underoak

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About underoak

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  1. Thanks much. Yes, I think that's the approach that some in the neighborhood have suggested; talk with the police during site planning or modification to preserve what is possible. Given the location of a few speciment trees in the center of the property, they likely can't be saved, but perhaps their loss can be ameliorated by the planting of others elsewhere on the site. Its current zoning could allow someone to go in and buy the property and build apartments without a rezoning process. Still, some in the community wonder why a gray field or already existing nearby asphalt area can't be used instead. The site of the old Kate's skating rink, for example, provides a little over 2 acres of cleared space, and the addition of a few nearby lots, one of which is cleared and vacant, would add up to more than the required 3 acres. The question for longer term: If it's cheaper to buy and develop green spaces rather than to redevelop already cleared, vacant spaces, then how will the city ever preserve green space?
  2. Hi all, Do you guys have thoughts on the design, planning and siting of the new police stations being built around Charlotte? One is proposed for Central Avenue at Merry Oaks Road, next to St. Andrews Episcopal Church, just west of the intersection of Central and Eastway Drive. The Eastway police division, now located at Eastway Crossing Shopping Center, would move there. This site now includes the property of the old Phifer insurance company, with a house built in 1930 and modified, plus a couple of duplexes circa 1950 on Central Avenue, and at least two houses along Merry Oaks Road. A rezoning request is expected before the end of March. A Facebook protest group has formed, currently with 68 members, and you can find more details on my neighborhood blog. (Can't link, would violate TOS here, I think.) Would love to know your thoughts...
  3. underoak

    Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

    Thanks. Will have to do some site investigations.
  4. underoak

    Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

    Re: The intersection of Hawthorne, the streetcar and the Seaboard line on the 1934 map and the 1954 map. I had an old ex in-law who lived on Thomas Street in 1932 as a child. He said he lived there because of its proximity to the work at the railroad, and he himself grew up to work for railroads. So I wonder whether the trolley and the intersection with Seaboard at Hawthorne was a way to get workers to the railroad line easily. Could there have been a workers' shop or stop on the rail line at the Hawthorne overpass, where the trollies stopped? Ex in-law is no longer around to ask. Re: streetcar meeting Tuesday. There's another post, with background from a November meeting on the streetcars, up now at Under Oak. Information is from the Merry Oaks newsletter. The newsletter also said trolleys require only one driver while buses require three. I don't understand the reasoning behind that; if anyone understands, I'd love to hear more. Would trolleys only run 40 hours a week? Request: If anyone has good enough eyes to read the name of the "lake" on the 1954 map just north of Central Avenue between Arnold and Flynnwood (where Birchcroft Apartments are now), I'd love to know the name. Maybe Lake Judah? Lake Jared? Re: streetcar stop design: Has anyone seen the wooden vendor tables in downtown Asheville that fold up vertically when not in use, underneath a canopy? Cool design.
  5. underoak

    Charlotte Off Topic

    Ballantyne thread now created under Charlotte forum. The particular zoning issue mentioned above has a public hearing in front of city council on March 15. More broadly, about low income housing in general: Here's hoping that many people watch carefully how any stimulus money is spent by HUD. I'm old enough to remember lots of HUD money being siphoned off in the '80s.
  6. underoak

    Ballantyne

    Here's a place to discuss the rezoning issue at Providence Road West and Johnston Road, for low income housing. Initial discussion began under the Charlotte Coffeehouse forum. Here's the rezoning request, with a public hearing in front of the Charlotte City Council on March 15.
  7. underoak

    Charlotte Off Topic

    In my world, scattered makes more sense too. I've learned since the original posting that this Ballantyne development is *NOT* Section 8, but a mixed income development with requirements that residents have jobs. The more long term question along the same lines: If the housing authority got its grant to redo the troubled, big Boulevard Homes as mixed income (and I'm not sure they did, though there's lots of stimulus money listed here ), then there will be 300 fewer units to house former Boulevard Homes residents. Where will they end up? The people with criminal records won't be able to get in to the Ballantyne development program, and I'm unsure what the limitations on Section 8 vouchers are. As the city works to improve the concept of low income housing, where do the people with no jobs and/or criminal records end up? If all of us work to keep them out of our specific neighborhoods, then where do they go? Surely they don't just leave town. If they end up somewhere else in town, out of sight and out of mind, they still cost our government, for jails, social services, etc. Dern, that makes my head hurt.
  8. underoak

