Like many BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), Charlotte’s Historic West End residents live with a longstanding redlining legacy. This has contributed to heavy air pollution exposure from industrial zoning and highway construction that continues to impact the community today.
Now, developers are asking the City of Charlotte to rezone 41 acres near the Wilson Heights Neighborhood from single/multi-family housing to industrial use. They plan to install a 400,000-square-foot facility for warehousing, distribution, manufacturing, and office use. The developer’s presentation to the City, including a property location map and more information, is available here.
“To go from residential zoning to industrial zoning, to me, that’s Down-Zoning”
Many residents in the surrounding neighborhoods are worried about this project’s negative impacts on the community’s environment, character, and health. Among concerns about reduced green space, heavier truck traffic, and impaired air quality, this area was critical for creating housing for individuals and families in the City of Charlotte 2040 Plan.
By adding your voice to ours, you can support efforts to stop this rezoning within the Historic West End. Speak at the upcoming public rezoning hearing this fall. And, sign this community-led petition to tell city planners our community does not need more industrial facilities. For more information about this Rezoning request, visit the City of Charlotte’s website.
Rezoning the Wilson Heights Neighborhood doesn’t align with the Charlotte 2040 Plan. In fact, it will likely have the opposite effect.
In Charlotte, those most vulnerable to displacement are also those who have suffered most and benefited least over decades of growth and development. And with prices increasing across the entire community, there is a chance that those who are displaced are forced to move out of Charlotte or even the region.
Neighborhoods should include unique compositions of housing types, but they should also include some diversity of housing stock to help promote diversity, inclusion, and economic stability throughout the entire community.
“We try to separate these issues, but all of this ties into the health impacts of the community.”
~ Mattie Marshall
Environmental justice seeks to minimize and equalize effects of environmental hazards among the entire community regardless of income, race, education level and age. Issues of environmental justice often arise from geographic or procedural inequities. Geographic inequities occur when neighborhoods with high percentages of low-income residents, minority residents, and/or immigrant communities take more than their share of the worst environmental hazards, nuisance impacts, and resulting health problems from exposure to these hazards.