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monsoon

New Park for North Mecklenburg

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I realize that some of you don't excited much by anything that happens outside the I-277 loop, but I find it interesting the Mecklenburg County Commission voted last Tuesday to spend $4,127,480 for 147 acres of farmland in the northern part of the county for a future park. This property adjoins another 200 acre site that is used in part by CMUD to provide water to Charlotte. It aslo adjoins McDowell greenway.

Eventually there will be a 200-300 acre park in this area. For comparison purposes, Freedom Park is 98 acres.

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200-300 acres is awesome! i've often complained that meck county doesn't have enough parks.... all the big ones seem to be in floodplains (eg. freedom park and many others) or old garbage dumps (eg. renaissance park and many others)

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Wow, that's a nice purchase. I'd love to see more of the open land to the west and northwest of that farm become part of the new park. Too bad it can't be extended up to the lake like Blyth Landing. Am I wrong to assume parks are the only public access points to the lake?

It's funny/scary to see the subdivisions creeping westward towards the farm from I-77.

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The cul-de-sac neighborhood immediately to the east of the new park was the Home-A-Rama neighborhood of 1989. Huntersville controls this area now, and no longer permits neighborhoods such as that to be built. (Mecklenburg Cnty controlled the zoning then)

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I think there is a tremendous opportunity still for Meck County to do this type of thing in other outlying areas. I think it would be amazingly progressive if the county would buy farms at market price in areas that would otherwise see sprawl, especially around 485 interchanges.

In fact, the main impetus to much of the sprawl that is occurring is that farmland is expensive to keep as a farm use, with such high property taxes. Many cases, families sell their farm as a way of retiring from the farming business because taxes and land values grow faster than crop yields or prices. Surely the county could work out a system with broad-reaching impact, where they give farmers a sizeable tax discount for keeping land as a farm or forest in exchange for some agreement not to sell to a developer.

I think that would serve to increase land values for surrounding areas, which would compel higher-quality/denser development to occur. in other words, the best of both worlds... denser development AND sustained idyllic surroundings.

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Actually qualified farmland in Mecklenburg gets taxed at a much lower rate than residential or business property. But the real pressure is the value of the land. Most sell out because they can get millions for the property. The Cook's should be commended in this case because they sold the land for below market rate to make this deal possible. In exchange they get to stay on the land and continue to farm it for free for the next few years.

It was a unique deal, but I hope we see more in Meck, before it is all gone. Huntersville will eventually gain control to the land and will use city funds to develop it into a park sometime in the future.

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The Cook's should be commended in this case because they sold the land for below market rate to make this deal possible.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Are the county's offers usually below market value? I've always assumed the county would be at a disadvantage in a bidding war with private developers. Could the county buy at market rate as dubone suggested?

And you're absolutely right that they should be commended. I'd imagine a lot of rural land owners and anti-sprawl types see eye to eye when it comes to preservation of rural areas.

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how is mecklenburg's park funding compared with other counties like us nationally?

when you look at cities like denver, they seem to have parks everywhere on their maps, but there are no where near the same levels of green in meck. i assumed that was because there was still a large amount of rural land, but that will otherwise be gone within a decade. NOW is the time for this county to seriously fund its land conservancy/park budgets.

yet another reason to hate the bloated and wasteful CMS.

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I agree.

One of the little known gems of a park that you don't hear much about is Blythe Landing shown above. This was a park that was created over the huge water intake for the Charlotte water plant also shown on the map. Many boaters know about this park because of the extremely nice boat launch facility there, probably the best in the county and on Lake Norman. Its also the southern most boat launch on the lake.

It also has a small cafe open on weekends that offers waterside dining, a small playground, and a pretty significant set of Beach Volleyball courts. Beach Volley ball is played there throughout the week on an amateur and team basis. There are a few photos at this link. The park also has a wooded nature trail that runs on the shore of Lake Noman.

Blythe is one of three Mecklenburg parks on Lake Norman. The other two are Ramsey Creek park and Jetton Rd park. Both are also very nice for what they offer.

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The cul-de-sac neighborhood immediately to the east of the new park was the Home-A-Rama neighborhood of 1989.  Huntersville controls this area now, and no longer permits neighborhoods such as that to be built.  (Mecklenburg Cnty controlled the zoning then)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, Wynfield Creek, it's very sprawly. Does it still only have one enterance or did they finish connecting it to that new stuff they were building?

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Its actually 3 neighborhoods.

Wynfield - the Home-A-Rama neighborhood

Wynfield Creek

Wynfield Forest.

The map shown above is old and does not include McAuley and some of Birkdale. All of the neighborhoods are interconnected now and incuding a back entrance out of the Wynfield communities that include two traffic roundabouts.

It is possible now due to the iinter-neighborhood connectivity to bike from Rosedale shown on that map to Blythe Landing without going onto any major road. Much of this area has dedicated bike trails (included ones retrofitted back into Wyfield) and sidewalks.

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