originally published February 22, 2022 12:45 p.m.

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Gordon Rago covers growth and development for The Charlotte Observer. He was previously a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, and began his journalistic career in 2013 at Shoshone News-Press in Idaho.

The Charlotte Council approves petitions for CMS schools, housing

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