Friday, March 30, 2018

CSD closes on purchase of Griffith Street K-7 location

The Community School of Davidson announced on its Facebook page Thursday that it had closed on the purchase of the K-7 building that has long been its home on Griffith Street - ensuring the school a permanence at this location.

Congratulations to the school and its administrators for completing this transaction and ensuring one of the institutions that makes Davidson a special place has its roots firmly planted here.

Readers will remember that the long-term status of the school was used by the former Davidson Board of Commissioners as a justification for approving the controversial hotel proposal next to the school in a lame duck vote just before leaving office last year.  Former elected officials misleadingly (and now clearly incorrectly) implied that the school would be moving from this location.  That justification was used in spite of the fact the school had a long-term lease allowing it to stay for more than a decade longer and that lease contained an irrevocable right to purchase the property - a right the school has now exercised.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

After delays, Robert Walker Drive set to re-open soon

After what was advertises as a three month closure has turned into six, the portion of Robert Walker Drive through the new West Branch neighborhood is set to re-open, possibly as soon as this Friday or next week.  That's according to Town Public Information Officer, Christina Shaul.

The below pictures are from this past weekend.  Additional work was done on Monday near the Davidson-Concord Road intersection so work is closer to completion than shown here.

From Bailey Springs Entrance

From Across
Davidson-Concord Rd 

This comes as the first spec houses and model homes are beginning to come out of the ground on the site.  In addition to the two shown here, there are at least 4 other lots with foundation slabs in place.

From a walk of the greenway this past weekend it appears actual home construction during 2018 will likely only be taking place on the southern half of the overall project site.  The northern end does not even have the beginnings of the road infrastructure started.

When completed, West Branch will add 300+ homes to Davidson.  A planned road connection will connect the back side of the neighborhood to Hudson Place.  (See red circled area below.)

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Uptown dockless bikeshare review...

So, this phenomenon of dockless bikeshares has taken over Uptown Charlotte with somewhat of a mixed reception.  The colorful bikes everywhere... and I mean EVERYWHERE.  Walk out of just about any building and there will be a handful of these bikes parked within feet.  You can see some photos from this earlier post.

This is a result of a move last year where Charlotte gave 4 companies licenses for 500 bikes each to be spread around the city and each of these companies has put a sizable share of their allotment inside the I277 loop.  While aShortChronicle is not normally a "joiner" or an "early adopter" when it comes to these kind of things, the opportunity presented itself this past week to make a couple of 1-mile trips.  So, why not try them out.

Here's aShortChronicle's inexperienced non-cycling aficionado experience with each of the four competitors - LimeBike, MoBike, Ofo, and Spin.

First of all, the bikes and systems are all pretty similar - 3-speed bikes with a basket on the front.  The systems all operate using an app that is easy to sign up.  You use your smartphone to find the nearest bike from a given vendor and then scan the code on the back of the bike using your phone's camera to unlock it.  Each of these vendors charge $1 for 30 minutes of riding and when done you slide the lock on the rear wheel back in place to cut off the clock.

Within minutes of finishing a ride you'll get a notification on your phone telling you things like how far you rode, the calories you burned, and the supposed carbon emissions you avoided.  I say "supposed" on this last one because this assumes you would be in a car if you weren't on a bike.  That's not really true in most cases because most people will likely be walking to a destination inside the I77 loop or not going at all rather than getting a car out of a pay lot to drive a short distance and then pay again at the destination.

Comparing these systems is all about the differences many of them minor.

First round trip,  LimeBike and MoBike...

LimeBike got the first ride because it happened to be the closest when I walked outside.  As the name would imply these are the bright green ones. This bike was pretty comfortable to ride, but not great.  The first ride was free which was also nice.

MoBike was the second one I rode on the return trip.  I will admit I had high hopes for this one because the silver MoBikes are the only ones that don't look kind of ridiculous.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed.  The bike just felt awkward to ride.  The seat seemed like it was slightly too far forward over the pedals or something.  Also, the basket on the Mobike is the only one that is attached to the frame of the bike rather than the wheel.  For me this resulted in this weird sensation that something was "wrong" when turning - kind of like when you take a drink of something you expect to be hot but it turns out to be cold.  When you turn the handlebars to steer, the basket stays pointing straight because of how it is attached.  Again, to me that seemed weird and a bit distracting.  The first ride was also "free".

Second round trip, Ofo and Spin.

