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SouthEnd Midrise Projects

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Zoning is exactly my point!

I purchased here at the Arlington based on the zoning in the surrounding area.

At the time the Simpson property was Zoned B2. We all new that TOD-M would be coming and no one that

I know of objected. It would have to be rezoned to some sort of Downtown for it to go above 120'.

This is The Southend not Downtown! This would set dangerous president . How would you protect Dilworth

if The Southend becomes Downtown? There is still plenty of property to be developed that is currently zoned Downtown.

Some of it is south of 277 but east of the light rail tracks. So saying that downtown needs room to expand is not valid.

The values of my units here were based on Zoning protecting the view with a premium placed on properties above the 10th floor. Rezoning to Downtown would inflict major devaluation on allot of property here. Probably in the $1,000,000 range.

I know that the buyers at Factory South got taken advantage of.

All neighbors were not happy about such a large building being placed here. Zoning at the time did not prevent it.

So something was done about it. All zoning was updated and with a cap of 120" outside of Downtown.

After this was done and the building was getting built, I made my decision to purchase here. (In a blue building, by the way)

My decision was based on Zoning protecting my investment.

I know this will be a tough battle as Harris is powerful long time Charlotte developer.

Charlotte has always been a development whore. If Harris does apply for rezoning to downtown

it will be a test of just how bad is it.

Edited by 2inthePink

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This is The Southend not Downtown! This would set dangerous president . How would you protect Dilworth

if The Southend becomes Downtown?

...., he shouted from his Arlington balcony, 150' off the ground, to no one in particular.

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Charlotte_native - your situation is much different than ours here.

All the properties you listed were zoned for downtown and anyone could reasonably have expected these buildings because of the zoning.

Not so here in the Southend. This most important property to us, Simpson's, was zoned B2 with the reasonable expectation that it would be rezoned to

TOD-M because of the Southend plan. Making the jump to downtown was far beyond a reasonable expectation.

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^ As easy as rezoning is in this town, I don't ever trust existing zoning as any sort of protection. I bought in the Avenue downtown, where land use on surrounding blocks are cemetary, church, Fifth and Poplar (probably going to be there for a while), and the Ivey's building. Even so the construction of Catalyst will limit sunset views in the winter and the Vue will limit mountain views to the west. And there ultimately is nothing I could do if Ivey's or the church was redeveloped.

That being said, I hope things work out to your satisfaction, redevelopment of the Simpson property will be a good thing no matter how it ends up.

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cltcardfan - I am shouting to all residents of the Southend and Dilworth and anyone who thinks that zoning is done for a reason.

Are we going to change zoning on a weekly basis? If you have enough money and don't like whats there, what the heck, just change it.

If its this flexible, why spend tax dollars on it all? What is its purpose?

Who are you shouting to?

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Charlotte_native - your situation is much different than ours here.

All the properties you listed were zoned for downtown and anyone could reasonably have expected these buildings because of the zoning.

Not so here in the Southend. This most important property to us, Simpson's, was zoned B2 with the reasonable expectation that it would be rezoned to

TOD-M because of the Southend plan. Making the jump to downtown was far beyond a reasonable expectation.

Not meaning to argue on a personal level, but everyone has known for a long time what was coming for South Blvd. No one thought that The Pink Building would stand alone for very long. I'm not saying that you are unreasonable in your expectation that the zoning around you should protect you, but this corridor has long been slated for dense development and, to most, it is quite an appropriate place for it. Bounded by major thoroughfares, a couple blocks from downtown, no single family homes within a handful of blocks, along the new light rail line, etc. Making an assumption about what would be built anywhere or what zoning would change to in any area is just that: an assumption. I've lived in the area since 1998 and people have talked about the skyline spilling out of the 277 ring down South Blvd and over to I-77 along Morehead as long as I've been here. Exact height? No one knew, but they fought your building (Dilworth folks -- not me, though) tooth and nail. It got ugly and personal with the developer. If anything, your building set the precedent.

Again, not personal to anyone in your building or situation, but this IS going to happen all up and down South Blvd. It isn't a Harris Development situation or a developer running over the city, he is building what they WANT in this area: residential, office, hotel.

As for making the jump to 'downtown' for Southend, they have been doing that already with combining the area with Center City Partners jurisdiction, with merging the police districts of uptown and southend, and other minor changes here and there.

Edited by Charlotte_native

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My personal opinion on the matter is I like the general massing of the project....I like the density it brings adjacent to a LRT stop, I even like the prospect of a mini-South End skyline. As a former resident of Lexington Ave., I even like the idea of something of this scale encroaching on Dilworth.

