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jb4563

Talk about Urban Sprawl....Thanks Cabarrus County

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Cabarrus County is considering dropping the maximum number of homes per acre from 4.5 to 2 homes per acre.

This of course increases lot size, in turn, increases the amount of developed land necessary for a subdivision.

Can you say Urban Sprawl?!

:o

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No matter where you live, this proposal will hurt the entire Charlotte metro region as it will encourage urban sprawl. This will be the beginning of the end of open spaces. This will be the beginning of turning us into Atlanta.

No matter where you live, I encourage you to write, email, and call the County Commissioners.

Tell them you will not allow Cabarrus County to turn us into the next Atlanta. Tell them you will not allow them to enforce a plan that encourages driving and is not congruent with mass transit.

Tell them NO to Urban Sprawl.

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners are:

Mrs. Carolyn B. Carpenter (Chairman)(sic)

P. O. Box 707

Concord, NC 28026-0707

704-920-2110

704-920-2820 (fax)

[email protected]

Mr. Robert W. (

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I see what you are saying... but is it really the effect of this, that more sprawl will happen?

I don't want to be in the line of fire if i'm wrong here... but i'm wondering whether that is true.

- I know tha orange county, nc uses a very low max home/acre to act almost like an urban growth boundary around chapel hill. It makes most of orange county a very rural and expensive place to live. the expense causes people to favor being inside chapel hill/carrboro limits or to durha, county.

- 2 homes an acre makes it subdividing much more expensive, which makes homes more expensive. not only does that lead to higher quality of home, to justify selling price, but also decreases the raw numbers of people that can live on that land, and thus fewer people living in cabarrus comparatively.

- if all the counties around mecklenburg had a limit as low as that, would that help preserve lower populations in those counties, leading to more people choosing higher density in mecklenburg?

please don't pummel me if this line of logic is flawed,but help me understand why much lower density in outlying counties isn't the GOAL of urbanists.

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I see what you are saying... but is it really the effect of this, that more sprawl will happen?

I don't want to be in the line of fire if i'm wrong here... but i'm wondering whether that is true.

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This is actually a good thing. It keeps land from being gutted with starter homes which has happened a great deal in this area. Huntersville also adopted similar zoning for about 1/3rd of its EJT and this land has remained remarkably undeveloped compared to the municipalities all around it. I recommend a drive down Huntersville/Mt. Holly Rd. that co-incidently is the border between Charlotte and Huntersville. When complete you will see which kind of zoning produces very bad sprawl.

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but in that example, the combined 250 acres will have only 500 homes on it, instead of 1000. and the value will be much higher. Developers will need to build homes much pricier considering the extra land expense, which will only serve to make land more expensive. Altogether the results will be fewer people living and driving and commuting in cabarrus.

If cabarrus was less restrictive, wouldn't it mean that more people would be living in cabarrus?

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- if all the counties around mecklenburg had a limit as low as that, would that help preserve lower populations in those counties, leading to more people choosing higher density in mecklenburg?

please don't pummel me if this line of logic is flawed,but help me understand why much lower density in outlying counties isn't the GOAL of urbanists.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That would be great, but I don't see that happening here.

People don't want to live in Mecklenburg County because of high taxes, poor school system.

The "masses" don't care about urban sprawl (and they don't want to live in high density locations). They want a yard and low taxes (And I suppose that they will drive an hour to work to get that).

That is exactly what has happened in Atlanta.

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but in that example, the combined 250 acres will have only 500 homes on it, instead of 1000.  and the value will be much higher.  Developers will need to build homes much pricier considering the extra land expense, which will only serve to make land more expensive.  Altogether the results will be fewer people living and driving and commuting in cabarrus. 

If cabarrus was less restrictive, wouldn't it mean that more people would be living in cabarrus?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The results in Huntersville speak for themselves. If you cut zoning in 1/2, you reduce the number of houses by a lot more than 50%. And the demand is also a lot less because once you double the price of home, the availiable customers disappears.

