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Spartan last won the day on May 27 2015

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  1. Not a lot of new information, but a good interview with Rick Webel, who is the president of Pacolet Milliken, that discusses the future expansion of the Drayton neighborhood behind the mill and connecting to the area behind Mary Black Hospital. The news to me is that they've started clearing a lot of land and have some developers lined up. One thing I know for sure is that Pacolet Milliken is commeted to doing things the right way and of good quality. I think it would be cool to invest in this neighborhood, personally.
  2. The City is interested in the join facility. Now the fun part begins... waiting.
  3. This is not directly related to annexation laws, but it's a situation that is affected by them. The article is about three fire departments in Spartanburg County that want to merge to help deal with financial and personnel issues. In South Carolina, "special purpose districts" exist that allow for local government services to be provided to places that lack a local government. These SPD entities have taxing authority and "elected" boards to govern them under the guise of their host County's authority. Quasi-governmental agencies to exist in rural areas because of their need in urban and urbanizing areas. I personally think that emergency services are and should be a function of government. In the sense of a rural area, a volunteer fire department is probably the most realistic solution to fire protection, but under no circumstance should they have taxing authority.
  4. In an interesting continuation of this issue, it looks like the City and James Island are going to collborate on a cohesive set of zoning regulations for the island.
  5. This article is not about a current annexation issue, but rather the problems caused by the quasi-governmental entities known as Public Service Districts. PSD's are part of the historic anti-city attitude in South Carolina. In the case of Charleston and James Island, the results have been fairly chaotic and generally unproductive.
  6. And I assume you've heard of wheelchairs, umbrellas, and shade trees? If someone is on crutches, then sure - in that situation by all means catch a ride. The only time that it's actually unbearable to be outside is immediately after a downpour when the sun comes back out and its 1000% humidity. What bothers me is that people are unwilling to walk a few blocks to get to lunch because it's "uncomfortable" out. It's what, 1 block to the nearest restaurant from Odell? And within 3-4 blocks you can get to probably a dozen or more AND 7th Street Station which can take you to South End. It's just not that far. Hell, it's not even uphill! I think that in general it's more about laziness than anything else. For me personally, I practice what I preach. I walk/bike/bus every day to work and for any other trip where it's practical. If CATS buses didn't have layovers at the CTC I would actually take the bus a lot more for other trips.
  7. I don't follow your first sentence. Why is having destinations within a 5-10 minute walk lazy? I think it's worth noting that there isn't and shouldn't be an expectation that ALL services should be within this distance, but enough of them to where you don't need to think about owning a car to exist.
  8. That has to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen. It's only like a 10 minute walk to the Square from there. IF that. This is what's wrong with America.
  9. It's not bad.
  10. This is an interesting topic. I've been marinating on this trying to figure out how to reply, since it's an issue I care about quite a bit. What makes a place walkable? I think people have varying perspectives, but there are many commonalities. Notably, I think to many realtors and suburbanites, it means sidewalks. If you have a place you can technically walk, that makes it walkable, right? So places like Brightwalk or the "Ardrey" subdivision (off of Wade Ardrey Rd) are generally thought of as walkable new neighborhoods by realtors. My question to you all is this: do those feel walkable to you? When you think about whether or not a place is walkable - just go to that neighborhood ask yourself "What can I walk to?" -- this means destinations that are within walking distance (generally a 5-10 minute walk) AND with the needed infrastructure to get there*. So by that measure, much of Charlotte is not particularly walkable. I think WalkScore does a pretty good job of defining Charlotte's walkable neighborhoods at a broad level, but even it isn't perfect. As a whole, I think Fourth Ward and Third Ward are the only neighborhoods that are actually walkable in every sense of the word (for Charlotte). Places like Plaza Midwood and Dilworth have all of the components of walkability except actual density. Planners, architects, urban designers, SOME developers, and UrbanPlaneteers are well versed on what actually makes a place walkable. It's combination of (at least) moderate density, a mixture of residential and commercial land uses, and a good, dense transportation network. Generally, you can access the commercial area with a 5-10 minute walk, and generally you have lots of active ground floor uses and and wide sidewalks. The ground floor is the make-or-break part of walkability. Having a lot of density doesn't mean anything if it's not a pleasant, well-designed walking environment. In terms of the "transformation" discussion - 10 years is a rather long time, but in the scale of the evolution of a city it isn't. It takes larger scale developments/neighborhoods 10-20 years just to reach full build-out (think Ballantyne, Baxter, Birkdale)... and that's when most of the land is undeveloped and controlled by a single developer. The best example of transition in Charlotte, IMO, is Third Ward. It has gone from a place that was marginally walkable and barely habitable to a true neighborhood that rivals Fourth Ward in terms of walkability. South End is the obvious place that you'd want to look to see it magically transformed into a walkable environment. IMO, it has indeed come a long way over the past 10 years, but it still has a long way to go. I wouldn't describe it as walkable in an urban sense, but I WOULD say that it's increasingly walkable. The biggest challenge is that development happens at the will of the market, so the infrastructure improvements are inconsistent. Redevelopment isn't as clean as greenfield development due to the challenge of land acquisition. So, given that the piecemeal development process is inevitable, the biggest challenge to me is establishing urban design rules that will create the type of good walkability that will last for generations. It's not completely hopeless, and there actually are some good examples out there. I think that as the density comes, there iwll be market pressures to convert those gyms and leasing offices into income-generating businesses similar to what you're seeing in uptown. (* In some situations and land use contexts, you don't need sidewalks to be walkable) Nah, but it would have to be much more consistently dense than anything we have in Charlotte. Generally, 3-5 floors at "townhome" density will achieve that.
  11. I would love to see a mural on the side of the Omni facing the epicenter. I would start with the Arts & Science Council and Center City Partners. They have funding and would be connected with the right people to make it happen. I understand the need for the swap, but this is really bad news for retail on Trade Street. I wish that more office space would be constructed along E Trade St to help encourage better retail. activity at the arena. Interestingly, they were able to hire a new director for Engineering in four months. That said, I've heard that interviews for the Planning director are underway. The previous delay was waiting for the new City Manager to be hired.
  12. The Howard/College development is exciting. That's the type of development that can set the tone for future development in that area.
  13. This whole project is slightly mind blowing. I'm used to seeing buildings go up... but I've never seen one stripped and reconstructed before. Very cool.
  14. Last week, Council approved a rezoning for a new micro-brewery on Chester St (near the Main/Ezell split). This would be the third for Spartanburg (RJ Rockers and Cyclops being the other two).
  15. Regarding the site locations being discussed, there's this excerpt from the end of the document: So in short, the Courthouse stuff would stay on the same block where it exists today. The City/County government center would not be on the same site as City Hall, but it could potentially be near the Library on Church St.