Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Small area plan still large

I hope you've had a chance to read Andrew and Becca Nesbit's excellent article in the Summer 2007 issue of the Elizabeth Community Association newsletter. If you haven't, I encourage you to check it out. It is an concise summation of why the original Elizabeth Small Area Plan was so important to our neighborhood and why we need to do another one. Here are a couple of highlights from Andrew and Becca's article:
  1. "As a result of our engagement in [the project to update the ESAP], we've learned that many of the things we love about Elizabeth were not accidental, but instead were the result of cooperation, dedication and extensive planning."
  2. "The original Elizabeth Small Area Plan, which took five years to complete, was the first small area plan adopted in Charlotte."
  3. "Today... there is no reference to the Elizabeth Neighborhood Plan on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department website nor is a copy available in the department's office."
  4. "There exists no officially recognized document to guide development and provide a framework for evaluating and providing input to the constant changes that face Elizabeth."
  5. "Elizabeth has an identity and will continue to have one, but that identity should be determined and developed by those who care for Elizabeth, not those who see Elizabeth as a place... to make a profit."
With some comments from yours truly, referring to the points above by number:
  1. I hope everyone realizes that Elizabeth would not be Elizabeth -- that is to say it would be a lot less than it is -- without the original ESAP. I don't think this point can be overstated.
  2. The group of folks -- Ken Lambla and others -- who brought you the original ESAP were visionary ground-breakers. Can we fill their shoes?
  3. These things are living documents. If we don't care and feed them, they will expire. Ours has expired, leaving us vulnerable.
  4. This means every time a Blockbuster wants to put a brightly-lit, big-box, huge-parking lot edifice in your backyard and unscrupulous local business owners start tearing down houses in the middle of the night, we have to fight it with little support.
  5. Either we do it or someone else will. Someone else may not have our best interests at heart.
I encourage everyone to volunteer to help design the new Elizabeth Small Area Plan. Call Andrew Nesbitt at 704-344-9725 if you'd like to help.


Anonymous said...

John, any chance of getting a copy of the Summer 2007 ECA newsletter. Looks like I was left out again.

John G.

John McBride said...

I'll see if I can get you one John.