Proposed apartment complex in Ballantyne raises traffic concerns for some

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Developers hope a Ballantyne horse farm will become a nearly 300-unit apartment complex, but neighbors are worried about even longer traffic jams.

The plot sits at the corner of Johnston and Marvin roads.

Cars often line up on Marvin Road, darting into traffic to make the turn onto Johnston Road.

“In the morning you can wait 10 minutes just to get on the street,” said one woman who lives in the area.

Some worry it will get worse if Charlotte allows rezoning of the 18 acres of land on the corner.

“It’s a very busy intersection, especially at rush hour,” one driver said. “It’s not a good idea.”

Developer Childress Klein wants to increase the housing density there to build 281 apartments.

CDOT said that would add 1,800 trips a day by new residents.

The property owners said they are aware of the traffic issues there and picked the developer specifically because they plan to put a traffic light there and make improvements to make it better for drivers.

The light would stop northbound traffic on 521 so cars can pull on and off Marvin Road, and they will extend the left turn lane from Johnston to Marvin so cars will no longer back up into the road during the evening rush.

There's also the effect on schools. CMS calls overcrowding a significant problem there.

At 4-year-old Elon Park Elementary, children already pack mobile classrooms. CMS estimates the development would add 28 new students at Elon, 14 at Community House Middle and 21 at Ardrey Kell High.

That's only six more students than it estimates during the current zoning.

Still, CMS said “approval of this petition will increase overcrowding and reliance upon mobile classrooms.”

These are all factors Charlotte staff will take into account when making a recommendation to City Council. Planning department officials said they haven't decided yet if they will recommend for City Council to approve the petition.

There is a public hearing on Oct. 15. The City Council will decide in November.

If approved, work could start next year.