Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Maya Packard writes:

Last night, members of the Elizabeth community gathered to discuss some of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools planning and proposed options to deal with overcrowding at Eastover Elementary. It was a good meeting and we had a productive dialogue.

Here are some key dates that you should be aware of:

  • Tonight, Sept. 29, 6:30 -- 8:30 PM, Myers Park High School - CMS-hosted
  • Meeting to discuss options (open to public).
  • Thursday, Oct. 8, 6:30 -- 8:30 PM, Myers Park High School - CMS-hosted
  • Meeting to discuss options (open to public).
  • Week of Oct. 12 -- ECA to convene and work on options to submit to the
  • Board of Education plus CMS staff.
  • Oct. 27 -- CMS staff to present recommendations.
  • Nov. 4 -- Election Day.
  • Nov. 10 -- Board of Education votes on option(s).
We don't want to overload the entire community with school-related issues, so if Elizabeth's place in CMS is important to you (whether you have children at Eastover or not), and you would like to receive regular email updates, or would like to volunteer or be involved in working towards a Elizabeth community solution, please email Winn Maddrey at winn@topicseducation.com.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Two school zones for Elizabeth?

The Elizabeth Community Association is hosting a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 to discuss  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools options for addressing overcrowding at Eastover Elementary. This meeting will be held in the Fellowship Hall at Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church, at 501 Hawthorne Ln.

All of the options will be discussed at the meeting. CMS's process is two public forums on Sept. 29 and Oct. 8, with recommendations later presented to the school board and a vote scheduled
for Nov. 10.

Three of the four options split Elizabeth into two school zones along Hawthorne Lane.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Small Area plan meeting tomorrow

The city will hold two meetings tomorrow to discuss the process of the Elizabeth Small Area Plan.  Both meetings are at St. John's Baptist Church (corner of 5th and Hawthorne), the first at 4 p.m., the second at 6 p.m.

Says Alan Goodwin of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department:

The purpose of these identical meetings is to introduce the plan and planning process, solicit Citizen Advisory Group members, and hear stakeholders’ opinions, concerns, and ideas about the study area and plan scope. The same agenda items will be discussed at both meetings.

The Elizabeth Area Plan (EAP) will be a policy document that provides the framework for future growth and development and serves as guidance for elected officials when making land use and zoning decisions. It will provide a vision for what the community wants to be in the future and will identify what public and private investments and strategies should be pursued in order to realize the plan vision.

More specifically, the area plan will:

involve the community through an advisory group process in developing a long-term vision for the physical development of the area;
  •     identify and address physical development issues and opportunities;
  •     identify future land uses in an overall community-wide context;
  •     recommend future transportation and infrastructure improvements;
  •     provide community design policies;
  •     provide direction on the preservation and/or protection of the natural environment;
  •     provide implementation strategies for private and public investment decisions needed to realize the plan vision.
The Elizabeth Area Plan will update the 1985 Elizabeth Small Area Plan and the broader adopted land use plan now in place for the area (1993 Central District Plan). It will also build upon some of the concepts presented in the Seventh Street Developer Response (May 2008).
For more information regarding the Elizabeth Area Plan, please contact:
Alan Goodwin
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department
600 East Fourth Street (8th Floor)
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202


If you have a minute, please fill out this survey regarding the Elizabeth Small Area Plan before tomorrow's meetings.  It's 10 questions about our neighborhood, and it will take you about 5-10 minutes to complete.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Craft attack at park

Hi Elizabeth,

My name is Vickie Cockrum & I live on Clement Avenue in Elizabeth.  I am trying to get the word out to Elizabeth residents about an Indy Craft Show, CraftAttack 2009 that will be held in Elizabeth Park on October 10th from 10-5.  There will be 50 Indy vendors selling all Handmade merchandise (mostly vendors from the Charlotte area that sell on Etsy.com).  This is a juried show, so everything is quality!

Here is the website:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Home tour

Comment on 7th Street development

Beth Haenni writes:

You may comment on the proposed Winter 7th Street development by emailing your comments to:  winteron7th@gmail.com
The proposed Winter Properties plan and a map are available for viewing on the homepage of www.elizabethcommunity.com. Due to subsequent city-related deadlines, the deadline for Elizabeth neighborhood comments to this email address is:  this Wednesday, September 2. The gmail address will be monitored by ECA representatives, who will compile the comments, render them anonymous, and submit them to the developer along with summarized comments from the public meeting held on August 27.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quiet fall at Memorial

I've occasionally been miffed at the noise coming from Memorial Stadium -- sometimes it sounds like it's right next door, especially during an otherwise quiet Friday night. And more than one big high school game at Memorial has caused parking problems on my street. But I still think it's a shame that there'll be no football this fall at Memorial Stadium. I will miss it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thank you Gary Dunn

No, I haven't used them yet. I've thought about it and even talked about it. But my inability to get over to Independence Park and play on the ping-pong tables that Gary Dunn donated  doesn't mean I don't think it's a really cool thing he did. Thanks Gary.

Charlotte: an extreme deviation from the mean?

Our fair city -- I had no idea:  “Charlotte's an outlier" -- this from no less an expert than Elizabeth's own Dan Clodfelter, a Democratic state Senator. On occasion I've felt like an outlier in Charlotte, but the city is so plain it's hard to see it outside the norm. What could this mean?

The Queen City: a person who lives away from his place of work?  An extreme deviation from the mean? A portion of stratified rock separated from a main formation by erosion?

