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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Four-term Charlotte mayor gets house plan nixed

In Charlotte, even veteran Mayor Vi Lyles can’t get everything she wants from City Hall.

Lyles has been mayor since 2017 and was a longtime city executive before that. Last February, she had her home in Charlotte’s McCrorey Heights neighborhood torn down, after securing a demolition permit in mid-2022. The permit came through five days before the Charlotte City Council voted to define the neighborhood as a historic district, which gives city officials more authority over home renovations.

The teardown by Lyles angered some residents, who had urged city officials to block the demolition because of the historic significance of the home and neighborhood. Many famous Black leaders in the Queen City have lived in the area, which is northeast of uptown Charlotte near Johnson C. Smith University and N.C. Highway 16.

Lyles, however, said renovations to the home were too expensive. It was built in the 1950s by Ike and Gwendolyn Heard. Lyles had family members who lived nearby for many years.

Last October, Lyles proposed plans for a new home at 1623 Madison Ave. to the city Historic District Commission, which then voted to “continue the project” until the mayor offered design revisions. Like many inner-city Charlotte neighborhoods, McCrorey Heights’ property values have soared because of the city’s growing population and shortage of housing.

The commission decision didn’t attract any media attention for nearly four months until the Charlotte Observer wrote about McCrorey Heights’ historic significance this week.

In response to a question Thursday, Lyles issued this statement: “I submitted a proposal for a home to be built, which received revision requests from the Historic District Commission. Due to my campaign and priorities as Mayor of Charlotte, I haven’t had time to evaluate the proposal for resubmission.”

Lyles, 71, won her fourth term in the November 2023 election.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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