Ofo was the third bike given a test ride.  Ofo is the yellow bike from a Chinese company..  It was similar to the LimeBike as far as comfort and ride goes - maybe a little better.  However, Ofo was the only firm to charge for the first rider where the others were free.

The last bike ridden was the orange bike from Spin.  For me personally, this was the best of the four.  It was more comfortable and handled better.  The wheels seemed a little bigger in diameter and the tires were narrower which gave it a smoother ride.  The thing that really set Spin apart actually had nothing to do with the bike though.  It was the app.  The Spin app added a couple things that made it more user friendly and probably a better  corporate citizen.  The app showed a clock the whole time the bike was checked out, so you knew how long before your next dollar would be charged.  That's a nice feature for longer rides.  Maybe most importantly, when checking out the bike the app gave instructions on how and where to park the bike - not in the road, not in front of doorways, or in the middle of the sidewalk, etc.  Then when the bike unlocked the app asks you if the bike is currently parked in a good spot.  The user clicks yes or no.  This means the company can track users who are not parking correctly and use the next rider to do some self policing of the system.  It also makes you think twice about where you leave the bike when done using it.  My guess is that chronic "bad parkers" might be banned from the system.  This feature could be important in helping keep complaints down for Spin.

And there you have it.  If you are ever in Uptown and looking for a bike.  I would recommend using Spin over the others.  It was a comfortable ride and the company seems to at least want to do some self policing of their product.  That makes it an overall better product.

The Davidson Planning Department Has Big Plans


The Planning Department email update sent on Friday makes one thing very clear: they have been planning...a lot. They are introducing a Planning Department “eCrier”, creating a draft mobility map, revising the watershed ordinance text amendments, working on development projects and preparing for the Davidson Springs Public Input Session. Davidson residents should be paying very close attention to the Planning Department website. The long list of development projects include: Alexander’s Corner, Davidson Bay, Davidson Commons East Hotel, Davidson East, Davidson Elementary Expansion, Davidson Hall, Davidson Springs, Davidson Wood, Green Level, Lake Cornelius Residential, Potts Development, Summers Walk, Public Facilities, Summit at River Run, The Villages of South Main, Washam Neighborhood and WestBranch. According to the Planning Department email, additional topics include: “Revision of development processes; historic preservation; managing residential growth; the scale of future development; and, enhancing downtown.”

See the consolidated draft map HERE.

The Planning Department created the “draft” mobility map on February 7th, the day before the “Community Conversation” kicked off the Mobility Plan. The draft plan is a compilation of “Existing Conditions + Proposed Conditions.” The map includes all modes of transportation including roads, sidewalks, bike paths and mass transit.

Discerning between existing, funded and proposed plans and corridor projects is challenging: there are light green dotted lines, dark green dotted lines, solid dark green lines, and solid lime green lines. Proposals feature a “shared path” (Big Fat Sidewalk) the entire length of Potts Street, along South Main Street, and Twin Oaks Road. A homeowner on South Main may potentially lose 700 feet of property to eminent domain.

Residents of South Potts Street have been politically active regarding the proposed Ten-Foot Multi-Use Path that would require using eminent domain to take portions of their yards. The residents argue that the Big Fat Sidewalk was never part of any past town plan, including the 2013 Walks & Rolls Plan. They have spoken at town hall and met with town planners, elected officials and Public Works Director Doug Wright. A public records request validates neighborhood concerns.  On an email between senior Town staff and the design firm working on the Potts Sloan Beaty Connector project, Public Works Director Doug Wright says he is "not aware of a town plan that shows a 10-ft MUP on Potts from Catawba  Ave to the Cornelius line." (MUP stands for Multi  Use Path aka Big Fat Sidewalk.)

The draft map features a proposed “Red Line Trail” even though there is no Red Line. The Metropolitan Transit Commission will consider terminating further Red Line work this Wednesday. Potential new streets are proposed connecting Ridge Road to Thompson Street, Potts Street to Catawba Avenue, Vernon Drive to Walnut Street and Zion Street (Cornelius), Market Street in Antiquity (Cornelius) to Wyatt’s Way, and the north side of the forthcoming West Branch neighborhood to Concord Road.

The Planning Department also has major changes to the Town's watershed ordinance.  You can see those details HERE.