Me,  I wanted to think of Dan's comment as a reference to Malcolm Gladwell's book of the same name because I wanted to think the city is full of  "exceptional people, especially those who are smart, rich, and successful, and those who operate at the extreme outer edge of what is statistically possible." Certainly we have our share of smart and rich people, but that doesn't explain Dan's comment.

Unless you recall the Great State of Mecklenburg. You know, the theory that there's Charlotte and there's the rest of North Carolina. Charlotte goes its own way and doesn't care about other areas of the state. And other areas of the state don't care about it. Reckon that's the definition of an outlier.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Running time

The 23rd annual Elizabeth 8K Road Race is Saturday. The proceeds benefit the beautification of our neighborhood. The 8K starts at 8 a.m., the 3K at 8:05. As always, there there will be festivities after the race at Independence Park. Sign up online by Friday, March 27.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dang it's good

You wonder about what's happening to the businesses on Elizabeth Avenue while the street is all torn up. You have questions about why that lovely old house on 7th Street at Louise is gone -- just like that. You can't remember when the Elizabeth road race is -- or the Elizabeth recycling event or the Elizabeth Easter egg hunt.

You are in bad need of the Elizabeth Spring 2009 newsletter. It's got all this and more -- stuff you can't get elsewhere (least of all here at UTWT, which has obviously dropped the ball on coverage the last few months). Also, there's a coupon for $3 off a large pizza at my favorite Elizabeth pizza joint. I'd link to the newsletter, but I can't find it on the Elizabeth Community site .

Monday, February 16, 2009

Peaking in 28204

The Observer reports that for homes in ZIP code 28204, last year brought the highest average sales price of the last six years. If you take a look at the interactive map, you'll notice that 2008 also saw the fewest number of homes sold in the ZIP: 98, or about 10 fewer than the average sold each of the last six years. Having fewer homes sold in a year could affect the average price, but it's difficult to say which way.

So at least up until 2008, home prices were still rising in Elizabeth. Is that still the case? Too early to tell, I guess. Homes seem to linger on the market longer than they used to, but that's just based on my limited observation. I've always maintained that as long as downtown Charlotte remains a viable office park, property values in Elizabeth and other close-in neighborhoods should do well. Can downtown Charlotte prosper with two banking behemoths reeling?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

'Lizbeth legs

Register now for the 23rd annual Elizabeth 8K, or if you prefer the slower pace of the 3K, go for that. As always, the proceeds benefit the beautification of our fab hood. 

Watch your mailbox

Crime Dudette writes:
A 5th Street resident placed two envelopes with bill payment in her mailbox last week. One was a utility bill, the other was a tax bill. On Saturday she received a phone call from a woman residing on Perrin Place who told her she had found a bunch of opened mail near her house. The Perrin Place resident retrieved the mail and saw our Elizabeth neighbor’s return address on one of the envelopes. Having the presence of mind to check the phone book, this woman contacted the Elizabeth resident, who then reported the incident to the police. She also contacted her bank.
Apparently the thieves who stole her mail were able to obtain her checking account information from her check, and they proceeded to order electronic funds transfers to be made. One such transfer was made to a local WalMart in excess of $500. The crime committed here was quite sophisticated and far more serious than a misdemeanor. Our neighbor wants residents to be advised this type of crime is occurring in Elizabeth. 
Dudette's report also said this happened to two other Elizabethans. CD says: "While outgoing mail hasn’t been confirmed to be the culprit of all the above, we know it’s happening. Either hand your mail personally to our mail carriers or take it yourself to the post office."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Renew renew renew renew renew

The lovely and talented Maya Packard reminds us that the start of the new year (ok, I'm a month behind) is time to renew your ECA membership:
This year, the ECA needs your involvement more than ever, especially during these tough economic times. Our theme this year is LIZ GOES GREEN! Not only are we intent on preserving our tree canopy, but we are also keen on supporting our neighborhood’s many unique restaurants and businesses -- all within walking distance!
It's only $20 per household. It's worth it for the Progressive Dinner and the Christmas party alone.

Do the doggie do

Crime Dudette writes:
The neighbors have noticed, as have I, that the 'hood appears to be more lax than previously with picking up dog droppings. PLEASE make sure that when you walk your dog, you pick up what they leave behind! It’s becoming quite an issue – when one dog leaves a present, all the other dogs leave a present in the same place. We know how competitive the little ones can be about territory!
I would like to add a big shout out to the folks who do bag the poo. Thank you for taking responsibility for fido.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Maya Packard writes:
The ECA has created an email mailing list to help encourage support of our neighborhood businesses.  Sign up for LizBizPromos today, and you will begin receiving occasional emails from Elizabeth restaurants and other businesses offering special promotional deals to Elizabeth residents.  To subscribe to this list, send an email to majordomo@elizabethcommunity.com with "subscribe lizbizpromos" in the body of the email.  If you have trouble subscribing, send an email to owner-lizbizpromos@elizabethcommunity.com and ask to be added to the list.

Farewell Design Center

Whether it was the right concept at the wrong time or simply the wrong concept to begin with, the Home Depot Design Center underneath Target at midtown is shutting down. Home Depot spent a lot of money over the years to train me on what a Home Depot store is. I'm just stupid enough that if you tag "Design Center" on the end of it, I still kind of expect a hardware store inside. That's not what I found. What I found I liked, but it wasn't a Home Depot.

At least I figured out a positive aspect of the choice developers made to emphasize parking over retail at the Home Depot/Target site: Now that the Design Center concept is dead, we're not stuck with a massive empty big box store at that corner. Because the store is so well hidden, it's vacancy will be hard to notice.