Residents concerned about proposed development’s impact on wildlife in south Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — A developer wants to turn land along Rea Road in south Charlotte into apartments for hundreds of people

However, current residents, who oppose the proposed development claim it’s home to bald eagles and other wildlife.

The land, which is south of Bevington Place, backs up to Four Mile Creek.

The developer plans to add a bridge connecting the property to Four Mile Creek Greenway, but the people who oppose the project do not want to see the plans get that far.

Chris McIntire has an interest in the wildlife that calls Piper Glen home.

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“The wildlife is amazing,” McIntire said. “Raccoons, beaver, deer, owls, large and small. And then these two eagles.”

McIntire said he loves to watch two bald eagles fly across the street to undeveloped land between Rea Road and Elm Lane.

“There are no parcels of this size left in Charlotte,” said Russell Ranson with RK Investors. “It’s remarkable to have 50 acres inside of (Interstate 485) that have been undeveloped.”

RK Investors wants to build 1,100 apartments and townhomes on 53 undeveloped acres.

Ranson plans to leave approximately 20 acres, which is about 40% of the property, as is.

“Saving almost 40% of the land, and wooded buffers, the lake,” Ranson said. “We have been incredibly thoughtful about those that are here before we come and that will be here after we’re fully developed.”

McIntire worries the remaining 20 acres won’t be enough space for the birds.

The property is currently zoned for three single-family homes per acre.

More than 5,000 people signed McIntire’s petition asking the Charlotte City Council to reject RK Investor’s rezoning request.

“It’s pretty desirable land but also for that reason, we need to keep it as it is,” McIntire said.

The petition caught the attention of state Sen. Rachel Hunt and council members Tariq Bokhari and Ed Driggs.

Driggs sent an email to people who contacted him about the rezoning that read, “I do not feel it fits at the proposed location or aligns with our current land-use policy, and I will oppose it in its current form.”

The city says the earliest possible date for a public hearing would be in April.

If the project gets approved, RK Investors plans to break ground in about 18 months.

VIDEO: Neighbors concerned for wildlife being impaled while hopping fences in south Charlotte