Eyewitness News found out Charlotte broke the rules with three rezoning cases recently.
City staff didn't post the yellow rezoning signs until after the public hearings. It may sound like a minor mix-up, but the whole point of posting the signs first is so the public gets a heads up and has a chance to speak out before it's too late.
"I think it is important that we have a say and an opinion,” Charlotte resident Christy Rodriguez said.
But that didn't happen with the Tanger Outlets project in Steele Creek, the business park project around the corner on Sandy Porter Road, and the Charlotte Knights request for special signs for their new uptown ballpark.
Some residents felt robbed, denied the opportunity to voice opposition. Eyewitness News found one person emailed the city, calling the Tanger Outlets example "illegal" and "unfair to the citizens." He told Eyewitness News by phone the city is just trying to do what it wants and doesn't want the community involved.
City Council's LaWana Mayfield responded to him, saying it was not a "blatant disregard of [the] rules" and apologizing for the "human error."
JC Slawter owns a salon near the outlets location and hopes the mistake doesn't delay the project too long.
"People make mistakes and you just got to keep going, you know, do the right thing, get it going, because we're all excited about the new growth that's coming to Steele Creek,” she said.
In a memo city planners sent council members explaining the situation, they said they're holding new hearings for those three rezoning cases, but trying to "minimize project delays by expediting other city reviews and approval processes." They also said they're adding more checks and balances to make sure rezoning signs go up in the right order.