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About mazman34340

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  1. mazman34340

    North Carolina Photo of the Day

    4th Ward, Charlotte.
  2. mazman34340

    Unified Development Ordinance

    I'm a bit impatient because the zoning code in the historic neighborhoods isn't 10 years out of date, it's at least fifty years out of date. They dumped 'eager beaver' suburban zoning on street-car neighborhoods and frozen them in time. I wanted to build a four-plex in a neighborhood that's a five minute walk from a light rail station and a little less than a mile from the down-town core. Planning department came back after the 'pre-proposal' and said it would be inappropriate to the character of the single family neighborhood. Two blocks from there, they got TOD lots that allow six story condo buildings that can be built by right. There's no balance in the zoning code. I look at small lots in these neighborhood, decide it's not worth it because their all zoned R-5 or R-8. Home builder comes in and drops a 400-500K home. Mortgages are approaching 3,000$. There's not going to be a middle class in these neighborhoods by 2040. Their zoning code helps dictate this.
  3. mazman34340

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    When do you think we'll get info's on bus ridership after their system over-haul. I know it's going to be a few more months, I just can't wait. Since the city has lost so much ridership (-12%) in a year or so, just having the bus ridership remain steady would be a major victory. Then debate can be pivoted to improving the bus service, and less of the expensive and more risky light rail projects.
  4. mazman34340

    Charlotte Gateway Station and Railroad Improvements

    Finally took the train from Charlotte to Raleigh. Of course our train station is miserable, the lobby not so bad per say. It's the concrete tunnel that you have to walk through to board that makes me scratch my head. Location is terrible too, but that's getting fixed. The state really needs to shave off about 30-40 minutes travel time to Raleigh, then you'd see ridership rise pretty quickly. Shouldn't take longer than a car.
  5. mazman34340

    Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line

    Dropping into downtown with the 14, getting on the blue-line. Green-shirts everywhere. Arrive at Noda in 10, get a doughnut and tacos. A bit overcapacity on Saturday but otherwise a great success.
  6. mazman34340

    Charlotte Off Topic

    Humor me, I'm wracking my brains thinking about the housing market in Charlotte. Just looking at a couple charts from the St. Louis Fed, we ain't in a bubble yet. St. Louis FED Charlotte You draw a line on the chart, we are about where we should be. I suspect neighborhoods near downtown are already starting to get over-priced. If the market doesn't cool significantly this year, it won't take long to set things up for a total repeat of 2008. Nationally, there are some signs of a significant bubble, but concentrated on the west coast and Texas. Hopefully, that means the next correction won't be as severe as the last time for Charlotte.
  7. mazman34340

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    A bit hard to believe since that sounds as expensive as the friggin' Vue in downtown Charlotte. With recent events and prices recently though, almost makes sense. Were fixing up a duplex on Parkwood. Druggie comes running by our house, punching people... punching cars.... getting side-swiped on the road. At least the police response times are quick. Perfect place for the upper middle class (Not a dig at the neighborhood, I'm loving the neighborhood, but gawd the rents are getting silly.)
  8. mazman34340

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    Elaborate my good sir.
  9. mazman34340

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    Iv'e been keeping a close eye on rents in the Belmont area / Villa Heights area.There's gentrification and then there's hyper-gentrification. Most of the rentals that rented for .80$ a square foot.or less are gone or are already rented out. Fixed up homes and rentals are renting for about 1.30 - 1.40$ sq. ft. I don't see how long these price increases can be sustained. I came in over a year ago thinking the land was already overpriced, trying to get a lot at about 80,000$. That ship sailed. New construction for small scale-rentals became possible over six months ago and still is (four-plexes, triplexes, and soon small apartment buildings.) Of course, it's all zoned for single-family, and developers have to do an elaborate jig to get approval from the planning department and community. Small scale developers usually don't have the energy and resources to pull that off. So, large scale developers might come in and sand-blast the community with investment. At this rate, in about three to four years, building housing for the middle class will be very difficult. There's already labor shortages for construction, and material prices have increased. Note it's not necessarily home prices but the raw cost of land. Homes are devalued and are being demo'ed. Somewhat disused homes can be sold for about the same price as lots... what few are available now.
  10. mazman34340

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    Any contact information for the Optimist Park neighborhood? I know they are not well organized but there's gotta be a number.
  11. mazman34340

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    In terms of scale, townhouses and a couple four-plexes would be great. In terms of basic urban design, its okay but I don't know why the parking could face towards the private streets rather than the public street. In terms of architecture, the architect should be shot.
  12. mazman34340

    Optimist Park / Belmont Projects

    I'm torn between two ideas. In one, I see Belmont becoming a great neighborhood that holds it's own with walk-ability and close access to downtown. It has surviving corner corner stores and I see caring neighbors patching it up. Homes are being repaired. Therefore, housing prices are rising. In another, Belmont's population still has a 30% poverty rate and an average income of around 20,000$. Yet unimproved homes and lots are being listed at twice their price when last sold at the height of the 2007 bubble. Land speculation and house flipping are in full force. I'm not going to jump in out of fear of being priced out. I'm not playing that dangerous game. I'm taking my time.
  13. These projects aren't 'fine grained urbanism'. They take up the size of an entire city block. Over time, it gives the neighborhoods a more monolithic quality and saps its diversity. Downtown Charlotte is an extreme example. Look at photos from the 1950's and you see blocks made of small two story commercial buildings, twenty buildings per block. Now they are made of single buildings, some single use.
  14. mazman34340

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    I know were talking about spending billions to throw down light rail in the suburbs but in the meantime; can we cut a few holes in the CTC in downtown? It's a miserable aircraft hanger of a building and half the problem is a lack of natural sunlight
  15. mazman34340

    CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

    Making driving so miserable that people just give up is a valid tactic at this point.