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