The purpose here is to stop square miles of vinyl starter homes, and this certainly does the trick.

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If cabarrus was less restrictive, wouldn't it mean that more people would be living in cabarrus?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think it is better to have more people on less land.

I don't want the Charlotte metro area to stretch out to Scotland County.

(Which is what is happening to Atlanta, the metro area is beginning to spill into the outer areas of the metro area...Henry, Forsyth, etc.)

I guess I see this a different. Subdivisions will take up more room becaus the developer has to buy more acreage to build the same number of homes, then every square inch of land is devleoped in Cabarrus County with a small density..where does the growth go then from Mecklenburg County? Stanly County? Anson County?

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The results in Huntersville speak for themselves.  If you cut zoning in 1/2, you reduce the number of houses by a lot more than 50%.  And the demand is also a lot less because once you double the price of home, the availiable customers disappears. 

The purpose here is to stop square miles of vinyl starter homes, and this certainly does the trick.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Then the growth and population would be shifted to another county that wants the density. Gaston County comes to mind.

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I see where both of you are coming from, and both arguements are valid. The main concern of mine has not become one of density in the suburbs, but one of good (sub)urban planning.

Regardless of density, it is inevitable that all of Cabarrus will be sprawl. What should be mandated is good road connectivity in the area. Without adaquate road networks and transit options, suburban high-density just becomes even more cars on the road.

After thinking more about it, I would agree with dubone here. I think lower density may be a way to ensure that less congestion occurs, though Cabarrus is doing it for the wrong reasons.

Hell, I'm still not sure......I always though charging a commuter tax on surrounding county residents was the best solution to sprawl.......even if it doesn't prevent it, Mecklenburg can at least be subsidized by the people living elsewhere using our services.

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Then the growth and population would be shifted to another county that wants the density.  Gaston County comes to mind.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Or rather back to Charlotte where the real problem exists. There is still a huge amount of undeveloped land inside Charlotte's EJT, where BTW the vast vast majority of starter home developments are approved and constructed. Cabarrus should be commended for being more forward thinking than Charlotte.

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Sorry, one more post.

I see it aas...

Let's say Cabarrus County's population will be 300,000 in 20 years.

You can either have that 300,000 fit into half the county's land space, and that encourages mass transit, smart growth, and development like Birkdale.

Or you have that 300,000 take up the whole county, and everyone drives. No one walks, and you won't be able to extend CATS light rail into the outlying counties because there is no center of population or density to support it (ie. Atlanta)

In order for CLT not to become another ATL, I think we need to think about how these actions will effect our metro area 20-30 years from now.

In 20-30 years when all the available land in Cabarrus County is filled up because every home is on .5-1 acre of land, where will the growth go? (and by that time, Meck Co. will be all filled up).

It will go to Stanly, Anson, and the outlying counties of our metro area.

Then, in 2030, you can drive from Charlotte to the Triad and drive through totally developed areas and never see any open spaces again.

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^ I agree to that, but again, this still requires much more than allowing high-density. This requires good urban planning with streets, zoning, etc......high-density itself will not create a walkable, tranist friendly environment......look at Los Angeles, it is the highest-density city in the US, but ranks much lower than many other cities in terms of percentage transity ridership.

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As I see it, take Cabarrus out of your post and replace it with Charlotte and you will have something that is more reflective of the problem we face. The problem you describe is already present in Charlotte. And getting worse.

Cabarrus in going to R-2 zoning will greatly reduce the number of people that will move into bedroom communities which is the whole point.

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^ I agree to that, but again, this still requires much more than allowing high-density.  This requires good urban planning with streets, zoning, etc......high-density itself will not create a walkable, tranist friendly environment......look at Los Angeles, it is the highest-density city in the US, but ranks much lower than many other cities in terms of percentage transity ridership.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, I agree with you there. It will take Meck Co. and the surrounding counties sitting down and planning growth that encourages mass transit and self-contained subdivisions.

