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monsoon

Planning for 100 Sq Miles of Mecklenburg County

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monsoon    0

Huntersville, Cornelus & Davidson make up 100 square miles of the 526 sq mile Mecklenburg County. They operate independant planning and zoning boards from Charlotte and the other 3 communities. The 3 towns are working together on numerous projects to guide growth in the area.

Recently, Huntersville recently revamped their city website and there is a link now that describes the new town planning philosophy adopted by the town in 1996. (It has since been modified a bit) Davidson and Cornelus have instituted similar plans.

It is an interesting read and something that should be considered in Charlotte to halt much of the really bad development that continues within the CLT city limits and its EJT. I thought that I would post it here since most people in the city don't often get the opportunity to see and hear what is going on in the North.

Huntersville Town Planning Philosophy

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monsoon    0

exit 25.  enough said.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well no you are incorrect. Did you actually read the link or just dismiss it outright? In any case there is a lot to be said about Exit 25. Exit 25 is one of the reasons that Huntersville adopted ordinance above as most of the development occured the new zoning ordinance was adopted.

The zoning for the present construction for Exit 25 was approved by Mecklenburg County in 1990 before Huntersville took it over. In those days, the County Council was responsible for approving developments in the unincorporated areas. Exit 25 is a very good example of bad development that exists in much of Mecklenburg but fortunately Huntersville is now doing what it can to fix what happened there.

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Nostyle    0

Sounds great, on paper. We'll have to see if Huntersville/Concord/Cornelius stick to their guns when these policies limit their growth in relation to other areas of the city. After seeing the mess at exit 25, I think all of us are a little gunshy to call Huntersville a 'smart growth' community.

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monsoon    0

While Exit 25 is bad by Huntersville standards, it really isn't that bad compared to much of what is found in Charlotte. It could be much worse, but I agree smart growth it isn't.

For an example of much better mixed used development that Huntersville did approve, Exit 23 just 2 miles away is much better. And the upcoming changes to Exit 28 that Cornelus is getting ready to re-develop are very impressive.

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dubone    622

While Exit 25 is bad by Huntersville standards, it really isn't that bad compared to much of what is found in Charlotte.  It could be much worse, but I agree smart growth it isn't. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

(I don't any specific examples or histories, but).... is it possible that the negative examples in charlotte were also from when county was in control, or from 30-50 years ago?.

I don't have anything negative to say about the northern towns, for the most part. I think they have done a tremendous job of becoming a attractive part of the charlotte area. People moving hear find that area and associated lake lifestyle very unique and interesting. It draws many people that would otherwise be VERY uninterested in living around here.

But to my original point, is is possible that charlotte is also doing a good job with its development priciples, etc., even though it must deal on a much larger population scale? They are requiring mixes of use in decent proximity in exurban areas to prevent low quality sprawl, and put significant resources into high density inner-city and transit line density.

I'm not trying to do a north meck vs. south meck thing, but i personally think that all municipalities in meck county are trying to a good job with zoning except pineville.

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monsoon    0

Oh no problem dubone, I wasn't attempting to start a North vs South thing either. We have some forumers that always view these things this way but that wasn't the point of this post. Instead I wanted to have a discussion on what could be done in the county that would improve some of the development here.

You are correct that most of the new zoning in the County was approved by the Mecklenburg County Council since it was almost always in the un-incorporated parts of the county. The zoning the Mecklenburg County council used to do was very bad. Then once the sprawl was complete, the cities would inherit the problem. This was a big problem for the cities and not easy to fix. However sometime in late 90s, the NC Legislature gave the municipalities in Mecklenburg the power to zone in their EJT's or Spheres of influence. This ended the County zoning powers and give the cities a new tool to control growth. It was around that time that Huntersville placed a moritorium on all new sub-division approvals and came up with the present plan to guide development. I believe the moritorium lasted more than 18 months. Davidson and Cornelus have taken similar steps.

Charlotte has made some positive changes but more could be done. I believe Charlotte has a requirement for sidewalks now and that cul de sac developments are prohibited. On the otherhand the City Council is way too quick to approve starter home development which creats some of the worst sprawl consisting of cheap vinyl cookie cutter houses with no character in the neighborhoods. There was a recent article in the paper about this.

If you have not seen this map, it shows the city limits of each town (might be a bit dated) and the EJT's of each town.

spheres01_sm.jpg

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dubone    622

thanks for the extra info.

I think that ETJ zoning has been an excellent tool for the long-term health of the county. (i think county was previously focused on the quick buck while they still had the land in their juris).

I definitely think charlotte has a lot to learn from the northern towns, but is making some really good progress. I think it is tough because zoning is a battle between diverse politicians with diverse consituents and diverse philosophies, developers, residents, prospective customers, etc.

