by: Scott Wickersham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Some neighbors in Ballantyne are signing a petition to try and stop a developer from building new apartments.
They said it will create too much traffic on a road that's about to get a lot busier.
The 8 acres at Community House Road and Bryant Farms Road, across from the YMCA, is currently zoned for commercial use like retail.
Residents worry rezoning it for apartments will add to growing problems in Ballantyne including rush-hour traffic and overcrowding at schools.
“It's going to be like taking a monster and just dropping it in,” said Bob Payet who lives in the Bexley neighborhood nearby.
A Raleigh-based developer wants to build four-story buildings with 240 apartments, adding more rush-hour traffic that Mike Novajosky's wife fights every day.
“She will spend five minutes trying to turn right, much less a left, which is almost impossible,” he said.
He worries it will only get worse when Community House Road is extended over Interstate 485.
School overcrowding is another concern because Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools said it would add 162 students.
That would push Hawk Ridge Elementary to 141 percent of its capacity, Community House Middle School to 135 percent and Ardrey Kell High School to 131 percent.
CMS estimates making space for them will cost taxpayers an extra $3.6 million.
That is why Jim Anderson started this online petition to stop the rezoning.
“We’re at a point now that we will have to build schools, redistrict or capping schools,” Anderson said.
Councilman Ed Driggs said it's part of a larger problem in south Charlotte.
“We pay a lot of taxes here. There was almost no money in the community investment plan for our infrastructure and were seeing issues with traffic and the schools,” Driggs said.
He's planning a town hall meeting next month to discuss that and said before he votes on the rezoning, he'll have plenty of questions for the developer.
There is a public hearing on the rezoning request Oct. 20 at the Charlotte Government Center.
The Ballantyne Breakfast Club will also discuss it with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison Saturday at the Ballantyne hotel.
Click here to see a petition against rezoning in the area of the proposed apartments.