TEGA CAY — It might be All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, but you can call what’s coming up in this city Planning Week. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, City Council will hold a workshop with the Planning Commission as well as its regular meeting and on Feb. 20, the Board of Zoning Appeals will kick off its 2019 slate.
First up, at the Council workshop, the city will dive into its first comprehensive planning session of the new year. The city’s BZA might not draw as large an audience as the Council meeting, but the board’s leader wants residents to know why it’s in their best interest to know what’s going on there, too.
“When petitioners come before the Board of Zoning Appeals, our decisions not only affect the homeowner, but neighboring homes as well,” BZA Chair Lisa Johnson wrote in an email to The MillTown News.
“It is important to attend these meetings when they affect your immediate community because it gives everyone in that community a chance to see and understand the changes that are taking place in their small part of Tega Cay.”
Johnson said the board carefully considers each case that comes before it, and members deliberate over any long lasting implications of its decision before voting. She also said testimony from residents both for and against requests are weighed before decisions are made.
“Every variance request that comes before the board are taken seriously,” she wrote.
“We consider the reasons why the homeowner is requesting a variance, how it will affect the overall community, the consequences of a yes or no vote, and if our decision will help the residents in the event the variance is approved. There is a lot that goes into our consideration when reviewing variances and it helps when other neighbors come either in support of or in objection to the variance to give us more insight and perspective before we make a decision.”
Johnson, an attorney and past candidate for City Council, said serving on the board has helped broaden her understanding of municipal government.
“We consider everyone’s testimony, we review all of the evidence before us, and we educate ourselves on the restrictive ordinance. Throughout my years on the board, I have learned so much about this amazing city and I continue to learn even more just by hearing other residents’ concerns, opinions and suggestions.
“These hearings aren’t just for the board; It is a significant benefit to our community.”