If not this morning then soon, the Charlotte Observer and other pundits will bring class and race into the defeated Ballantyne Crossing rezoning petition. Some will say the rich won out over the poor and that the snobs of Ballantyne look down on struggling families and the less fortunate.
But this is not about affordable housing or race it is about due process and bad ideas.
We have a city government that spends troubling amounts of money on projects that the general population does not approve of, light rail and the Time Warner Cable Box are just two examples.
Ballantyne Crossing should be the start of a white paper effort to examine what is wrong with the zoning process in Charlotte. To a majority of Ballantyne citizens, approval of the rezoning petition was a forgone conclusion. This morning you can still hear the distant cheer and collective sigh of relief emanating from South Charlotte.
Warren Cooksey who repeatedly stated that his hands were tied and that he would be unable to vote against the request citing state law might, also be breathing a little easier.
But residents of Ballantyne shouldn't be surprised that the whole project has gone down in flames. It was an ill conceived and poorly thought out idea that included some unknown shady business arrangement with the Charlotte Housing Authority and a couple of really seedy developers that should raise some serious questions about corruption inside CHA and within the zoning process.
Revelations that the Charlotte Housing Authority fired staff members Ben Collins and Kathleen Foster with connections to Stuart Proffitt's Republic Development Company just before the CHA dropped their support for the project needs further examination.
Embarrassingly we now must add CHA to the long list that includes ABC, DSS, CMUD, CMPD and BOCC that within Charlotte-Mecklenburg government have questionable practices creating an alphabet soup of corruption here in Charlotte.
We should also take a hard look at Warren Cooksey and Patrick Cannon, why were they both so committed to the project? How was it that someone like Stuart Proffitt had both of them in his back pocket?
Developers have long ruled the city and the zoning board, which in the end always left our transportation and other basic services under strain. With our city and county revenue declining we can't afford to make bad choices.
While many will judge Ballantyne residents for a "not in my back yard" mentality at least they are passionate about where they live, we only wish council members Cannon and Cooksey felt the same way.