All that said, I do empathize with 2inthePink based on a couple of points. It does the city little favors to spend years developing specific plans, and then casting them aside....they haven't done that YET in this case though. That said, there are places where I do agree more density is needed. Perhaps next to a LRT stop is one of them. The city really needs to consider form-based zoning, or at least in certain areas. Designating certain parcels, or portions of parcels, that would allow greater height, would be ideal, because the city could protect people, but still allow some additional density in certain areas.

What concerns me is most Charlotteans desire for the city to be a development whore. I'm not saying the South End plan is ideal, but the city needs a back-bone, in fact it needs to get more restrictive, and it needs to carefully consider each proposal and how it fits into the urban landscape. I just really hate the idea of the city so eager to approve anything that it throws all previously adopted plans out the window.

I think that ultimately, a fair compromise can be reached, with the developer able to orient the buildings to have minimal visual impact of Uptown views....at least this is the way it works in cities that aren't complete whores.

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Who are you shouting to?

I'm not shouting, I'm just pointing out the comedy in your gearing up to do battle over your belief that a new high-rise shouldn't be built next to your 22-story high-rise because high-rises aren't becoming of SouthEnd, and well this just isn't downtown for goodness sakes!

The last line was deleted. Do not make personal attacks on other members.

EDIT: Totally a joke, should have made that more clear, my apologies.

Edited by cltcardfan

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Charlotte has always been a development whore.

That statement is very true. I think its important for everyone to keep that in mind, particularly if you're going to invest in property anywhere in this town. The status quo is constantly in flux.

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Hi All,

As you can tell the Simpson's property issue is a quite a sensitive subject for me.

After reflecting, I decided the best thing to do was to contact Harris and start a dialog.

I have spoken with Matt at Harris Development Group and had a decent conversation with him about the

concerns of the Arlington Owners.

A Few of things came out in the conversation.

1. The rendering shown was a fist effort and they are working on a new plan that may or may not have the same effects on us.(could be better or worse)

2. They could be looking as high as 200".

3. They are in the process of applying for a variance on the the height without rezoning.

I must say that the tone of the conversation was quite good. He said he would like to send us the new rending as soon as it is finished and

we would be open to meeting to discus changes that would mitigate damages to us. Hopefully this is in good faith.

This is a good first step.

I am cautiously optimistic we will not be left in shadows.

Edited by 2inthePink

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Thanks for being proactive about it and posting what you found out on here.

I think this site is a prime one for dense and tall development since it is next to the Carson Station. Hopefully they can come up with a new design that limits the blocking of the skyline views from the Arlington.

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I'm not in any position to get into this debate, so I will just say this about, 2InPink, I understand your concerns and in honestly, if I were living in your unit knowing that my best feature was about to disappear, I would be concerned. On the contrary, I agree with what others are saying. You're only safe if you build like Avenue with a cemetary, or something like Royal Court where you have a wide interstate giving you some border. Although a view may be lost, hell, you are going to be part of the first major skyline outside of uptown. As someone that is looking on this project from the outside, I am quite happy with gaining more density, more height along S. Blvd, and the addition of a hotel amongst other aspects in S. End. BTW- isn't this South End's first hotel? It's going to do wonders with the Carson Station right there. Hotel guests will have that luxury to get in uptown and hate to say this, get a view of the skyline. Plus looks like some residential, so that will help getting people onthe train and less in their cars. Good luck to you 2InPink, but good luck to this project too, I love it so far!

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2inthePink: Could you take a picture from your unit and mass the Harris project in the photo to let us see how it will be blocking your view? If it's only a partial block, it may not be so bad.

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Sadly enough, it is likely to be easier for them to get a rezoning that includes the 2 short towers rather than one big tower that is closest to South to avoid blocking views of the Arlington. That choice would resolve the conflict, but would start a new conflict with Dilworth even though there is already a 20+ story tower right there in the area. Hopefully, though they are doing just that, taking a few floors off the tower at Carson and the Light Rail and adding a few floors to the tower on South Blvd by the old fire station.

Really, zoning is no guarantee, and the best option you have is to start a fight to help the city leaders know that the planned use is not in keeping with keeping the existing neighbors protected.

The other option they have is to try to shave a little off the light rail side of that building to preserve some skyline views of their neighbor. If the tower is more than ~75 feet from the light rail, then all Arlington views can see the new Wachovia tower. But they'd have to jump back all the way to mid block to retain views for the Bank of America building.

Really, though, part of the problem is that the city really wants that density at the light rail lines, but they let the whole area get zoned with a height restriction. Carson is the first stop outside of Uptown and it is reasonable to expect that 15 story towers should be built around it.

I hope they can come up with a compromise that retains the density while making sure Arlington has some views, even if it isn't the exact same view they have now.

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Switching gears, the Biz Journal has an article in this coming Monday's issue regarding high radon gas levels at Latta Pavilion. Anyone out there with a print subscription that could summarize what it says?

