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City Council Rejects Funding For Affordable Housing Project For Shamrock Drive

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City of Charlotte
Mayor Vi Lyles said Monday night that a proposed affordable housing complex in east Charlotte "doesn't smell right."

The Charlotte City Council on Monday approved funding for seven affordable housing projects, but voted 7-2 against the proposed Parkside at Hickory Grove in east Charlotte.

Neighbors spoke against that project, saying the surrounding area already had enough low-income housing. SCG Development Partners - which has not built affordable housing in Charlotte before - had proposed building an 80-unit complex on Shamrock Drive and Hickory Grove Road.

The developer wanted $1.75 million from the city's Housing Trust Fund. 

"If this apartment complex is allowed, it's going to impair the infusion, the restoration of Eastland Mall corridor," said Queen Thompson, who spoke against the project. "We have been devastated with some of the moves our government has done. And if we hope to overcome, we have to have some infusion that's going to revitalize east Charlotte."

Beth Morrison asked for council members to give neighbors "time to be at the table, and discuss how this is going to affect us in the community. Listen to us."

Mayor Vi Lyles told council members the Parkside project had too many problems. One problem was that it was the second-lowest scoring of the eight projects that were considered Monday.

"I'm the queen of affordable housing," Lyles said. "But I would say to the developer, as well as to the neighborhood, this doesn't smell right for me."

In addition to residents saying there are too many other low-income projects nearby, they said they hadn't had enough time to meet with the developer about the project before Monday's vote.

Council members Larken Egleston, Justin Harlow, LaWana Mayfield, Matt Newton, Dimple Ajmera, James Mitchell and Julie Eiselt voted against awarding Parkside at Hickory Grove the funds.

Ed Driggs and Greg Phipps voted in favor of the project. Braxton Winston and Tariq Bokhari weren't there for the vote.

Council members did approve funding for seven other projects: Abbington Westside at 2230 Township Road; Brookwood Apartments, 2313 Newell-Hickory Grove Rd.; Connelly Creek Apartments, 4350 Connelly Circle; Mayfield at Sugaree, 726 W. Sugar Creek Rd.; Rosewood Commons II, 6405 West Sugar Creek Rd.; Sugar Creek Greene, 6130 Bisaner St.; and The Park Seniors, 5915 Beatties Ford Road.

The vote in favor of those projects doesn't mean they will be built. They still need to be awarded state funding, and the city expects only three of four to be successful.