CHARLOTTE — Charlotte City Council members and Ballantyne residents appeared skeptical Tuesday night of a proposed elementary school and housing development near Ardrey Kell High School.
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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Woodfield Development want to build a new elementary school and 430 housing units across Ardrey Kell Road from the high school. During a public hearing Tuesday night, neighbors and their city council representatives said traffic on that road is unbearable.
“You will be putting further strain on our area,” neighbor Robert Marshall said.
“It takes ages to get through there,” Councilman Ed Driggs said.
The development calls for 380 apartments and 50 townhomes in addition to the elementary school. Ardrey Kell Road is owned by the state and not set to be widened until the 2030s, prompting worries about whether it can handle a project of that size.
“Let’s make Charlotte a better place to live for our generation and future, and let’s really think about what we build before we build it,” neighbor Dawn Anderson said.
The attorney for the project says 10% of the housing will be affordable and it may be a nice community for teachers to live in. The development, including the new elementary school, will be within walking distance to three schools.
The attorney also told the council the development is planning numerous traffic improvements like a new signal across from Ardrey Kell High. But leaders are skeptical the improvements will work.
“This kind of development that has a place, but this is not the place,” Driggs said.
“I appreciate all of the affordable housing contributions, but it should not come at a cost of traffic and quality of life,” Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera said.
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The Charlotte City Council will be asked to vote on this project soon. CMS needs to start construction this spring for the elementary school to open on its target date in August 2023.
Some neighbors requested an access point on Sulky Plough Road be converted to a walking a trail. The developer is in favor of that change.
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