Monday, September 24, 2012

Dilworth residents fight Walgreens

Dilworth has a zoning fight on its hands, as residents are fighting a proposed drug store and drive-thru at the intersection of  at Kenilworth Ave. and Morehead St.

Residents against Lincoln Harris' plan, which would tear down five older buildings and build a Walgreens and an office building, will have the chance to voice their opposition at tonight's city council meeting.

You can see the rezoning petition here. City staff have recommended approving the plan. The Tudor-style apartment building and four houses that would be torn down are across from Carolinas Medical Center, and border both a commercial strip of office buildings and one of Charlotte's older residential neighborhoods.

Lincoln Harris is requesting a rezoning to allow the retail development and a drive-thru for the Walgreens, and met with residents in August to allay their concerns. But the Dilworth Community Development Association voted to oppose the project.

Dozens of NO Walgreens signs have
popped up in the neighborhood
"The proposal violates a very recently approved area plan and is certain to create demand for additional retail development along this fragile edge of our neighborhood," the DCDA said in an email to members last week. The group is referring to a city area plan calling for more pedestrian development.

"City Council members will not, however, defeat this proposal if our neighborhood does not speak loudly. We don't call on you often, but this is the real thing- we need your help!" the email continued. The group is asking community members to come to the city council meeting at 6 p.m. to show their opposition.

A city memo on the proposed rezoning says the plan would generate about 1,540 trips per day, which would have a minor effect on the surrounding roads, according to the Charlotte Department of Transportation. That's about twice as many trips as if the site were developed according to the current zoning.
Residents are concerned about the possible increase in traffic.

ead more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/08/07/3438981/residents-planned-walgreens-doesnt.html#storylink=cpy

An online petition, "No Walgreens on Morehead,"  had 830 signatures on Friday, with a goal of 2,000.
It might be too late for concerned residents to prevent demolition of the buildings, some of which are more than 80 years old. According to city documents, the owner, Edward Springs, "intends to tear the buildings down even if the rezoning does not go forward as that would actually enhance the marketability of the property."

Bonus historical observation: A reader with a longer memory than mine reminded me of a similar zoning fight that took place some 30 years ago, when Kroger was planning to build a supermarket on Park Road. Kroger won, and the store eventually became a Bi-Lo, then a Bloom, and is currently a Food Lion. There's a picture below of a "No Kroger-ing" sign from the time below, followed by pictures of the proposed Walgreens and current apartment building.




Proposed Walgreens

The Tudor-style apartment building at the intersection, as seen in county property records

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Screw the Dilworthians. They were the people that took East Blvd. down from four lanes, to two. Yeah....that made a lot of sense. PAYBACK TIME.

todd said...

It's a done deal and when it's all over with the Dilworth folks will probably end up liking it. I can't think of too many things Harris has developed that didn't work work for Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

If Council is going to approve a rezoning for a retail pharmacy with drive-thru, then they should never have approved a recent Area Plan calling for no retail here or even more recently approved a PED Overlay District restricting drive-thrus.

This may very well be a good location for a retail pharmacy with drive-thru, given the traffic counts and proximity to a hospital. But what's the point of Plans (MMC) or Codes (PED), if Council will turn around and ignore them?

BPR said...

"Screw the Dilworthians..."

You clearly don't understand anything about traffic calming. Reducing the lanes has a psychological effect of reducing speed and making it safer for everyone. East Boulevard doesn't need more capacity; just safer drivers. And, bikes now get priority too.

King Ward said...

Some of those who are howling now are the same people who will be getting their flu shots there two years from now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37, you can keep your opinions to yourself if you're just upset that your commute takes 30 seconds longer than it used to, while those of us that live in the neighborhood now have an East Blvd that is actually safe to walk and bike on every day, with cars travelling 30mph instead of 50. The whole city isn't a freeway between your house and your workplace.

Anonymous said...

I live nearby and don't have an issue with the idea of retail there, or a Walgreens, but I DO have an issue with an anti-urban low-density design that includes a drive-thru. Lose the drive-thru, stack the office building over the street-level Walgreens (saving a few of the houses in the process) and I wouldn't mind this at all.

If they kill this they'll tear down the buildings anyway and we'll have a very ugly lot for a while, but we'll probably get a better development there in a few years.

J said...

I don't live in the affected area, but I'm with the residents on this. And it's not about the history (we know a lot of people really hate the way Charlotte tears down old buildings to build new ones). No, this is about an inconsistent message.

