Saturday, May 2, 2009

Town Branch neighbors again called upon to step up and speak out about proposed development in the heart of the neighborhood

Campus Crest Development, a student-housing company based in Charlotte, N.C., has proposed building an apartment complex on the “Sale-barn property” currently owned by Billy Joe Bartholomew. Bartholomew's grandfather built the auction site in 1937.
The proposal will be to allow construction of 192 apartment units that will house approximately 512 students on 10 acres.  The buildings will be 3 to 4 stories high hovering over the National Cemetery for U.S. military veterans immediately to its west, and each apartment will be 2 & 3 bedrooms. Apartments will be leased out by the bedroom. Each student bedroom will have a lock on the door.
If you live close to this you will be the most affected. There will be a huge increase in traffic & noise in the neighborhood. In addition, during the construction phase, which could take up to a year or longer if the economy doesn't improve soon, noise and construction vehicles (dump trucks, mostly) will be using our quiet streets to reach the property.
As you might already know, another similar development is currently being built on S. Hill Ave between 11th and MLK (6th street).
Is it wise for the city to approve another such development in the same neighborhood so close to each other? As with the Hill Ave. development, their main access routes will be via 15th St. and MLK, which means their main access to the sale-barn property will probably be Governemt Avenue, West Ave or maybe even Dunn Ave. Only the route along 11th Street would affect the neighbors the least. There is no traffic light to get traffic out of the neighborhood at any of those intersections.
Many of your neighbors feel that it is important to preserve our single-family neighborhood and that there could be better use of this property. Research on the internet revealed that Campus Crest Properties has been plagued with problems in several cities, including mismanagement, possible lawsuits, and liens.
Please come to the planning-commission meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2009, to voice your opinion. The rezoning request is only the first in a several-step process to get the 500 student bedrooms approved. But we must share our opinion at each step of the process!
• The property is across the street from the National Cemetery and borders S. Dunn Ave, S. Government Ave,, 11th St. & the end of S. West Ave.
• The developers (Campus Crest) have put in a request to rezone the livestock-auction property to RMF-24, Residential Multi-family, 24 units per acre.
• Public comment is welcome. If you are concerned about this development, please come to the meeting to voice your opinion.
• If you have any questions or concerns, or need a ride to the meeting, please call Kathy at 443-5751 or email me at:  
 The Planning Commission meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2009, in room 219 of the City Administration Building at 113 W. Mountain St. 

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