Concord neighbors fight against proposed development

People in Concord are fed up and pushing to save Poplar Tent. They're worried about a new development planned at Poplar Tent and Harris Roads.

"The quality of life in our community is what this is really about," said Bryan Snyder, who lives nearby. He says it's about the corner at Harris and Poplar Tent Roads.

Tuesday night, the Concord planning and zoning board is expected to decide whether or not the plot of land will be rezoned. If approved, it would make way for a development close to 300 apartments and 140 townhomes.

"We have so many apartments and townhomes already. There's not a shortage. There's not a need for this. I mean, this is 430 families living here," said Snyder.

Too many people for the infrastructure to support, according to a group of neighbors fighting the development.

"My child being in 6th grade, there are more than 600 students in 6th grade right now. The teacher to student ratio is over 30 students to 1 teacher already. With that come the trailers as well. You can't make that higher," said Jamie Robinson, who lives nearby.

According to the City of Concord staff report, the development would bring approximately 90 elementary school students, 40 middle, and 60 high school students. The report says middle and high schools are already over capacity.

"It's not about just right now and this decision for just this developer. It's about the greater plan for this area. This intersection is a big piece of that. This developer has big plans for here and if we don't stand up as a community, he's going to put here what he wants to put, so we need to make our voices heard tonight," said Snyder.

The group of neighbors called ‘Save Poplar Tent’ expect 200 people to show up to protest the rezoning Tuesday night.

"Our area needs a lot of things that aren't part of this developer's plan," said Christy Wallace.

The developer’s proposal includes green space to connect with the greenway as well as approximately 6,000 square feet of office or retail space at the corner. But to Shelly Stamper who lives nearby, that’s not enough.

"We don't' have a library over here. We don't have one within 20 minutes of here. We don't have parks.

We live off of Huntersville and Charlotte for our parks. There are other things the city could do to help us out in our community," said Stamper.

Poplar Tent and Harris are both two-lane roads in the section near the proposed development.

Neighbors say traffic backs up for blocks during rush hour and that's when they say drivers cut through the neighborhood to avoid traffic.

"You take fire, police, emergency anything is difficult to get in through this traffic," said Sreedhar Pandellapalli, who lives near the intersection.

You can read the City of Concord’s staff report on the proposal here: