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monsoon

Observer Urbie Awards for Charlotte

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monsoon    0

The Observer has posted this years Urbie Awards for development in Charlotte. I find it to be pretty much on the mark. Interesting they once considered a 1% transit tax instead of the current 1/2% that was voted in.

They also posted Insiders Guide to Growth which also is pretty much on the mark on what should be changed about the way Charlotte controls development.

Comments?

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I read that this morning. I can't really add much because I'm still pretty "green" where Charlotte is concerned. I have no idea where Union County or Weddington are. From my limited experience in Charlotte metro, I will say she's right on about preserving old buildings. Downtown Spencer is such a joy. Gastonia, Waxhaw and Rock Hill have all managed to save large portions of their historic architecture.

It was a great article. I really enjoyed it and learned a bit about development in Charlotte.

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krazeeboi    115

A good read. The snippet about regional planning was especially on-point. That is key if Charlotte doesn't want to turn into another you-know-where.

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DigitalSky    5

Too often the city's own ordinances undercut its plans. That's because ordinances, which govern zonings, subdivision and floodplain development, tree protection and so on, are legally binding. Plans aren't. Consider: In 2000 the city revised its plan for the Interstate 485-Providence Road area. It envisions a neighborhood with sidewalks, a library, better transit, parks, greenways and bike paths. It recommends "tree preservation" and saving natural terrain. Retail should be along a "main street."It urges preserving historic farmhouses.

Today the area is just more standard suburbia. Where are the parks, the terrain, the preserved trees and farmhouses?

that's a pretty good point

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monsoon    0

It takes some pretty good political willpower to standup to the developers. So while the city will spend a lot of tax money to put together development plans, the city council will often disregard the results of this planning, and instead grant the developers zonings which completely gut the plan.

Charlotte has been doing a pretty good job with the development of the CBD, Southend, East Blvd, and several of the other close in neighborhoods, but beyond that, it has done a terrible job at planning and enforcing those plans.

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dubone    621

recent charlotte councils have, however, attempted to stay true to the plans around the 485 interchanges. they have continued to vote down excess retail at the albemarle interchange.

I'm not sure, though, if northlake counts in that or not... but that was a strategic decision to combat sales tax losses at concord mills, and to avoid the north meck regional mall being outside charlotte city limits.

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monsoon    0

Northlake is still an unknown, as most of the land around there is still undeveloped. The best example of my statement above and one of the most glaring failures of planning in the city, is University City located just a few miles away. University City was conceived and approved as the first urban village in Mecklenburg (and maybe NC) where people would forgo the automobile and instead walk and bike to work and shop. It's ironic that it turned into exactly the opposide as the horrible mess that we have there instead is the result if the city council approving development after development that went against these original plans.

The city, I believe, paid for a bunch of consultants to draw up another plan to address this disaster. It included changes that would make the area more pedestrian friendly and less dependant on the automobile. This was 2-3 years ago. From what I have seen nothing has been done with that, and new strip mall development continues to be approved. (Promenade Phase II for example).

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monsoon    0

BTW, one area where I think the city has a good chance to do it correctly is along the South LRT. There is a great deal of TOD planned for the area from a government spending persective. If they stick to it, this could be quite a transformation for a corridor that has been lambasted for decades as being trashy and unappealing. This road was also mostly developed around the automobile, so here is a good chance for the city to change it into something much better. If the South LRT is successful in doing so, then I predict it will be a model for other parts of the city as well as other cities in the state.

So far the signs are very promising.

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