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cltbwimob

The River District

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13 hours ago, KJHburg said:

With the projected population growth of this region, I would rather have 1300 acres planned out rather than piecemeal development.

This is a huge point for me.   

I get the comments that it can be considered sprawl but I don't see it.  There is a difference between sprawl and growth.  It would be one thing if Charlotte was not growing and people were abandoning property close to the city to move away from issues, but that's not the case here.  The population of the region is going to double and those people need to live somewhere.  

Unless someone has a magical plan to redevelop, read gentrify, massive swaths of land for redevelopment near the city core that is not astronomical in cost and lacking probability due to various issues...this is needed.  

1 minute ago, ah59396 said:

I'm 100% with you here.  I don't like anything about this project.  I also don't trust Charlotte to do this well.  I've been burned enough by pretty pictures and "plans" that never come to fruition.  I fully expect this project to be unveiled with high hopes that will ultimately result in something lack luster, composed of poor quality architecture, sprawly as hell and basically an extension of that stupid outlet mall and neighborhood design directly south of it on 485.  This project will be wedged between a steam plant and a major airport.  I'm having a hard time envisioning this being what we want it will be.  I hope I'm wrong.

So if I understand you correctly....

You don't see to have an issue with the idea of developing this land.  Rather you have an issue with how it will be developed.  Is that right?  If so, it's a fair position and I agree with you on the concerns.  

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4 hours ago, cjd5050 said:

This is a huge point for me.   

I get the comments that it can be considered sprawl but I don't see it.  There is a difference between sprawl and growth.  It would be one thing if Charlotte was not growing and people were abandoning property close to the city to move away from issues, but that's not the case here.  The population of the region is going to double and those people need to live somewhere.  

Unless someone has a magical plan to redevelop, read gentrify, massive swaths of land for redevelopment near the city core that is not astronomical in cost and lacking probability due to various issues...this is needed.  

So if I understand you correctly....

You don't see to have an issue with the idea of developing this land.  Rather you have an issue with how it will be developed.  Is that right?  If so, it's a fair position and I agree with you on the concerns.  

Yes.  Correct.  I'm not worried about the loss of that land.  I just don't like sprawl in general and I don't expect this to be an improvement.  I also think the notion from the city that we've "run out of room" is laughable.

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"Run out of room" that we haven't already built culs de sac suburbs on. Developers like big tracts of land, you'll never get that in an environment where you have to go piece by piece, lot by lot, block by block. This type of greenfield development is a lot riskier than infill, but it's what corporations and banks like to see.

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Okay, so when I finally listened to this Developer's representative on Charlotte Talks from the other week, they talked a pretty good game. They had me walking away thinking this will end up being like a piece-meal Birkdale or Baxter Village. And the fact that they're at least acknowledging the interest in a transit corridor preservation (even though they didn't say they're asking Charlotte to do it with them) was promising... 

Edited by SgtCampsalot

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I see sprawl written all over this.  While I don't lament the loss of this land to development per se, if this turns out to be a carbon copy of Ballantyne, I think I will vomit.  And I have minimal confidence that our esteemed city leadership will prevent anything like that from happening.

If, however, they do manage a light rail corridor, a good street grid, and densities like Crystal City (without the nasty brutalist architecture), then it will turn out to be a good project.

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2 minutes ago, cltbwimob said:

I see sprawl written all over this.  While I don't lament the loss of this land to development per se, if this turns out to be a carbon copy of Ballantyne, I think I will vomit.  And I have minimal confidence that our esteemed city leadership will prevent anything like that from happening.

If, however, they do manage a light rail corridor, a good street grid, and densities like Crystal City (without the nasty brutalist architecture), then it will turn out to be a good project.

The last two-thirds of this Charlotte Talks episode is about this project and they give a tight street grid and walkable services good lip service. I don't know what to believe but it gives hope...

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The local media is the one comparing this to Ballantyne because of the size of the rezoning.  It is nothing like that. It is more like a huge Baxter with densely built areas and as it gets closer to Lake Wylie/the river it gets less dense. Almost 500 acres are preserved.I have driven through this area and I encourage you to.  It is scrub pine trees mostly and lots of kudzu and deep ravines. 

Edited by KJHburg
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As long as it has some height (stacked parking decks for retail/office density, aka the opposite of the lone buildings surrounded by oceans of parking lots in Ballantyne) and at least some advance planning for mass transit (future commuter rail to Gaston cough cough) then I'm largely fine with it. Although really I expect neither. 

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I dislike this plan; here's why:

I moved to Charlotte from Long Island, NY, a place that I disliked greatly - and much of my dislikes are the direct consequences of poor planning

- Traffic was absolutely horrendous.  Absolutely horrendous.  Not enough roadways, and the roads that were there didn't have adequate laneage.

(Hello...Charlotte?)

- Suburban style planning that produced too much car dependancy

(Hello...Charlotte?)

- Cul-de-sac communities that encourage isolation between members within the community

(Charlotte...to an extent)

First, urban planners need to scrap the idea that "roadways are bad;" appropriate the space for future road expansion in the center of the road, in the form of wide center medians.  This would enable future road expansion, cheaply, and easily, if needed in the future.  And if it's decided not to expand the road, residents will be left with beautiful center medians which could be decorated with trees, plants, and flowers.

Second, appropriate land and/or build out 485 to be 5-6 lanes in each direction (10-12 lanes total).  Massive amounts of traffic stifle growth, and make for a miserable populace.  And while urban planners would like it such that people live and work in close proximity to one another,the reality is that that's often not the case.

Third, design the River District *around* a permanent form of mass transportation.  If the City/State does not have the money to install a proper LYNX East/West line now, design the community around a proposed line, that will make it easy to implement a proper rail line in the future.

Fourth, enough of this biking nonsense.  Biking, and dedicated bike lanes, are great.  Yet, most people are not going to commute via bicycle.  Therefore, make the development in such a way that it's totally pedestrian friendly.  The one thing I love about the LYNX line is the parallel path that runs along it.  People should be able to live independently of their cars if they choose to.  Much of Charlotte fails in this regard.

Fifthly, how about a true downtown River District like what Savannah has, that would truly give Charlotte it's own branding and distinction?  I am talking about something authentic that doesn't speak of "planned community."  I'd love to see another Bay Ridge Brooklyn style development of midrise apartment buildings, bars, and diversity of local restaurants.  The key here is not adapting a urbanized version of a suburban model.

Without the above elements, I am afraid that Charlotte is going to be the next Long Island: an unsustainable, traffic clogged, area, whose residents are unhappy because they spend too much time at work and in traffic.

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and speaking of sprawl....

Gaston County is now pushing for a bridge over the Catawba to connect to West blvd (and Dixie Berryhill). Seems like a well timed project for a trump-toll bridge.

While adding a rail transit portion to the bridge is certainly doable (no mention of it in the article though), it is a sub-optimal route into Belmont and Gastonia. One plus is that NS might be willing to sell CATS a portion of their ROW (not sharing tracks, new construction) on their Allen steam plant line. But the trip through South Belmont would have very few riders and lots of NIMBYs to whine about transit.

Anyone know anything about the future of the Allen plant? Seems like a great riverfront parcel but the remediation costs would certainly be _astronomical_.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article117456563.html

 

Edited by kermit

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On 11/23/2016 at 3:01 PM, kermit said:

^ its only partially about urban design for me. IMO to avoid creating unsustainable suburban dross a new development needs to be 1) sufficiently dense to generate the municipal tax revenue necessary to pay for its schools, police, fire etc. 2) walkable to a degree that residents and workers don't get in a car for every trip and 3) potentially connected to the urban core(s) in a way that can be cost-effectively adapted to population growth.

They can accomplish these things at the river district if they have a transit corridor reserved (which also requires action from the city that we have not seen yet).  Ballantyne fails on all three of these criteria. I think Birkdale does as well.

I think Birkdale does a much better job than Ballantyne but is that really saying that much.  While Birkdale is technically 'walkable' for the people who live in the connected SF homes, the reality is many still drive.  I know developers can only build on land they own but Birkdale misses the mark for me in that the SF homes behind the village is just a haphazard subdivision.  

If they could have found a way to do a parkway from the village to W Catawba Avenue and on that parkway lined it a mixture of large lot homes inbetween a couple of traffic circles that had mixed use on them and then feed off that parkway to other homes...this could have been an amazing place to live.  Something similar to how Olmstead viewed parkways as corridors long, long ago.  

 

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44 minutes ago, kermit said:

and speaking of sprawl....

Gaston County is now pushing for a bridge over the Catawba to connect to West blvd (and Dixie Berryhill)

Isn't that effectively where the "Garden Parkway" was to have a river crossing and connect to 485?

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Yup, it's the stub end of the parkway. 

I would not be at all surprised to see the whole parkway resurrected as part of a new 'infrastructure' plan.

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10 hours ago, kermit said:

and speaking of sprawl....

Gaston County is now pushing for a bridge over the Catawba to connect to West blvd (and Dixie Berryhill). Seems like a well timed project for a trump-toll bridge.

While adding a rail transit portion to the bridge is certainly doable (no mention of it in the article though), it is a sub-optimal route into Belmont and Gastonia. One plus is that NS might be willing to sell CATS a portion of their ROW (not sharing tracks, new construction) on their Allen steam plant line. But the trip through South Belmont would have very few riders and lots of NIMBYs to whine about transit.

Anyone know anything about the future of the Allen plant? Seems like a great riverfront parcel but the remediation costs would certainly be _astronomical_.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article117456563.html

 

I'm against the River project in this form, however i don't believe street connectivity is inherently sprawl producing. I think there needs to be an alternative to getting from south Gaston to Charlotte by surface street.  

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I'm really sad that all that area will be developed, all I care about is the bloody trees. Look at the area on google maps, its one of the last few areas with continuous tree coverage; it's going to be a shame to watch those trees be cut down. We should be encouraging dense urban development in and around Uptown, not destroying nature areas- which are so important.  

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23 minutes ago, CLT704 said:

I'm really sad that all that area will be developed, all I care about is the bloody trees. Look at the area on google maps, its one of the last few areas with continuous tree coverage; it's going to be a shame to watch those trees be cut down. We should be encouraging dense urban development in and around Uptown, not destroying nature areas- which are so important.  


put all the trees in a tree mueseum and charge a dollar and half just to see them..."   It is truly a sad time. Despite all the pollution and, yes that controversial topic of GW, we won't slow down our inexorable 'progress'. Whatever that is.

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On 11/29/2016 at 2:40 PM, tozmervo said:

As a society, we have failed to learn the important lessons of Ferngully.

a08f4f17b4c85a1bfb1e21239b7cfff0.jpg

That movie scared the crap out of me as a child. 

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