This can't be good news for 131 Main. Maybe that restaurant spot is cursed ...

This was actually really old news that the CBJ and other tv news stations jumped on again for some reason. I remember hearing about this at least a year ago. I don't know why they are freaking out again.

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That choice would resolve the conflict, but would start a new conflict with Dilworth even though there is already a 20+ story tower right there in the area.

As a former Dilworth resident I stil can't understand 1) why Dilworth folks would have much of a say in what is built here, or 2) why they would be opposed. I remember the outcry when the proposed then built The Arlington and the cries of the building 'overshadowing' the neighborhood. Good Grief! How dramatic. This part of South Boulevard is separated from any single family homes by at least 4 - 5 blocks with commercial properties and low-income and/or elderly housing. It isn't like this is right on Dilworth's edge at all. I hope, having nothing to do with how tall the building(s) ends up being or what effect it has on The Arlington residents, that the DCDA doesn't try and get involved with this.

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It might work for them to pursue a single tall building if costs allow. It occurs to me that Dilworth has cried wolf too many times at this point to be really effective.

In this case, they are 2 blocks from single family homes, but that might be mitigated by the fact that Y, the church, and the public housing which are part of South End's boundary as a buffer. There is also a median buffer that makes it very difficult for cars on Carson to get to Dilworth. The single family homes that are close to this would already deal with the traffic and other urban issues, so perhaps those specific residents might not complain too much about a second tower in the area.

DCDA itself would almost certainly complain, but who knows, they might complain about the current plan, too. I think that if they opted for a taller tower to prevent a loss of property values (which eventually cuts to property tax value) would be seen favorably by the city council.

I still think that it was a political compromise that lead to the height restriction here in the first place, but that really the city council has every reason to support that type of density next to a transit station and next to an existing tower. Let's face it, this is adjacent to an existing 22 story building. It is also adjacent to existing UMUD zoning that allows virtually unlimited height. 2inPink's view might already be able to be messed just one block further by existing zoning. In fact, the whole area between Carson and uptown is zoned UMUD to allow for any height of building and urban development. This rezoning would actually be a natural progression down.

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It seems that 2inthePink's conversations with Matt at Harris indicated that it would be possible for Harris Dev. Group. to build higher than 120' WITHOUT goingh throug a rezoning. I would be really interested in how this is allowable. I haven't read the code word for word, but it seemed pretty iron-clad at 120'. Again, not that this is a bad spot for height, but for public disclosure sake, I'd be nice if everyone understood that 120' is a "soft ceiling", if this truly is the case.

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It might be possible because the zoning for this site is B2, not TOD-M as the plans originally called for. Does B2 have height limits?

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It might be possible because the zoning for this site is B2, not TOD-M as the plans originally called for. Does B2 have height limits?

Wouldn't B2 disallow the residential aspect of this tower? I apologize in advance for not being completely fluent on the zoning codes and process.

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Maybe isn't residential then. I'm just saying that if they plan to do it without a rezoing, then it would need to fall within B2.

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It has already been rezoned TOD-M...it was approved in January.

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Okay, I see that now, sorry.

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Planni...ns/2007-154.htm

I wonder if they were seeing what they could within the existing zoning, but also staying under 120'. It seems that that is a rigid height barrier, so I don't think they'd get away with going taller in this zoning. However, they also don't need a rezoning, so Arlington owners and Dilworth residents don't actually have a say, really, beyond just starting a dialog. But then again, squeezing 14-15 story buildings under a 120' height limit would be tough.

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Harris indicated they are in the process of asking for a "variance" on the height restriction.

They want to go to 200"

If I am right, the developers got one for the south haus property. (Over the objection of the zoning committee, if I remember correctly.)

If they moved the tall parts of the project to the South Blvd side it would do a great deal less damage. Remember we are not just talking about views here, we are talking about value. This is the real issue. If the city grants them a variance ,they will be increasing the value of the Simpson property at the expense of some owners at the Arlington. This is where I believe legal precedent has been set in other cities.

If this wasn't in the Southend Plan for so long I don't think this would be an issue. We made buying decisions based on publicly published plans.

We also did not object to the rezoning to TOD-M because it fit with that plan and did have a height restriction.

If they move the height they want to the South blvd side they would greatly reduce the damage to others and still get the density they desire.

I am hoping for this.

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I think it is going to take a full fledged rezoning if they want to increase the height by 80 ft on this project. Variances which I am interpreting as an Administrative Approval are for realtively minor issues...a matter of inches or a couple feet. A variance request to go 60% over the current zoning height limit is not going to happen with an Administrative Approval.

To get to 200ft they will have to do a full rezoning which means they will have to notify adjoining properties, hold a community meeting, and then go through the Planning Commision, Planning Staff, and Charlotte City Council approval.

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