This story first appeared on the Charlotte Business Journal by on February 19, 2019.

A developer that says it focuses on small-scale, environmentally friendly residential development has filed a rezoning petition to build more housing in the Belmont neighborhood.

CoHab is seeking to rezone a 0.5-acre parcel at Seigle Avenue and East 15th Street to build up to 35 residential units and one commercial space (measuring about 1,500 square feet). The rezoning is the fourth one filed by CoHab CEO Harrison Tucker and John Perovich, the company’s chief financial officer, in Charlotte and would appear to be the group’s largest yet.

CoHab is seeking to build high-density, infill townhouse projects in neighborhoods near the light rail — among the petitions filed last year, it has proposed small projects in Optimist Park and Belmont, with a stated goal of building residences with moderate density, net-zero energy and sustainable materials that are close to transit. Some of its projects, including one proposed at the corner of East 17th and North McDowell streets, include homes that would be eligible for HouseCharlotte, a program that allows for-sale housing to be affordable for a household earning 80% of the area median income (AMI).

In fact, that proposed development spurred a conversation at Charlotte City Council’s zoning meeting in the fall about increased density in former mill neighborhoods, including Belmont, where mammoth homes are being built byright next to small craftsman-style bungalows. CoHab’s projects are seeking a level of density that’s atypical in those areas but, Tucker said at that meeting, CoHab is aiming to address the “missing middle” housing market, and increased density is a way to preserve a degree of affordability in the area. Neighborhoods near the Blue Line have gentrified at a rapid clip as property values have soared in those areas and the proximity to mass transit has enticed developers to build there, leading to a number of higher-density projects (typically in the form of market-rate apartments) in walking distance to the Blue Line.

Tucker declined to comment on the latest proposed Belmont project when reached this week. A site plan filed with the rezoning petition says one of the units at the project would be for-sale affordable for 80% AMI with a 10-year restriction on the property resale, a typical condition for homes in the HouseCharlotte program.

The rezoning petition will come before City Council for a public hearing, followed by a vote at a separate meeting.