Pedestrian-friendly development thwarted by projects along Blue Line, critics say

By: Ely Portillo (Charlotte Observer)

Developers say that apartment residents still expect – and need – to own a car, even if they live next to the light rail. Lenders also expect new apartments they’re funding to have the same ratios of parking spaces-to-bedrooms that they’re used to in other parts of town. That’s generally one space per bedroom.

The big parking decks add millions of dollars to a building’s cost, pushing rents higher when the apartments open, and critics say they implicitly encourage residents to own more cars. Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte, said this year that by not having rules mandating less parking at new buildings along the Blue Line, the city is squandering an opportunity.

“When we don’t maximize the land use around the transit investments, we really are undermining those investments,” said Binns.

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