The Design Commission meeting video should be available here soon.
Presentation. The applicant from Greer properties introduced Scott Radway who gave the presentation. On a 16 acre tract, applicant is proposing 4 story hotel with 130 rooms and a parking deck, and 7 4 story apartment buildings plus club house. About 500 more auto trips estimated a day from student housing and hotel on corner. See detailed plans on line.
Several points made by the applicant: This is called “purposeful housing” designed for under graduate; egress and entrance challenges and conversation with DOT; betting on first UNC building to be built in 2013 so airport will close and Airport Hazard Zone can be lifted; only 510 feet frontage on MLK; sees acute housing need for students even though vacant rooms on campus.
Public comments: We had a line up of speakers who spoke effectively about problems with the proposed Carolina Flats plan.
- Why the Commission should recommend no zoning change: residential character of Estes Drive and 2020 plan already underway to plan potential changes to area
- Noted notification card (not everyone got them) Does not make sense to do two processes at once
- Characteristics of UNC development agreement and how this project does not fit in: parking ratios observed at Carolina North, not observed here
- Do we want an ugly apron around the new UNC campus; at odds with gateway setting to our Town
- Traffic challenges exist now on Estes ; backs up 3 times a day
- Schools safety Children that walk to Estes; over 50 % of plan would be impervious surface; plan should not go forward ahead of 2020
- Project is out of scale with every thing in the area
Questions and comments from the Commission. The Commission does not make recommendations but their report will go to Council who will review the plans on April 23.
Many commissioners picked up on our points. One Commissioner questioned what route students would take and whether this was really a “transit oriented” development. The Chair mentioned the proposed 2020 Corridor study of Estes Drive to be done before the plan was considered. She also noted the traffic problems.