KEPT IN THE DARK
Most of us in the Chestnut/Weddington-Matthews area learned about the Town of Stallings plan to allow a developer to build 300+ apartments at the Union Power Site at the west end of Chestnut Lane in mid-May. The Town very quietly rezoned the property from SFR-1 (Single family -1 ac) to a new MU-2 (Mixed Use 2) zoning classification. In doing this, the Town violated a number of state laws and their own Ordinances. The Town Planner claims to have notified adjoining property owners, but in actually checking with these individuals, none of them received written notification as required by State law. The land was not posted properly as none of the 12,000 daily travelers by this site can remember seeing a sign signalling a rezoning. The multi-step process of developing a Small Area Plan, Modifying the Zoning Map and then actually re-zoning the property was condensed to one step on January 28, 2019.
TOWN IS IGNORING ITS OWN ORDINANCE
The special conditions in the Stallings Development Ordinance that are designed to limit the intensity of multi-family housing in a MU-2 zone are being ignored by the Town. The special conditions should limit apartment units to 72 per parcel and also limit the density to 14.5 units per acre. Parcels must be separated by a street. None of this is being done. The developer, Terwilliger-Pappas is planning to build a traditional 3-story, 300 unit apartment complex surrounding a fancy pool. This is directly contradictory to the special conditions in the Ordinance under 10.1-24-B-1. The Small Area Plan adopted by Town Council at the January 28 meeting also includes another apartment complex across the street and up to 120 more single family homes packed into the area. This area can't handle this intensity. Our schools are already at or above capacity, with Antioch Elementary at 97%, Weddington Middle at 103% and Weddington High at 101%. We have a willing plaintiff in Courtyards at Weddington Road HOA. This neighborhood of retirees directly adjoins the apartment site. They are a small neighborhood with only 33 homes and could never mount a legal challenge on their own.
Several of us from the Chestnut neighborhood and Brookhaven neighborhood have already contributed $1500 to get an attorney started with legal research, but we need an estimated $6000 to be able to file a petition with the Superior Court to overturn the SAP adoption, Re-Zoning of the two parcels and Zoning Map Amendment. There will likely be more legal expenses later on, but this will get the process started. Legal assistance is not cheap and we are small neighborhoods. We may not be successful, as the State law has some reference to a two-month statute of limitations on challenging a rezoning. However, the Town Ordinance that requires notification of all property owners within 250 feet was also not followed and there is no statute of limitations listed for this violation. Our government should not be allowed to keep citizens in the dark on development plans. I invite all to go get on stallingsnc.org and listen to the Town Council meeting audio for 1/28/19 where the Council starts laughing about having to go into and out of the public hearing with no members of the public present. Nobody knew to attend since the Town did not notify us as required by State Law. Your support is appreciated. Any un-used funds will be returned pro-rata to every contributor.
WE ARE OUT OF TIME TO ACT
The Town is planning to approve the final Development Agreement with Terwilliger-Pappas at the Stallings Town Council Meeting on Monday, June 24 at 7:00p. We need to file this lawsuit prior to this meeting and need the funds no later than Friday, June 21 to allow our attorney to make the filing and serve the Town with the complaint.