Changes to the watershed text amendments include removing the built-upon area exemption for lots and homes owned prior to 1993. Apparently, the planners forgot to check if the exemption and “tenure” for pre-1993 homeowners was actually legal (it is not). This means that the 1911 Mill Home homeowner previously featured (see Wag the Dog and Grab the Land blog) will no longer be able to demolish and rebuild. According to the new text amendment, she cannot even rebuild the EXACT SAME FOOTPRINT! Ironically, the text amendments allow her to add another 24% impervious expansion to her current home, creating a larger footprint than if she just rebuilt the current footprint. Again, West Side homeowners should be asking, “Is this really about drinking water?

The West Side should be paying very close attention to the watershed text amendments. Existing homes on Westside Terrace, Lakeside Avenue, Potts Street, Catawba Avenue, Julia Circle, Watson Street, etc. have impervious footprints larger than 24%. This means homeowners and investors are in the exact same boat as the Mill Home homeowner on Delburg. The unintended consequence is that the homeowners will have very few options as their homes age, their homes will lose value, and then a developer can purchase contiguous lots and build high-density multi-family and “Missing Middle” with the 50% impervious option.

Be warned: planners will say the text amendments are good for “Affordable Housing.” New apartments and “Missing Middle” will not be affordable simply because they are high-density. Davidson does not require apartments to have affordable units. The text amendments encourage the replacement of our Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) with very expensive rentals.

Be extra warned: planners will say the text amendments are good for “Historic Preservation.” Many West Side homes are owned by investors from Huntersville, Charlotte and other states. How many of them truly care if the home is preserved versus tearing down for high-density? They will profit much more from demolishing and building apartments than from painstakingly preserving the homes. The text amendments serve investors and developers rather than historic preservation and affordable housing. The text amendments could potentially threaten Davidson Housing Coalition, whose mission is “to work with the larger community to preserve and create affordable housing options and to prepare families and individuals for financial stability and homeownership” (

Hopefully, Davidson residents will not be too distracted by the text amendments and Mobility Plan and forget to attend the Davidson Springs Public Input Session on Monday, April 9th, from 5-7 pm at Town Hall. The project includes plans for seven homes and eight townhouses. James Alexander Way will be extended (no longer a cul de sac). The developer plans to make a payment in lieu of Affordable Housing (

Important Planning-Related Dates:
● Monday, March 26th, 6:00 pm, Planning Board discusses Mobility Plan and Text Amendments
● Tuesday, March 27th, 6:00 pm, Beaty Park Public Comment
 ● Tuesday, April 10th, 6:00 pm, Text Amendment Public Hearing
 ● Tuesday, May 8th, 6:00 pm, Board Vote on Text Amendments (tentative)

Million-Dollar Question of the Week:

If residents lose yards (front or back) due to eminent domain and Big Fat Sidewalks, will the impervious footprint of the sidewalk count in their own personal footprint?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Human trafficking forum coming to Ada Jenkins on Tuesday

A panel of experts is coming to the Ada Jenkins Center on Tuesday to discuss the topic of Human Trafficking.  The forum will be held from 630 - 8pm.  See flyer for details.

North Carolina has the dubious distinction of being one of the top 10 states in the country for these heinous crimes with the Charlotte region being a focal point.  According to this article from WRAL from 2017 written for Project No Rest, one of the Ada Jenkins forum panelist groups, "the geographic location of N.C., in part, contributes to the high number of victims and survivors living in the state. North Carolina lies in the center of the triangle encompassed by Washington, D.C., Charlotte and Atlanta, all of which are hubs of human trafficking. North Carolina also lies at the crossroads of several major interstates, including Interstate 40 that crosses the state from west to east and several interstates running north to south across the state. These highways facilitate sex and labor trafficking."

Below are the stats from the National Human Trafficking Hotline for North Carolina for 2017.  These stats for 2017 are 30% higher than those referenced in the WRAL article just one year earlier and and double what they were just 5 years ago.  (Click the above link for more detailed breakdowns of these statistics.)

