By Melissa Atherton
Cornelius: It's been a long time since we've talked, Davidson. When was it last? Oh yeah, it was when you wrote us that letter about Antiquity Woods. Remember? You were mad that a project in our town had only one way in and out, and it would send all the traffic toward you? Can we talk about the Potts Development? It seems the roles are reversed. We really are worried about what this will do to us.
Davidson: Don't worry about the one way in and out. We have a new Mobility Plan coming. Everyone in Davidson is going to walk or bike from now on. Charlotte is only about 23 miles. It's a new year--people really should be thinking about those weight-loss resolutions. Plus, the train is coming soon.
Cornelius: But what about the environment? What about the Critical Watershed? What about the two streams on the land that connects us? Those streams empty into Lake Cornelius. What will this do to the lake?
Davidson: Easy. We have a new text amendment coming. Have you seen our agenda for Tuesday? There won’t be a Lake Norman Protected Area in Davidson anymore. Oh, and the developer got two stream exemptions. So they don't exist anymore. Problem solved. No more streams.
Cornelius: Are you really going to put a greenway down to a public park on the waterfront next to the YMCA in Cornelius? Where will everyone park? At the Y?
Davidson: Well, the Y is a Christian organization. They won’t mind sharing. Plus, they just got a bigger parking lot.
Cornelius: But remember what happened when Ramsey Creek Park opened? It was a parking nightmare.
Davidson: Cornelius, you should try not to be so exclusive. The waterfront is for everyone. Just like the apartments. We pride ourselves on affordable housing and diversity.
Cornelius: But I’ve heard the apartments are going to be very expensive. Like $1,500 or more. How will middle class families afford these apartments? And what impact will the project have on our already-overcrowded public schools? You know, Bailey and Hough do belong to both of us?
Davidson: Families? Who said families?
Cornelius: Well isn't that who lives in apartments in Davidson?
Davidson: Silly Cornelius. There aren't many school-age children in apartments. The developer told us that in their application. They probably did their own independent study, so it must be true. Think about it--we are doing CMS a big favor by packing in these apartments.
Cornelius: What about the traffic study? Five intersections need improvements. There are three changes recommended in Cornelius.
Davidson: Easy. Payment in lieu, payment in lieu, payment in lieu, payment in lieu, and payment in lieu.
Cornelius: But the payments in lieu don't help traffic! And the development depends on the two NCDOT projects that may or may not happen by 2022! What will the residents in our towns do? Sit on 115 for four years?
Davidson: They can use our Ten-Foot, Big Fat Sidewalks. We are putting them everywhere! Bike safety trumps Historic Preservation. Think of all the charming Davidson residents you will get to meet when you ride through their front yards!
Cornelius: But won't that involve cutting down the oak trees on Potts Street? You know, half of that street is ours.
Davidson: Cornelius, that area is just so dark with all those trees. Our Multi-Modal Cyclists would prefer more light. It will make everything much better if we remove those pesky trees.
Cornelius: We've had it! You have excuses for everything. Text amendments, variances, payments in lieu, exemptions. You probably have an excuse for breaking the height restriction too.
Davidson: Well, actually, now that you mention it...
The previous conversation is fiction, but the issues and events are (sadly) real. One can easily see this back and forth between the two towns over the past couple of years. Head to Davidson Town Hall Tuesday for the new Board's first regular meeting and discussions on multiple issues impacting the area of the Potts Development to see if they handle things differently. These include the Watershed Text Amendments and the Mobility Plan. See agenda here.