Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Catalyst Project brings out pitchforks and torches in Davidson

Well, that may be a bit of an exageration, but let's just say the people were not happy.

The long awaited public meeting on the proposed Catalyst Project, a project which could transform downtown Davidson, took place Tuesday evening with an overflow crowd in attendance.

In fact it was one of the biggest crowds possible at Town Hall with people actually standing on the outside breezeway for a full hour listening to the various UNC SOG consultants give their presentations.  One of the lead consultants even said that in all his years of doing these events he had never seen a crowd like the one in town tonight.

The crowd was not there because they enjoyed the consultants pretty pictures though.  They were there because they were concerned, very concerned, about the possibility of the town pursuing changes that would likely alter the fabric of the town.

The crowd was polite, just as one would expect in genteel Davidson, but things started to turn when the below picture was posted as a depiction of how the project could be made to fit in with the "feel" of the town.

The gasps and chuckles were clearly audible.

When the Q&A portion of the presentation started it was clear that many more people were there in opposition than support.  A couple of questions in, Rusty Knox garnered the evening's first applause when he said he was more "infuriated" after seeing the presentation than he was before.

As the Q&A went on there were questions and concerns about increased traffic and potential safety issues.  When pressed on specifics the answers were often some version of "that's to be determined". 

There was a bit of comic, dark - very, very, dark - comic relief when one resident finally spoke in favor of the project.  He asked if people had noticed the Lamborghini's and Bentleys parked in front of Kindred.

Where would those people go if they couldn't find some place to park?!?! 

As if that was a good enough reason to build a project that could change what the town means and what it feels like - just so someone in an expensive car could find a place to park!

Unfortunately, that person was not joking.  Fortunately, many more people appeared to strongly disagree that reasoning.

Davidson officials got a bit of an earful Tuesday night.  Will they listen?

This blogger had to head home before it was over live and in color. I have not had the chance to watch the last bit of the video in detail, so maybe the tide turned in the fourth quarter.  Somehow I think not. 

You can watch the whole video here.

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