Residents voice opposition to hundreds of new south Charlotte apartments

CHARLOTTE — An expansion of a south Charlotte apartment community is drawing pushback from nearby residents. A developer wants to expand the Legacy Arboretum complex off Pineville-Matthews Road near Hugh Forest Road.

Opposition to the project is well organized, and neighbors created a website and video that highlights traffic issues nearby. Several Charlotte City Council members credited the opposition group for being well-organized and convincing.

[ALSO READ: Rounding up the latest residential real estate developments in region]

Kurt Bock, one of the leaders of the effort, showed drone video of the traffic in front of the proposed project.

“I think this truly captures the impact of what we see every day,” Bock told the Charlotte City Council.

Plans call for knocking down 66 existing units and building 278 new ones for a net gain of 212. When all is said and done, 478 apartments may be on the site.

“It is a good location to add a modest amount of units,” said Keith MacVean, an attorney for the developer.

Many people who live nearby don’t like the idea of having a new road coming out of the development dumping onto Hugh Forest. In addition to traffic, they also worry about the loss of trees, the height of buildings and the project’s fit.

“It does significantly change our neighborhood and character,” Bock said.

Some council members expressed concerns about the project’s impact on infrastructure. Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt said resident worries about traffic are valid.

“Nothing is coming to fix Providence Road,” Eiselt said. “I am not so sure about Highway 51 either.”

Many council members also want to ramp up housing supply. Councilman Ed Driggs hopes to sit down with the residents and the developer to come up with a compromise.

[WANT TO WATCH ON OUR STREAMING APPS? CLICK HERE]

“It would be very hard for us to just reject this entirely given the state of our current policies and the rules, so the question is: can we fix it?” Driggs said.

The developer has already reduced the project’s size from 500 units to 478. All the new buildings were originally proposed to have four stories. MacVean told the Charlotte City Council they are now making one of the new buildings three stories.

The Charlotte City Council will vote on the project in the coming months.

(Watch the video below: Crews respond to 2-alarm apartment fire behind The Arboretum in south Charlotte)