Monday, April 26

CPCC Parking Deck Construction to Resume

By Karen Sullivan
"Construction is expected to resume as early as today on a nearly completed parking deck for Central Piedmont Community College.
A judge has lifted the temporary restraining order that stopped construction last week after residents in the Elizabeth neighborhood filed a suit, saying the nearly $19 million Mecklenburg County-owned deck is being built on public park property.
Superior Court Judge Steve Balog also denied the request for a preliminary injunction that probably would have stalled construction beyond the 10 days set aside in the restraining order.
After the ruling, officials at CPCC were making arrangements to bring 50 to 75 construction workers back on the job, said Kathy Scott Rummage, a spokesman for the college.
The plaintiffs in the case are Melanie Sizemore, Clifton Settlemyer, Dawn Ballenger, Peter Tart and the Historic Elizabeth Neighborhood Foundation.
Balog ruled that their $10,000 cash bond will not be returned. CPCC may have incurred as much as $70,000 in costs as a result of stopping construction and may seek damages, according to testimony.
In their suit against the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the trustees of CPCC, the residents said the six-story deck at Seventh Street and Charlottetowne Avenue near Memorial Stadium should not have been built on land donated to the city for a public park.
The county later took control of city parks. It acquired a deed for Independence Park in 1997.
The plaintiffs asked the court, among other things, to revoke or invalidate building permits issued for construction.
They also asked the court to void Mecklenburg County's lease of the deck to CPCC and declare construction and operation of the deck to be illegal.
Mecklenburg County attorney Marvin Bethune said that the neighbors' claim to the land should have been made within 20 years of an alleged violation.
He said the land had been used for parking for more than 20 years, and that after 20 years the county legally maintains possession of the property."

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