The City Council continues to talk out of both sides of its mouth. They moan and wail and cry and scream that everyone needs to give up their single-family houses in the suburbs and move into condo buildings downtown, while at the same time continue to employ a recycling program that only single-family homes can participate in. They call for more pedestrian-friendly development on East Blvd., then they recommend this plan be implemented. Just in case anyone missed the news, there is NOTHING pedestrian-friendly about a pharmacy with a drive-thru. I have to walk past one every evening from my bus stop to my home, and I come within a whisker of getting run over every day by someone who has been in the drive-thru, and as soon as they get their stuff they slam on the gas like they're driving a funny car at Z-Max Dragway, never considering even the slightest possibility that there might be someone walking along that sidewalk in front of them.

Oh, wait - Rodney Monroe told us last month that every evil under the sun, from traffic jams to global warming, is wholly and only the fault of pedestrians, and ordered his troops to write tickets to every pedestrian they spot. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

I also agree that why make a PED overlay district, than not adhere to it. There is nothing that promotes urban sprawl more than a drive-thru. I'm not against the Walgreens just the current siteplan. The office building needs to be stacked over the walgreens. Secondly, the drive-thru needs to be removed. The city needs to just outlaw drive-thrus entirely, it doesn't hurt the overweight population of this city to get out and walk 15 feet. Also, soccer moms have time to walk in to the store/fast food joint.

Nameless said...

Take a short drive, left or right from this lot, up or down Morehead street. There are vacant, already zoned commercial buildings from Kings Dr down past Cedar Street and stadium.

No need to rezone from residential when there is already plenty of other places to build the Walgreens.

Keep it and build new residential.
That's the only thing that will breathe some life into the already vacant buildings on Morehead.

Anonymous said...

Hate to see that beautiful Tudor house go, but I'll be glad to have a Walgreens there, as it is on route to work. I don't want the Walgreens in my neighborhood, but someone else's is fine.

Master Shredder said...

Developers ripping down old buildings in Charlotte to throw up more plastic cookie cutter architecture. No, really? There's plenty of commercial space available near this location. Sounds more like someone is probably getting some money under the table. Cronyism is alive and well in the Queen City.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:37, I suppose you think the "Dilworthonians" did that to Arrowood too? Colony also? Man, they have implemented plans for places all over town.

Anonymous said...

Nameless 10:16 AM, the current zoning for the parcel is office, not residential. Regardless of what happens with this rezoning petition, there won't be any residential construction on the corner.

Anonymous said...

To the Dilworth soccer moms trying to defend East Blvd, why don't you go back inside and do some more Yoga and get off the computer?

The bike riders don't need more room on East Blvd because there are plenty of side streets that are much more suited for that than a busy street. We've seen too much of that mess over near Queens college. I guess more bicycle riders will have to just get run over before they understand that it is not safety to ride on busy streets during peak hours.

East Blvd. was just as safe the way it was than it is now. Please don't try and sell us that. Yes, it is payback for the soccer moms and bicycle riders.

Anonymous said...

East Blvd. has really gone downhill. It is sickening what the Harris Teeter has turned into. Traffic patterns are now much worse around that area. Stay away if you can.

Anonymous said...

Question: Why is Dilworth stating "The proposal violates a very recently approved area plan", when that is not correct? It is consistent, at least from what I just read in the staff analysis. Sounds to me like Dilowrth is the one talking out of both side of their mouth......

Anonymous said...

Shredder - having participated in similar rezoning cases in Charlotte myself, I can state from personal experience that bribery is not needed. Internet posters love conspiracy theories, but all you need is a good land use attorney.

Anon 12:35 - probably because that's their opinion. Staff analysis is not considered fact, rather just opinions as well. It's entirely normal for two parties to have differing interpretations of what's fitting. Regardless, how is Dilworth talking out of both sides? They've been pretty consistent with their position.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that those making the "soccer mom" and "screw the Dilworthian" comments are totally clueless about what this drive thru pharmacy would do the area. It's completely anti-urban and will ruin the direction that East Blvd has gone -- which has been for the better. And why tear down this house when there are PLENTY of other available options near by. The road diet was a nice change when it was completed btw. Now your odds of being runover reduced, even if it's just marginally.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout the milquetoast millionaires in Dilworth use some of their mummy's and deddy's money to buy the property and keep it as is, rather than lobbying the jackboot of government to suppress property rights?

Anonymous said...

We are not cluesless, but it is clear you are one of the bike riders or yoga induced soccer moms who have an elitist attitude. Shouldn't you be down in Ballantyne?!!

East Blvd. has declined after they trashed the traffic flow with that pathetic layout. Letting a bunch of HOA enthusiasts decide traffic patters is both foolish and embarrassing. It does, however, fit you all too well.

People who want to ride bikes in traffic deserve whatever happens to them for making intentional, foolish decisions.