Just take a look at the recent zoning battle with levine and eastside residents. They fought tooth and nail to avoid an emergency access path, through their heavily trafficked neighborhood and wanted to stay neighbors with vacant industrial land rather than have it cleaned up to become a shopping center.

It is tough to balance all of these things, especially when people basically just want nothing to change, ever. And politically, people often succeed in freezing their area in time... but that basically eliminates infill, and subsequently leads to sprawl to satisfy growth demands.

Regionally, though, the entire county needs to work to get as high quality as possible at zoning and development, in order to be competive long term with regional counties that are praying to suck some growth their way.

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norm21499    128

Charlotte can not be too strict with its growth strategy, ebcause that will further force growth out of the county and into surrounding counties, and we do not want that. Things will eventually fill in, it might take a while longer than we want it to, but it will.

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dubone    622

I agree. In many way, the northern towns act as "bad cop", if you will, to charlotte's "good cop". Together, they seem to get the confession (higher quality development) more often than not. both areas of the county have grown substantially in recent times.

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Southend    0

Well no you are incorrect.  Did you actually read the link or just dismiss it outright?  In any case there is a lot to be said about Exit 25.  Exit 25 is one of the reasons that Huntersville adopted ordinance above as most of the development occured the new zoning ordinance was adopted. 

The zoning for the present construction for Exit 25 was approved by Mecklenburg County in 1990 before Huntersville took it over.  In those days, the County Council was responsible for approving developments in the unincorporated areas.  Exit 25 is a very good example of bad development that exists in much of Mecklenburg but fortunately Huntersville is now doing what it can to fix what happened there.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To be quite honest, I did not read the link. However, I have been a little irritated with nomeck residents that i've come across lately, thats why i was a little snippy- sorry about that.

As far as the ordinance, any community in the suburbs of charlotte that takes the initiative to further the prosperity and comfort of their local residents with long-range growth and planning in mind, is almost revolutionary. basically, char-meck's suburbs, for the most part, are whored out habitats that encourage messy development and bottlenecked connector routes. kudos to h-ville for adopting this.

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monsoon    0

As can be seen in the map above, the majority of the suburbs in Mecklenburg county are under zoning control of the Charlotte City Council. Hopefully they can put a halt to some of the more blatent examples of sprawl. I think the city needs a plan to preserve open space, and not let it all get developed with endless starter home development.

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dubone    622

As can be seen in the map above, the majority of the suburbs in Mecklenburg county are under zoning control of the Charlotte City Council.  Hopefully they can put a halt to some of the more blatent examples of sprawl.  I think the city needs a plan to preserve open space, and not let it all get developed with endless starter home development.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Charlotte DOES have a plan to preserve open space. It is called Mount Pisgah National Forest. :w00t:

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Raintree21    2

Anybody think that Charlotte will ever cross the county line? State line? Or is that legal? Is it possible to take someone else's sphere of influence or buy it from them?

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monsoon    0

There is nothing in NC State law which would prevent Charlotte from annexing on the other side of the county line. There are already a number of precidents.

Since the State governments incorporate cities, Charlotte can not annex into SC without involving the SC Legislature.

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Spartan    682

There is nothing in NC State law which would prevent Charlotte from annexing on the other side of the county line.  There are already a number of precidents. 

Since the State governments incorporate cities, Charlotte can not annex into SC without involving the SC Legislature.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SC would never allow tax money in SC to go to Charlotte. The best you could hope for is the incporporation of a new town like "South Charlotte." However if you have been following South Carolina's news at all lately you might know that this isn't an easy thing to do. A more realistic expectation would be the expansion of Fort Mill and Rock Hill to the state line.

In fact, are there any instances anywhere of a city annexing land in an adjacent state?

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Raintree21    2

In fact, are there any instances anywhere of a city annexing land in an adjacent state?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can't find any examples of this. The only thing I can find are "metropolitan areas" that cross state lines. Meaning one big city (Charlotte) with multiple towns on the outskirts that form branches of the city (Pineville, Matthews, Huntersville Fort Mill, Gastonia). This is talked about a bunch in the paper OES/Wage Survey Methodology Impact: Multi-State Metropolitan Projections Feasibility.

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dubone    622

I can't find any examples of this. The only thing I can find are "metropolitan areas" that cross state lines.  Meaning one big city (Charlotte) with multiple towns on the outskirts that form branches of the city (Pineville, Matthews, Huntersville Fort Mill, Gastonia). This is talked about a bunch in the paper OES/Wage Survey Methodology Impact: Multi-State Metropolitan Projections Feasibility.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, even the most obvious cross-state city, Kansas City, is/are two separate entities: Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO.

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