Six of the seven candidates running for a seat on the Charlotte City Council met with close to 60 members of the Charlotte community Tuesday, Sept. 26, taking part in a candidate forum in the lower level of the Courthouse Square Museum.

Each candidate — Yvonne Ridge in District 1; Branden Dyer and Brad Johnston in District 2 (candidate Kyle Ried did not attend); Daryl Baker and Doug Rosier for the City At-Large seat; and Mayor Tim Lewis running uncontested to serve another two-year term — provided the audience with information on their background and plans for Charlotte’s future. Each candidate also took a turn fielding questions from the audience, which ranged from the City’s strategy for tackling street conditions to how the City might improve recreational activities for its residents.

The hot-button issue, however, dealt with Charlotte City Council’s 6-0 vote Monday, Sept. 11 to approve a zoning change, from R1 Residential to B1 Business, for three parcels of land on the 400 block of South Cochran Avenue. The change was approved to allow the construction of a new, much larger building that will house Charlotte Dairy Queen. The theme for most of the questions surrounded council’s decision to go against the recommendation of the City of Charlotte Planning Commission, which voted 8-to-1 not to recommend the zoning change.

Mayor Tim Lewis stated he understood the concerns of the neighboring residents, but felt the project was good for the City overall.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. regarding the conditional use permit required to allow the Dairy Queen to operate as a drive through restaurant. The planning commission must approve the project site plan and conditional use permit before the project can move forward.

In addition to the seats on City Council, voters in the City of Charlotte will decide whether or not to approve an amendment to the City Charter that would “establish an $800,000 revolving loan fund that the City Council could draw on to finance capital improvement projects.” The $800,000 comes from damages awarded to the city by Owens-Brockway.

The County Journal will run complete profiles of each of the seven candidates in its Oct. 21 edition. The final day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 general election is Tuesday, Oct. 10