Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wake-up call for Elizabeth

Hope you're watching what's happening to our friends in Dilworth. They face the same pressures we do as a popular inner-city neighborhood dealing with growth. But they have a wild card we don't: Light rail. Mass transit for our corridor has been put off so far in the future it likely will never happen. Unfortunately that does not relieve us of the burden of preparing for what it might bring. Look what happened Monday.

Charlotte City Council approved a rezoning that will allow a massive project on the edge of Dilworth -- despite opposition from the Dilworth Community Development Association, despite reservations (pdf) from city planners. "The vote is a test case for the kind of development the city will allow along the rail line," the Observer reported.

Anyone who follows local politics knows developers hold tremendous sway over all our elected bodies. I'm not suggesting anything untoward. The Dilworth project will increase revenues for the city, put people to work, provide housing and likely spur further development. A few neighbors and planners can't compete against that -- even in a society where the "will of the people" is supposedly sacrosanct.

This should serve as a wake-up call for Elizabeth. How do we make sure we don't get steamrolled by the city and developers in the future? We get together now, all of us, and decide what's right for our neighborhood. Let's start with a small area plan (not that it helped Dilworth in this case) and go from there. Maybe we work with our friends in surrounding neighborhoods. Democracy it won't easy. Demoracy isn't. But if we don't start acting now, it will only get harder.

Rezoning approved

The city approved B&E Properties, LLC request for a rezoning at the corner of Hawthorne Lane and E. 5th Street Monday night. A medical office building is planned for the site.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

7th Street stats

Examine the November Elizabeth Crime stats and notice that 29 of 61 incidents -- almost half! -- occurred on East 7th Street. No surprise, I suppose, since 7th carries the highest traffic and the most people. It might be easy to dismiss the stats because of that. Maybe many or even most of the incidents happened to people who live elsewhere. We should avoid thinking like that. East 7th Street is the gateway to our Elizabeth and our entertainment center. We need to take care of it.

Captains of the block

Crime Dawg writes:
The ECA also needs block captains who live on the west side of 7th (towards Randolph). The core responsibility is to occasionally (approx. 5-6 times a year) distribute flyers to the houses in your area/block. It’s actually a lot of fun and a great way to see you neighbors on a weekend afternoon. And it only takes a little time (most routes can now be done is less than 30 minutes), especially if we have more captains to break up the routes. Remember, the more captains and the shorter the routes. Please contact Russell Crandall if you are interested in becoming an ECA block captain.  Please DO NOT contact the Crime Dawg! He’s got more than enough crime fighting on his hands.

Let's party

Yo it's time to party Elizabeth style. See you at Jane and Roxie's at 7 p.m.