A church in north Charlotte's Hidden Valley neighborhood wants to sell some of its land for affordable housing. Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church on West Sugar Creek Road is asking the city to rezone about 4 1/2 acres for the project.
The land would be developed with up to 50 units of housing, as well as church parking and a neighborhood park.
"This gives us the opportunity to make a contribution to what we view as one of the crises of our city — the lack of affordable housing," the church's pastor Rev. Peter Wherry said at a city council public hearing Monday night.
“We are not doing this for any reason other than it was a vision of the possible, and we believe strongly it is right,” Wherry said.
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At that hearing and a neighborhood meeting in January, some residents raised concerns about traffic and possible crime from new apartments.
Charles Aiken was one of three neighborhood residents who spoke against to the project Monday night. He said the once crime-ridden neighborhood has improved considerably, and that approving more apartments "would be like throwing sand into the gears of progress."
"Our compassionate community has absorbed more than its share of Section 8 (subsidized housing units) along with problems associated with lower-income programs," he said.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership wants to develop the site. It's seeking state tax credits and city Housing Trust Fund money to help finance the project.
The council is expected to vote on the rezoning in the coming weeks.