by: Mark Becker Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Travis O'Hara looked toward his one story ranch home just off Woodlawn Road and tried to describe what could be coming right behind it.
"A two-lane road, six town homes and a three-story parking deck, six stories," he said, worried that it may be too much, too close to home.
That's why he and some of his neighbors have questions about the project planned by Selwyn Properties near the intersection of Park and Woodlawn roads in south Charlotte.
"What we have here is a mixed use, infill redevelopment project," said Grey Poole, one of the developers proposing the project.
His company already has agreements to buy one home on Drexmore Avenue and three small businesses on Park Road that they plan to tear down and replace with the six-story building that would include one floor of retail space and five floors of apartments.
The project is close to another apartment complex Selwyn Properties is just finishing up at the busy intersection and Poole said they are sensitive to neighbors' concerns.
"We certainly want this project to be embraced by the neighborhood," he said, and it is the reason they took their plans to a meeting of the Madison Park Homeowners' Association Monday night.
But some in the community still have questions--including the height of the project--which is more than the city outlined last year in a study of future development on Park Road.
"Five stories is what the design shows and the Park Road study calls for nothing taller than four stories," said Marty Doss, who is past president of the HOA.
And then there's the traffic. The intersection of Park and Woodlawn is already busy and neighbors worry that adding an apartment building and retail would force some of those cars into their community.
"So the issue is all that traffic from that apartment is going to come up this road now," said O'Hara as he stood in front of his home.
Poole said they plan to meet again with neighbors as they go through the approval process with the city. Two meetings with city planners are set for May and a public hearing in June.