City Council Approves Subsidized Units In Matthews - myfoxcarolinas.com

City Council Approves Subsidized Units In Matthews

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Charlotte City Council approved a petition from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership that will grant an area of land off Weddington Rd. to be used for a subsidized apartment complex.

Many of the residents, draped in red clothing, came to the council meeting tonight to show their stance on being against the petition.

The council voted in favor 9-2.

"It's not what we wanted certainly,” said Michael Kelley – a nearby homeowner who organized a Facebook page and meetings to oppose the petition. “We felt like we put out a compelling argument. There were over 2,000 people who signed a petition and 11 neighborhoods in the area opposed this. So we're disappointed that city council didn't see the points we had."

Kelley's home backs up to the 7-plus acre plot of land that will house 70 low-income apartment units.  

People against this project worry it will bring heavier traffic and a negative impact on schools. Some even said that the subsidized housing is just not a fit for a clean, suburban area like Matthews.

Across the street from the location is Socrates Academy -- where the school's principal, Kristen Priganc, is disappointed with the council's decision.

"It's not what we had hoped for this evening,” Priganc said. “We had hoped the council would understand the concerns we have, especially with our children. There is still safety and traffic concerns that I don't believe have been resolved so I do respectfully disagree with council members, that answers have been provided."

Council member Claire Green Fallon, one of nine out of the 11 that voted in favor of the subsidized apartments, pointed out that some people needing government housing are in some sort of service field -- like police officers or fire fighters. She was puzzled at the notion that those needing help are good enough to protect residents, but not good enough to live next door, in less-glamorous housing.

"Why, why,” Fallon asked. “These are the people that service you. Maybe if we paid them differently, they wouldn't need help. But they do need help and it is the obligation of this whole city to help these people. I am voting for it."

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes said, "There will never be a perfect situation for projects like this." 

So while this is a disappointing evening for some nearby residents, it appears Weddington Rd. will be a new home for those needing a bit of assistance.

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