CHARLOTTE – Despite the enormity of the under-construction Riverbend development, there is still a sliver of land remaining before reaching the next section of built-upon property to the east.
A proposed rezoning would clear the way for 55 for-sale townhomes to be built on the 5.5-acre plot, which would have an entrance on Mount Holly-Huntersville Road and run roughly parallel to the first eight residential lots down Chastain Parc Drive.
Steve Swicegood of the Mountain Island Neighborhoods Organization says the townhome occupants would make for the “best possible backyard neighbors.”
“I think we should be welcoming the for-sale units,” Swicegood said. “Somebody who owns a for-sale unit because of the land price, they won’t be cheap townhomes.”
He also noted the property would likely attract single professionals or retired couples downsizing, rather than four-person families.
“The thinking goes that if someone had that kind of money and they had kids, they would purchase a bigger house to hold a family for the same price,” Swicegood said. “Therefore, there would be minimal impact on our schools.”
With Riverbend requiring a stop light at the Overlook Mountain Drive intersection with Mount Holly-Huntersville, the entrance to the townhome development would only be right-in, right out. The proposed units will be connected on the back end to Riverbend’s 266 apartments, 105 townhomes and numerous retail stores.
But Chastain Parc neighbors have concerns over the traffic, which is coming any way from already approved development, as well as the elimination of the tree barrier.
“Trees are going from a protected area of 90 feet to 20,” 19-year Chastain resident Kwan Graham said. “That’s just not going to look good. We’re trying to protect as much as we can for our quality of life.”
Chastain Park Drive has a street stub half-way down that will turn into a connector to both developments as well.
“We’re very concerned about being able to get out of the subdivision,” Graham said, noting the hundreds of new residents could use Chastain to get onto Mount Holly-Huntersville. “We don’t want that road coming into Chastain Parc.”
A rezoning meeting Nov. 26 at Cook’s Memorial Presbyterian Church let members of the community learn about the project and provide feedback with a lawyer representing the land owner present. Though a date has not been set yet, the next step is for the lawyer to address the meeting’s community comments and provide a report to the City of Charlotte planning office.
Swicegood doesn’t expect the land to be developed quickly, however. A potential curveball to the rezoning would be the sale of the adjacent Mountain Island Community Church property.
“There is a possibility the church ends up selling and that would create a larger swath of land,” he said. “Then it would be apartments.”