As a sign this issue is seen as a priority at the highest levels in the state, just this past week NC Attorney General Josh Stein unveiled a new program to raise awareness.  In this article from the Caldwell Journal this past Wednesday, Stein unveiled a new Awareness Sign.  These signs will be placed in public facilities across the state.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject there will be other opportunities beyond the meeting at the Ada Jenkins Center.  The NC Human Trafficking Commission is sponsoring a series of forums across the state with one coming to Charlotte in July.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Griffith Street Hotel lawsuit set to shift into higher matching fundraising goal set

It has been a while since any new information has been available on the lawsuit filed to reverse the previous Davidson Board's decision allowing a controversial new hotel on Griffith Street across from Spinnaker Cove and adjacent to CSD and Westside Terrace.  However, it now looks like things are getting ready to shift into a higher gear.

aShortChronicle learned in recent weeks that attorneys for all defendants asked for extensions to allow more time to respond to the claims in the suit.  Those extensions are set to expire in the coming days.  According to documents on file with the court, the developers have asked for more time until close of business today, Friday, March 23rd and the Town until Wednesday, March 28th.  This means responses from defendants, one way or the other, should be available starting next week after allowing a couple days for mailing.

aShortChronicle has obtained the names of the attorneys for the defendants.  In an email from Public Information Officer Christina Shaul, she says the Town has consulted with Keith Merritt with the law firm of Hamilton, Stephens, Steele and Martin.  The attorney for the developer and landowner is Roy Michaux with K&L Gates.  HSSM is a Charlotte firm with over 20 lawyers on staff while K&L Gates is a global powerhouse with its Charlotte offices in the Hearst Tower downtown.

It is unclear at this point if the Town is really willing to actually fight against a significant portion of the citizenry who oppose this project.  All of the current Board members have expressed varying levels of opposition to the project's location, so it would seem unlikely they would want to spend tax dollars fighting the very taxpayers who paid those dollars.  At the same time, it would seem like a bad business decision for the developers to attack citizens in the same town where they want to do business long term.  For the plaintiffs part, they are just average citizens trying to protect their home values and quality of life. All of this makes for a very interesting dynamic that's about to play out.

In preparation for the next phase of this legal action, fundraising to support the plaintiffs is also ramping up.  Maria Chilton who has been active in organizing citizen opposition posted this update to the GoFundMe site raising money for legal expenses.

"Exciting news - thanks to a donation from a concerned CSD parent, we are doing a matching drive for $3000 over the next two weeks! Now is a great time to donate and double your impact!

Additionally, thanks to ongoing fundraising efforts offline we are able to lower our overall GoFundMe goal. Thank you to everyone who has contributed both through GoFundMe and offline, it is truly appreciated."

Click here for link

Donate at the above GoFundMe site or mail checks to:

"Luke Charde - Special Account"
PO Box 785
Davidson, NC 28036

Heidi Deitrich another activist involved in the effort had this to say about the need for the community to come together in support of the plaintiffs.

"I ask every resident of Davidson today to walk 130 steps off their back deck. Now picture a 4-story hotel with several guest suites looking down at your children playing on the swing set in the backyard. Ask yourself, would a Board of Commissioners approve a hotel 130 feet from their own back porches?  From their own children's bedroom and playset?  I have heard throughout the years of the Town's commitment to preserve the historic African American community - a committment to civil rights, equal rights, affordable housing and our Town's core values.  Is that just lip service or are we fully committed as a community to put that into action?  I urge you to put your concern for the residents of our historic African American community and Westside Terrace residents into action by making a donation today to the legal fund in effort to move this hotel project to a more appropriate location.

It is simply not fair for former Town officials to put a 4-story hotel in the back yards of residents who are begging and pleading not to have their quality of life ruined."

Please donate what you can - $10, $50, $100 or more if possible.  $3000 is a short term goal that can be reached easily in this town.  Many hands make light work and this is a worthy cause.  Please support it today.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Updates from The Egg Monday, March 19th


The Beaty Street Property dominated the “Coffee Chat” at The Egg Monday morning. Commissioner David Sitton hosted the heated conversation regarding the board vote last week to make the nineteen-acre parcel 100% park.

  • Sitton explained that the vote was based on the “original intent” of the property and identified that the Town has a “systemic problem with how we deal with parks.”
  • A citizen questioned the legality of the vote, citing that the previous board had rezoned the land in 2015.
  • A citizen noted that the Town of Davidson searched for park space in the 1970s and 1980s to replace the ball field that previously occupied the Sadler Square parcel.
  • Several citizens questioned whether the commissioners had circumvented “the process” by voting last week without advance notice.
  • A citizen questioned whether two commissioners had a “conflict of interest” whereas they live near the Beaty Property.
  • Several citizens stated they wanted to see commercial use on the Beaty Property.
  • Mayor Rusty Knox explained that there are varying opinions on what “park” means. He also stated that Commissioner Autumn Michael did not have a conflict of interest, whereas the railroad divides her property from the Beaty Property.
  • Commissioner Matthew Fort stressed the importance of keeping the Town’s commitment to Mrs. Venie Clontz, who sold the land 30 years ago for a discount with the promise that it would be a park.
  • Former Commissioner Laurie Venzon explained that the Beaty Property was rezoned in 2015. She also noted that the former board secured a $314,000 loan to purchase additional land for the “gateway” into town.
  • A citizen noted that the public was not fully aware of the 2015 rezoning process.
  • Commissioner Michael expressed great desire for the Town to heal.
  • Commissioner Fort stated that a public comment period will be added to the 6:00 pm board meeting on March 27th at Town Hall.