I think suburban flight and the growth is envitable, and these lower rules don't encourage smart growth, and I don't think these rules will discourage growth.

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Or rather back to Charlotte where the real problem exists.  There is still a huge amount of undeveloped land inside Charlotte's EJT, where BTW the vast vast majority of starter home developments are approved and constructed.    Cabarrus should be commended for being more forward thinking than Charlotte.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This isn't as bad as you think......I pulled the current listings of all new construction homes listed for $120k and less and this is what I came up with.

Mecklenburg

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Well, I agree with you there.  It will take Meck Co. and the surrounding counties sitting down and planning growth that encourages mass transit and self-contained subdivisions.

I think suburban flight and the growth is envitable, and these lower rules don't encourage smart growth, and I don't think these rules will discourage growth.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mecklenburg county no longer performs zoning decisions. It is now the responsibility of Charlotte and each of the towns within Mecklenburg's borders. This is a special allowance for Mecklenburg that does not exist in the other surrounding counties.

The biggest impediment to regional cooperation on zoning matters for the region is the Charlotte City Council. Its "our way or no way" which doesn't sit well with the rest of the area.

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Actually to back up some things monsoon & a few others are saying, SPRAWL does not always equate to low density. With Atlanta & Washington, it isn't neccessarily that large lot single family subdivisions spread out over the horizon, but the main problem - as it is in LA to a greater degree - is noncomforming land usage in suburban areas which would be apartment complexes, condo developments, office buildings, malls & other higher density developments than what historically (pre 1960's) constituted a suburban area. The larger the population you increase in Cabbarrus County means the lesser population there will be in Mecklenburg. In the Atlanta metro area, among the higher dense areas are around Marietta, Norcross, much of Dekalb County - areas that are far outside the city core.

But it is questionable what the intent of Cabbarus is - similar plans have been unveiled in suburban Atlanta counties, often considered a veiled attempt at racial & economic segregation.

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County Homes % of Total 2004 Pop. % of Total Starter Share

Meck. 133 40.9% 771,617 48.6% 7.7%

Union 35 10.8% 153,652 9.7% -1.1%

Cabarrus 34 10.5% 146,135 9.2% -1.3%

Iredell 27 8.3% 136,924 8.6% 0.3%

Gaston 49 15.1% 194,459 12.3% -2.8%

York 47 14.5% 183,762 11.6% -2.9%

Total 325 1,586,549

The final column here shows whether their share of starter homes is greater or fewer homes than their population share. The greater that number, the fewer starter homes per person. Only Meck. and Iredell have postive numbers, with Gaston and York reigning king of the starter homes.

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Charlotte needs to do a better job of attracting companies into the center city. A transit system will not work very well if most of the people in the metro work outside of the center city. It becomes too complicated to build a transit system that has to have a line and a station built at every major employment center, especially since they are scattered about. Now, with the housing... The remaining parts of Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties need to build actual "towns". Each town should have a Town Center, a dense core of shops and restaurants (like a Main Street) where it can be served by a train or bus station. The streets surrounding the Main Street of each town should be in a grid pattern, with dense single family homes or apartments (with sidewalks connecting them to town). The furthur out you go from the town center the lower the density should be. People close to town can walk, ride a bike, or take the bus to the town station, and people who live in the low density part of the town can drive, park their car at the station, and go to work. This leaves plenty of land in between each town to stay intact, and I think this creates a transit friendly environment. Just my two cents, but it works in the NY metro area...

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Charlotte 112 34.5% 618,000 39.0% 4.5%

Here is Charlotte. Still doing far better than the surrounding counties, but obviously the smaller towns in the county help Mecklenburg's total even further.

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The coutnies surrounding Charlotte will never be urban in a sense that Charlote is urban. If light rail or bust transit ever becomes an option from Charlotte into Cabarrus, hopefully Cabarrus will do the high density zoning around the light rail only, and have extremely low density everywhere else in the county.

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