Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Centers, corridors and wedges

Dana Inge writes:

There’s an "emergency" ECA meeting next week. Note from our ECA president Melanie Sizemore: We will have a community-wide meeting Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church to discuss a very important planning document which is being proposed by the planning office. The plan is on a fast track approval process so we need to make our comments heard as soon as possible. You can go to this link to read more about this proposed plan. In addition, the city has a survey at this link which will only be available online until Nov. 7. We need as many people as possible to attend this meeting so we can discuss this plan and how we will respond as a community.

The City of Charlotte's Office of Planning is updating their "Centers, Corridors and Wedges." Per the planning website:

"The 'Centers and Corridors' development framework was originally introduced in 1994 and is the City of Charlotte's adopted overarching policy for organizing and guiding growth and development within the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The framework is currently being updated and is expected to be adopted by the Charlotte City Council in the spring of 2009. The updated framework – referred to as the Centers, Corridors and Wedges Growth Framework - broadens the original transportation oriented focus to include other aspects of planning and development, such as public facility needs and environmental concerns. The update also provides more specific definitions and guidance for Centers and Corridors and expands the concept to provide recommendations for Wedges, as well."


Craig M said...

I attended the meeting this past Monday night. I believe there is definitely cause for concern over the proposed plan and I am happy to see that so many people in our neighborhood want to make sure that the integrity and character of our neighborhood are maintained. With that said, I also feel that there was a lot of skepticism and perhaps even misinformation being shared that I'd like to address. First of all, the plan is confined to city corporate limits and unincorporated areas of the county because that is the Char-Meck Planning Commission's sphere of influence. The towns (Huntersville, Mint Hill, etc.) have their own planning agencies. The CC&W Plan is being shared with the various planning agencies in order to obtain buy-in and fluidity between the various jurisdictions. Second, I talked to the city's Growth Corridor Manager and he assured me that the Planning Commission and other key figures recognize the extreme importance of maintaining cohesive, walkable, viable neighborhoods. The plan, in fact, has many positive elements that hint at that ideal (read pp. 17-22 under "General Corridor Areas", which is where Elizabeth is located). Here are some direct quotes: "Established low-density residential neighborhoods are, in most cases, appropriate for preservation"; "Desired uses,
locations and densities/intensities
will be determined by the area
planning process"; "a well-developed pedestrian and bicycle system" and "High quality streetscapes should be provided in General Corridor Areas to unify the corridor and soften the urban environment." The Growth Corridor Manager also stated a couple more important points: (1)one of the goals of the plan is to combat sprawl, which I'm sure most agree is not the way we want Charlotte to grow; (2) the plan is a general, overarching document. It will be the "lens" through which other more specific planning guidance documents are looked at, such at the Street Design Guidelines and smaller area plans.

I just wanted to share some of this information so we can all be a little better informed. I think it's awesome that there's so much interest and community action surrounding this issue. Please go to the links provided on ECA's website and take the survey. Provide specific comments about your desire to maintain the integrity and character of our neighborhood. Read the plan, write letters and emails, and get involved!

Thank you

Davis Whiteman said...

Hi, Josh. I'm sorry this comment isn't about your article, but I'm still too new at this to figure out how else to get in touch with you. I think we may have talked briefly at WordCamp Saturday, and now I'm learning what I can from participants' blogs. I thought it was a great event for people with similar interests. Check out my slightly skewed view of the day at, if you get a chance. Keep blogging! -- Davis

John McBride said...

Craig M: Thanks for taking the time to share the information you've collected. There is a lot of ground to cover.

Davis: Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed the event too, even though I had to leave early (it was my wife's birthday!).