    Charlotte Off Topic

    Now off topic in the off topic forum: Is there a Ballantyne thread here? I couldn't find one quickly, and search didn't help me find any recent posts. I'm curious about chatter and opinions here about low income housing coming to Ballantyne, or not, depending on the will of city council and zoning people, with petition 2010 021 at Providence Road West and Johnston Road. Looks like some folks are trying to scatter Section 8 or low income housing more fairly throughout the city, but the neighbors aren't very excited about the idea. Thoughts? Or which thread should I take this to?
  9. Hee. Thank goodness for those speed humps. Arnold's not a huge cut through most of the time, and some brave souls have even begun parking their cars curbside. That seems to slow traffic down. I believe Charlottegirl is right about the ditch (a small creek with the rain and snow we've been having) and the added cost to any developer building a connectivity road across that ditch. A culvert or bridge, done in an environmentally sensible way, could add to development costs. The downhill apartments to the west have had flooding issues. I'm not sure what kind of responsibility a developer would have to mitigate runoff to neighbors. Maybe someone here knows? Anyway, updates on the Tuscan Property are in the latest Merry Oaks newsletter, in a .pdf under "Documents and pages," labeled Newsletter, Winter 2010. Info. is on Page 12. Nancy Pierce did the reporting. I might be able to get that info. on Underoak the blog later if Nancy's OK with that....
  10. Switching topics: Has anyone heard anything about plans or movement at the 9-acre former Tuscan property at 3223 Central Avenue, at the intersection with Briar Creek Road? Many of the trees are marked with pink ribbons or pink dots. The property is now owned by New Dominion Bank. Just wondering whether there were plans to clear or cut down trees.
  11. underoak

    Armchair Developer/Planner

    Just to note: On New Year's Day, noon thirtyish, Asian Corners was absolutely packed, and the Compare store in the same strip was packed as well. Parts of it are economically vibrant, unlike Eastway Crossing.
  12. underoak

    Independence Corridor

    Someone suggested the site could give Harris Teeter a chance for the bigger store the area needs, though I feel for Plaza Midwood neighbors and think they do need a walkable neighborhood grocery. But I can't imagine a three-way grocery fight at that point on Eastway, between Food Lion, Atlantic Foods and Teeter. Then again, many PM folks have abandoned their local Teeter for some things and seem to be going to the Midtown Target and even the SuperWalmart on Wilkinson for inexpensive staples (because Teeter's way too expensive for some stuff, can't offer enough variety, and those shoppers weren't comfortable with existing choices on Eastway.) If Eastway Crossing is spiffed up by the owner, and if the route and the stores at Eastway Crossing feel safe enough, PM and I bet even Elizabeth folks will go hunting for bargains, along with other Eastsiders. Let's hope the owner of the property gets that message and that the police department does its part.
  13. underoak

    Independence Corridor

    Back to Eastway Crossing Shopping Center for a minute, to respond to The Escapists and Eastman: The center as a whole has lost a DMV office recently, and the post office is one of those up for review for closing. A commenter on my blog says Blockbuster is closing in a couple of weeks, and that makes sense with the advent of NetFlix and Red Box. Agreed, the Atlantic Market and Portofino's are hits, but the other side of Eastway with Food Lion has struggled for years with various retailers, bringing home Dubone's point that the area in general has too buildings for generic, large retailers. Many of the WalMart customers arrive on foot and by bus. I hope the new location accommodates them, and I hope the old location can draw some retailers to serve them. Someone suggested hardware. That would be welcome, I'm sure. I'm just hoping that the developer of Eastway Crossing finds a way to refit and draw in smaller businesses after several blows. And perhaps somehow the post office could remain. Or heck, while I'm dreaming, maybe the ReStore and Julia's coffee shop could relocate from further down Eastway/Wendover, though the Restore near Home Depot makes lots of sense.
  14. underoak

    Independence Corridor

    So does anyone here know who owns the old site, the Eastway Crossing Shopping Center, or how to find out? Polaris says: Eastway I Holdings, which upon Googling turns up an Excel document from the U.S. Postal Service that lists an address for the company of P.O. Box 36799, in ZIP code 28236. The shopping center was sold in 2007, according to Polaris, for $11 million to Eastway I Holdings. I can't imagine current valuation listing it that high, but then I know nothing about commercial real estate.