The pharmacy will open regardless of your little meetings and town halls.

No_clue777 said...

EAST Blvd SAFE???? You have got to be kidding me. I run there every day, and have for the last 6 years. All of you people that drive there that don't even bother to look for pedestrians......you will always get an evil stare from me, and on occasion, a few choice words. And feel free to make any comment you like.....those of you that see me, you KNOW you won't.

Anonymous said...

No, Anon 1:57, you do not get to dictate what a neighborhood street through OUR hood flows like, having only experienced it from your car. Your 1-2 minute inconvenience on your way home from work does not trump our safety and needs for our neighborhood backbone.

Your prejudice against bikes doesn't mean anything either, and you're going to have to learn to deal with the increasing numbers of them. You know nothing about urban design, and aren't going to be happy about the direction its heading in. Better move (and work) farther out in the burbs if you need empty 6-lane roads and low density land uses to keep your anger under control.

Anonymous said...

I used to live on Dilworth Road and it was/still is a beautiful area.

I now live in another state where there is either a Walgreens or a Rite-Aid on the corners in highly trafficked areas. It's a pain to get in and out of the parking lots and merge onto these busy roads, not to mention their prices are substantially higher than at other businesses.

I hate to see truly historic buildings torn down in the name of progress. Tis a shame.

Anonymous said...

I used to live on Dilworth Road and it was/still is a beautiful area.

I now live in another state where there is either a Walgreens or a Rite-Aid on the corners in highly trafficked areas. It's a pain to get in and out of the parking lots and merge onto these busy roads, not to mention their prices are substantially higher than at other businesses.

I hate to see truly historic buildings torn down in the name of progress. Tis a shame.

Anonymous said...

I actually used to live in this building up until about a month ago, and while I am sad to see it go there is no way that any of these people fighting against the Walgreens could buy that building and fix it up the way that it should be. It would have to be gutted and rebuilt not a single floor in there is level,there are cracks in the wall, windows would have to be replaced, half the electrical sockets don't work etc etc etc. So what are you going to do block the Walgreens in the name of history but none of you are going to buy it and fix it up so it will just go into disrepair like the other rundown office buildings that you continually mention in your comments. I loved this place and spent 8 years there but there's just too much work that has to be done to make it great again

Anonymous said...

I must say that it is a cool looking building, but this is Charlotte, the city with no charachter, so tear it down. It's more than 30 years old.

Anonymous said...

Many of you do not know how hard these decisions are to make. If you would do your research you would know that traffic flow has not been affected by the road diet on East Blvd. nor has it been affected on Selwyn and does in fact make it safer to travel on for both motorists and pedestrians. Due to the success of the road diets already implemented more than a dozen other "diets" are coming to Charlotte roads. (Thank you CDOT!)

On the Walgreens topic, it is a horrible plan. Anyone can go to the CVS on South Blvd in Southend and see how these drug stores make for horrible corners. And how selfish of those who say "better in this neighborhood than in mine." Wait till it is in your neighborhood...

Anonymous said...

No, bike riders have no place on these busy streets and you know that's a fact. Sadly, more and more will end up as hood ornaments until they come to their senses. Traffic will not get any lighter in this city. Streets are for vehicles. I am afraid more people will perish who try and challenge this known fact. I pray you rethink your position.

Anonymous said...

I am sickened by the number of Dilworth residents who believe everyone in the city is controlled by some ecletic home owner's association.

Please don't attempt block progress with republican tactics. You will not succeed.

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone keep bringing up East Boulevard? This is proposed for the intersection of Kenilworth and East Morehead.

But really, another Walgreen's? Definitely not needed, especially in that location.

Anonymous said...

Walgreens...worst drug store in the city and basically a Walmart with another name. To see what you're in for Dilworth, just take a look at Southpark location.

Anonymous said...

Walgreens, the worst drug store in town and basically a Walmart with another name. To see what you're in for Dilworth, just take a look at the Southpark store.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so its East Morehead, even more of a reason for Dilworth to stay out of it. Not even in the middle of your neighborhood. I live just down the street in the apartments and and would welcome some service retail I could walk to.

Quit fighting for the purpose of fighting-if you people spent this much time worrying about the debt crisis or public schools instead of a tiny Walgreens, we'd be in pretty good shape.

Anonymous said...

Great place for a new high end 4-story apartment building but not for a commercial use. Approval of this = bad city planning

Anonymous said...

This all sounds very familiar. Similar opposition to a Walgreens development occured recently in Shelby, Greensboro and Kings Mountain. In all cases the developer was forced to choose a new location. Be aware that NC GS 160A-386 allows for filing a "Protest Petition" requiring a 75% Super-Majority for rezoning to pass.