NoDa Board Overrules Members' Wishes, Supports Davidson Street Public House Rezoning
If Charlotte City Council approves a rezoning petition, the parking lot connected to Davidson Street Public House could be converted into an open-air arts market.
Miller Development Co. President Tom Miller pitched rezoning plans to Charlotte City Council at its zoning meeting on Monday.
“This is an opportunity to encourage new businesses, new artists, encourage entrepreneurial endeavors,” Miller said. “The neighborhood has been supportive of us; we’ve met with them on two separate occasions and feel they are behind us on this effort.”
NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association members voted against support of the rezoning at the Feb. 6 monthly meeting (24-10, with nine abstentions). Neighbors voiced concerns about the neighborhood’s already minimal parking, lack of control over what happens if the arts market does not work out, and the potential development of property behind the parking lot, which used to be owned by Davidson Street Public House’s property owner.
City Council member Larken Egleston, who oversees District 1, said he had spoken with several neighbors, who had voiced concerns. However, Monday afternoon, he spoke with NBA President Hollis Nixon and received a note from NBA Vice President Matt Lemere, who told him the association had further conversations with the petitioner and are now in support of this project. Nixon had recused herself from discussions on this property, stating a potential conflict of interest.
No neighbors spoke for or against the project at the zoning meeting.
Property owner Not His LLC’s Elizabeth Grillo said the parking lot is an eyesore and that an arts market will be a good chance to make creative use of a small space.
Rezoning staff recommended approval of this petition upon resolution of outstanding issues related to site and building design. Staff wanted the plans to be more specific about the existing building remaining in place. The building is consistent with the Blue Line Extension Transit Area Plan, which recommends transit-oriented development. The other issue is related to transportation and parking; rezoning staff referred to a parking pilot program being run by the City of Charlotte Department of Transportation. As the proposal is for an open-air market and the intention would be for the existing building to remain in place, there is an optional provision in place to eliminate parking for this use.
CDOT Division Manager Johanna Quinn said the department has been working with the neighborhood and local businesses on the program, which would create a loading zone for businesses and help manage congestion on North Davidson Street. This pilot program also lessens the number of parking spaces available in the neighborhood.
The seven parking spots that will be removed are insignificant to the neighborhood’s already slim parking options, Grillo said: As it stands, the spots are reserved for Davidson Street Public House customers only.
Council member Braxton Winston voiced concerns about traffic in the area, saying it shows the ineffectiveness of some of the city’s infrastructure.
“Even though we’re only taking away seven to eight parking spots, that could have an effect on a Friday or Saturday night. Maybe that’s nothing we can deal with in this particular land-use decision, but we can’t not think about things as we continue to make decisions Monday to Monday.”
Grillo said Davidson Street Public House is moving out in the next month or more, and she will be seeking a new restaurant tenant for the space.
If the building holding Davidson Street Public House were to be demolished, or if the building size were to be increased by more than 25%, another rezoning would be required.
The City Council will make a decision at its March meeting, Miller said.