Quotable Moments

“Land donated as a park should be used as a park.” 
- Commissioner Sitton on the Town’s promise to Mrs. Clontz

We made a commitment 30 years ago.”
- Commissioner Fort on honoring commitment

“First of all, Autumn, welcome to politics...The perception always rules.” 
- Former Commissioner Venzon on conflicts of interest and the difference between perception and reality

“In my opinion, the former board got it wrong.”
- Commissioner Fort on the former board’s Beaty process

“The 2015 rezoning was very quiet and discreet.” 
- A citizen notes the lack of public awareness during the rezoning process

“I’m sorry, but you guys are upset that you can’t build houses.” 
- A citizen addressed the developers present at the meeting

“The reason why we didn’t kick it down 30 days is because it’s disingenuous.” 
- Commissioner Fort stands by the board vote for 100% park

Hearings TONGHT on possible new project near Bridges Farm Rd

Last year, readers will remember the swirl surrounding a possible massive new development called "Lake Davidson" off of Bridges Farm Rd just north of Davidson over the Iredell County line.  That development rezoning request was beaten back after intense citizen opposition and some embarrassing text messages between Mooresville elected officials disparaging those citizens opposing the project came to light.

Now, it appears something new (but possibly related) may so be in the works.   The below information was received by aShortChronicle over the weekend and has not been confirmed with the Town of Mooresville.  It is being passed along due to the timing of the meetings being held tonight, Monday 3/19.

On the agenda for tonight's Mooresville  Board meeting, there are multiple resolutions and hearings to support something called "Project Control".  (See pages pages 26 – 28, 41 and 43.)  These items revolve around building an access road from Transco Rd to the project site.  While the site location for Project Control is not mentioned, the separate reference to a traffic separation study involving NCDOT's rail division has residents in the area concerned it goes somewhere near the Norfolk Southern rail line along 115 in the Bridges Farm Road area.

The agenda does not give any specifics on what Project Control entails, however a 2014 post on the Mooresville economic development website references a Project control as:

Project Control...aims to attract a North Dakota-based producer of environmentally friendly, nontoxic pest control with incentives of $58,200 to $112,520 based on investment ranging from $3 million to $5.8 million. Carney said the company would initially build a 60,000-square-foot facility and create 14 jobs, and could add another 380 jobs over the next four years.

The concern among residents is that the access road construction and the tax incentives to support it are precursors to restarting efforts at more intensive development in the area.  State grants and local tax incentives being sought total roughly $2.5 million.

Head to Mooresville Town Hall tonight at 6pm to see how this unfolds.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Reflections on the Importance of the Beaty Park Vote

By Leah Chester-Davis

Ever since the Town Board voted 3 to 2 on Tuesday evening for the Beaty Street Property to be 100% park, I've been reflecting on that important decision. A lot of people in this town had various hopes and plans for that piece of property. Some plans may have even been considered noble (affordable housing, for instance) and others seemed for purely economic gain by some. But I truly believe Commissioners Fort, Michael, and Sitton did the right thing without continuing to prolong a debate that has been in the public arena for well over a year (this last go around) and longer when you consider the 90s when citizens spoke against development of the property at that time. There has been plenty of citizen input and citizens spoke loud and clear in numerous meetings, communiques, protests and then in the election.

Yes, citizen input is important. But in this case, all of the documentation shows that Mrs. Clontz sold this property to the town for a park.  Doing the right thing and honoring those wishes overrides collecting even more citizen input when there has already been plenty. Now that Commissioners Fort, Michael and Sitton took an important, decisive stand and did the right thing based on documentation, we can turn to citizen input once more to help shape this important community resource as a park. When Commissioners Campbell and Fuller speak of public input, now is the right time for that thanks to their fellow board members voting to preserve the property as a park.

