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Controversial Independence Boulevard plan wins City Council approval

The controversial Independence Boulevard area plan passed unanimously during a Charlotte City Council meeting Monday.

Among other things, transit has been a source of debate over the plan. The transit plan created by the Metropolitan Transit Commission includes bus rapid transit for the boulevard. But there has been a push for light-rail transit in the area.

Alysia Osborne, a planner with the city’s planning department, has said the plan is flexible and can work with either form of mass transit. She said planning staff members did not consider transit when creating the plan and instead focused on creating nodes of more intense mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development.

The number of those nodes has also been the focus of criticism. An ongoing study by the Urban Land Institute suggested that only three nodes were needed, but city planning staff members have included six nodes in the plan.

“This allows us to plan for a future we can work with,” Councilwoman Nancy Carter said as she introduced the area plan.

There was no further discussion by council members before taking the vote.

The city’s planning staff has been developing the plan since May 2008. Since its creation, there have been 12 pages of revisions made to the draft form.

Tara Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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