Have Coffee & Conversation With Local Legislators on April 11
Here’s your chance to ask questions of and make suggestions to your local legislators
before the N.C. General Assembly convenes in May. Sen. David Hoyle, Rep. William Current
and Rep. Wil Neumann are scheduled to participate in a Chamber Coffee & Conversation
on Friday, April 11, at Queen of The Apostles Catholic Church Family Center, 503 N. Main St., Belmont.
Coffee and juice and a light breakfast will be provided starting at 7:30 a.m. The program will start promptly at
8 a.m. and end at 9. The cost is $5 at the door. Registration is requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, call 704-825-5307, or go to the Chamber website at www.belmontchamber.com.
Almost 3,000 new homes are planned, along with a 36-acre “regional” park, and an additonal 30-acres for an elementary school site.
It is great to see their plans, but some of the land reserved for the park and the school site are basically very difficult and expensive terrain to develop.
It is both a good news and bad news type of story. The good news is that they plan a long term build out of the project — 15 to 20 years; The bad news is that the road plan is also a bit questionable. It is relying heavily on the use of South Point Road and an unfunded “spine” road closer to the South Fork River, connecting with Armstrong Ford Road(Main Street) near Timberlake and connecting to the Garden Parkway.
We hope that this particular road is built BEFORE the proposed houses and towncenters are approved. If you think South Point Road is busy now, wait for this development to take off.
Unfortunately — well maybe fortunately — the state builds roads, Senator Pittenger has a very cozy relationship with the development firms around the state. We would not be too surprised if this “spine road” gets fastracked. As former city councilmember Irl Dixon once stated, the TIP ( transportation Improvement Program) had already designated that a road needed to be built and overlayed a road path. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan by the City of Belmont accepted this overlay, so all things considered, the road could be a go…
Hopefully, the funding will be forthcoming from the state legislature. We know that Representative Wil Neumann of Belmont is supportive, if not for re-election purposes at the very least.
Other good news on this project is the developer. Haden Stanziale is a recognized leader in large tract development. The project will certainly be first class. The bad news about this developer is that it contributes to the notion of economic cleansing concerns that many in-town and long-time residents have expressed.
When the property taxes on revaluation of property goes sky high two things happen. Pleople sell their property, or they can’t afford the tax bill. In this “bubble-burst” period of housing slowdown, both the resale of existing homes and new homes may help keep the tax values from rising too quickly.
We have a county commission that is very averse to raising pennies on property, but willing to hit the sales tax side for “good causes” — this is a whole ‘nuther story completely so we won’t talk about it right now.
There are other political parties active in North Carolina that would hope to field candidates, however, NC laws prevent ballot access. This has been a continual discussion on the Belmont Front Porch, usually when the weather is warmer and we can sit outside longer in the evenings.
The Charlotte Observer gave an update on the development plans of the biggest land area in Belmont in last Sunday’s paper.
State Senator Robert Pittenger purchased the land from Crescent Resources (Duke Power) several years ago. Crescent had years earlier voluntarily annexed the land into the city limits. Pittenger now is planning to sell the land to real estate developers, “…from up north…”, accrding to the article.
This is a BIG test for the power of the Planning & Zoning Board, city staffers, and the City Council. As council candidate Richard Turner suggests, “…give teeth…to land use plan…”.
One of the Front Porch visitors, settin’ over in the rocking chair, has offered her opinions, some of which we had to edit out or she wooda been pickin’ out pricklies from her behind.
Things came through like, ‘be careful”, “plan of action”, “vision”, and, “get people’s support”, among other things.
Words that politicians use, even in their own personal business dealings can and should be parsed. When Pittenger says, “that’s private”, he is saying, “there is no real buyer, I am trying to run up the price on my property”. The term “real estate investor”, means that capitalism is working at its best. But this form of capitalism affects the quality of life in a community he has never lived in, or spent the night in.
We suggest that everyone should be wary about the term “property rights”, especially in this city election.