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Residents raise concerns about boulevard plan

The Charlotte City Council was bombarded Monday with concerns from residents regarding the proposed Independence Boulevard Area Plan.

Ed Garber, an Independence Boulevard-area resident, said businesses and property owners along the corridor don’t know what the future of Independence Boulevard will be and whether it will include bus rapid transit, light rail or high-occupancy vehicle or toll lanes.

Like many, Garber asked the council to wait to approve the plan until a land-use study from the Urban Land Institute is complete in October.

Jim Cavalaris, a property owner along Independence Boulevard, questioned the council’s decision to orient the area plan around transit stations that have not been built or may not be built for years to come.

“We’ve suffered for years,” Cavalaris said. “I just want to know that something’s going to be built.”

Mayor Anthony Foxx said the council’s delay in a decision about what kind of mass transit will be used in the corridor might be causing the confusion.

“In trying to please everybody on Independence Boulevard, we’ve created the problem of uncertainty,” Foxx said. “By committing, we will be giving this market certainty.”

After hearing the concerns Monday, the council decided to close the public comment period. The city’s economic development committee will review the plan and make its recommendation to the council.

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

One comment

  1. Foxx said “In trying to please everybody on Independence Boulevard, we’ve created the problem of uncertainty,”“By committing, we will be giving this market certainty.”
    – The reality is there will be no certainty and the investors will be scared away more than they already are. We jsut got the transitional setback removed last 45 days ago. His was very imprtant because construction had been legally forbidden for over 19 years. So now there is the opportunity for construction to begin agian, and now the city is trying to put Transit Oriented Development zoning on independence. The problem is there are no transit stations, or mass transit, nevermind a decision on what kind of transit will (if ever) be provided. There is currently NO PLAN for any mass transit on Independence. The longest range plan is 2035 and it has no plan fo Independence transit. If the zoning is based on transit and transit stations that wont exist until AFTER 2035, what developer is going to develop under such zoning until after the tranit mode is selected, built, and stations are built? the answer is no one. Commitment… Absolutely not. Govenrment sanctioned dead zone. Yes.

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