Locals curious about Hwy. 16’s future

WAXHAW – Area residents want to know more about stalled development along N.C. 16/Providence Road and when or if the busy thoroughfare will be widened.

Traffic lined up along N.C. 16 by Cureton shopping center on the corner of Cuthbertson and Providence roads. This area, from Bonds Grove Church Road to Waxhaw Highway, will be the focus of this week’s meetings to help inform consultants working on the small area plan for the road on what issues residents would like to see addressed.

Traffic lined up along N.C. 16 by Cureton shopping center on the corner of Cuthbertson and Providence roads. This area, from Bonds Grove Church Road to Waxhaw Highway, will be the focus of this week’s meetings to help inform consultants working on the small area plan for the road on what issues residents would like to see addressed.

Waxhaw leaders and a consulting firm held the town’s first public forum on June 6 to start gathering information for the creation of a small area plan for N.C. 16. The plan will be used to dictate future growth in the corridor.

About 50 Waxhaw residents attended the meeting, and Monica Holmes, the project manager, said most concerns were about the widening of the highway and retail projects planned along the corridor from Bonds Grove Church Road to Waxhaw Parkway that were halted due to the recession.

“A lot of (concerns about development) stem from plans that were approved in the mid and early 2000s that haven’t been built yet, and people were interested if those plans were going to happen,” Holmes said.  “… I think the corridor is a unique place because a lot of things were planned for (N.C.) 16 before the economy took a dive.”

The Lawrence Group, the consulting firm Waxhaw hired to create the small area plan, will lead a number of meetings focusing on different topics and issues related to the plan from Monday, June 17, to Thursday, June 20.  All meetings will take place at the Waxhaw Women’s Club, 200 E. South Main St., and residents are welcome to attend any meeting, give their input and ask questions.

A portion of the meetings will allow current property owners and area developers to discuss plans they have scheduled for the area so the consulting firm is aware of future potential development, Holmes said.

Other small area plans for Waxhaw communities have focused on preparing the areas for population and development growth. But for the highway corridor, Holmes said the focus is managing the growth already seen in the area, alleviating development pressure along the major road and any future growth the area could see.

Representatives from the North Carolina Department of Transportation will attend meetings when transportation issues are scheduled to be discussed, and residents will be given time to speak to the transportation officials.

“I think that will be really helpful for people to see a face and be able to ask questions about specific issues,” Holmes said in regard to NCDOT attending.

Holmes and her team have been working to create small area plans for every community or neighborhood in Waxhaw during the past six months.  The last three plans were for the Eastside community around Howie Mine Road, the Hillcrest neighborhood and the area around Waxhaw Marvin Road.  Holmes said the N.C. 16 plan will differ in one major way from other plans her team has put together.

“The major difference (between the plans) is that (N.C.) 16 is where the majority of growth pressure is in Waxhaw, and a lot of it is how to manage that growth,” Holmes said.

The small area plans are designed to be blueprints for leaders in Waxhaw as they plan for future development. The town is not required to abide by the stipulations of the plans and can deviate at any point.

Forums will take place:
Monday, June 17
• 11 a.m.: N.C. 16 roadway design options
• 1 p.m.: Streets and circulation
• 2:30 p.m.: Sidewalks, greenways, pedestrians and bicycles
• 4 p.m.: Parks and open space
Tuesday, June 18
• 9:30 a.m.: Commercial brokers and developers
• 11 a.m.: Market growth – multi-family and commercial
• 1 p.m.: Merchants and chamber of commerce members
• 2:30 p.m.: Schools and churches
• 4 p.m.: Area homeowner’s associations
• 6:30 p.m.: Daily pin-up session
Wednesday, June 19
• 9 a.m.: Codes and regulations – conditional uses
• 11 a.m.: Big boxes and corridor design standards
• 1:30 p.m.: Landscaping and signage
• Afternoon: Open design studio
• 6:30 p.m.: Daily pin-up session
Thursday, June 20
• 9 a.m. to noon: Open design studio
• 6:30 p.m.: Closing presentation

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