Battle at Charlotte City Council over protest ordinance, rezoning

- It was a heated Charlotte City Council meeting Monday night over a number of hot button issues. While light rail expansion funding needs, Sharon Lane rezoning, and the Old Eastland Mall were on the agenda, they weren’t discussed until late in the evening.

There were several major topics to be discussed Monday including the future of the Eastland Mall Site, more money for the LYNX Blue Line extension and the future of condos on Sharon Lane.

Many of those decisions were discussed late into the night.

Pro-choice and pro-life supporters filled in Charlotte City Council. One man, using time meant for extending a trash contract, to give his opinion.

"So Ms. Roberts when you have a little lady like Ms. Isle that leaves here and tries to remove the gospel from the abortion mills in this city. This trash had got to stop!"

Mayor Roberts quickly stepped in.

"We ask people for respect so we can hear each other. If we want to come together as a community we have to listen to each other,” Mayor Roberts said.

The blue and pink shirts filled the crowd – upset over a city ordinance about protests. According to the city attorney, protests must have a permit. That includes a special permit for the use of a bullhorn or microphone.

Only one of those permits can be handed out in a single location at the same time.

For the past several years, supporters from both sides have been picketing outside an abortion clinic in southeast Charlotte racing to submit their noise permit every night at midnight. Protesters gathered at City Council with their signs in hopes of seeing a change in the city protest ordinance.

But scattered throughout the crowd were also signs for other major changes in Charlotte, like the development on Sharon Lane. Neighbors opposed the project that would have brought condos to the area. After a more than two hours wait council voted against the development plan 6-5.

"I struggle with it because it looks like a decent project but it is going to change the nature of that street."

Final Results: 

  • Sharon Lane Rezoning - not approved 
  • Eastland Mall Project - approved 
  • Traffic improvements to Sunset Rd., Tuckaseegee Rd., Scaleybard Rd., and Oakdale Rd. - approved
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