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Single newspaper racks could replace multiple boxes in uptown Charlotte

Charlotte Center City Partners has been trying to have newspapers and other publications displayed in a single unit - instead of individual stands - for seven years now. Center City President Michael Smith calls them "newspaper condominiums." He says it's taken a while to put the ordinance on the agenda because there's been a lot to consider. "It's the Charlotteans on the street. It's people with special needs that need access to the right of way. It is the first amendment rights of our publications. And balancing all of those in our ordinance and being able to fund the project in a way that meets all their needs," says Smith. It would cost Center City $260,000 and publications would rent space on the racks. The city would be responsible for maintaining the racks. Smith says if the ordinance passes some pilot models will be out on Tryon Street around April.