I also can't help but think about Mrs. Evelyn Carr and Mrs. Daisy Raeford and their remarks on Tuesday night. They made me think about this quote from The Trust for Public Land, "Low-income neighborhoods populated by minorities are especially short of park space. Minorities and the poor have historically been shunted off to live on the wrong side of the tracks . . . in areas with few amenities. From an equity standpoint, there is a strong need to redress this imbalance."

No, not every neighborhood near the Beaty Park Property is low income, that's for sure. But inherently more of the west side of town is affordable and I believe numbers indicate that most of what the town calls affordable housing is on the west side of town. Open space on the west side of town is important. All of this also makes me think of the history of Sadler Square and how the ball field of the African American community was taken from them with a promise to find them another space. It apparently never happened. That, too, may be a reason Mrs. Carr and Mrs. Raeford spoke up about the need for this park. Considering the UNCC study that by 2030, 98% of this region will be built out and there will be no more open space, preserving this 19 acres for a park is another reason Tuesday night's vote was the right thing to do. It was visionary as well and future generations will be glad Venie Clontz sold it to the town for a park, and glad that citizens fought so hard for this park, and glad that Commissioners Fort, Michael and Sitton did the right thing by voting for it to be a park.

Oh, how very lovely it would be if citizens across town came together to help plan a park that we could all enjoy and be proud of.

Leah Chester-Davis is a small business owner who lives in Davidson and has been active in the fight to preserve the Beaty Street property over the past 18 months.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Overparenting is a Childhood Thief


Our intentions are sound--more than sound: We love our kids fiercely and want only the best for them. Yet, having succumbed to a combination of safety fears, a college admissions arms race, and perhaps our own needy ego, our sense of what is “best” for our kids is completely out of whack. We don’t want our kids to bonk their head or have hurt feelings, but we’re willing to take real chances with their mental health? -Julie Lythcott-Haims

What if we -- all of us, stay-at-home parents and parents who work outside of the home -- disengaged from some of the craziness of all the external activities so as to make more time to just BE with our loved ones? -Julie Lythcott-Haims

My fifteen-year-old’s day starts in the dark. He wakes up at 4:00 am (which by the way, is still NIGHTTIME!), chokes down a power bar, then heads for the first swim practice of the day. At 6:45 am, he sprints out of the pool, showers (we hope), then devours a dry PB&J on the car ride to school. He spends seven hours “doing school,” then heads back to the pool for his afternoon practice. During the car ride home, I goof up and ask him school questions: How was your day? Do you have a lot of homework?  I know he hates this! He wolfs down dinner, studies for three hours, then goes to bed, knowing he will do it again the next day. He loves swimming, and his swim friends are like family; he cannot give this up. But he also wants to do well in school. He is not much different than any other Lake Norman teenager who is desperately seeking balance.

My son’s school, Hough High, has approximately 2,800 students. The “cul-de-sac” rumor is that UNC Chapel Hill, the “Gold Standard” college, has a quota system requiring Hough students to be ranked in the top five percent of their class. The school counselor says the top students take up to ten Advanced Placement classes. TEN! And this is just to get into a STATE school! Students know they need to be ranked in the top thirty-five, so they take AP classes and honors classes instead of studying topics of genuine interest. Instead of cooperating and encouraging each other, the students are like crabs in a bucket, climbing over each other to get to the top. Just when they think they have clawed their way to the top of the bucket, they find out students passed them in ranking by taking ONLINE classes over the SUMMER! We, the well-meaning parents, respond by “helping”; we get tutors and college admission specialists and SAT classes.

The arms race continues. Students know they should probably be volunteering more often, but when? They already “do school” for 35 hours per week and participate in extracurricular activities twenty hours per week. They have the equivalent of two part-time jobs! They really should try to carve out some time to save a small village, cure a disease, or invent something. Maybe they can do that on Sunday? Whoops! Sunday is taken...They attend church, compete in travel sports tournaments, attend college fairs, and birthday parties. What happened to Sundays? Family time?

They are exhausted. We are all exhausted.

So what can we do?

School Leadership Teams (SLT) from Huntersville Elementary School, Bailey Middle School and Hough High School tackled the issue of overparenting, overscheduling and student mental health at a joint meeting Tuesday evening at Hough.

The leadership teams consist of parents, principals, counselors and teachers. SLT members were asked to read How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former dean at Stanford University. The meeting goal was to increase awareness of the relationship between overparenting, overscheduling, lack of a sense of purpose, and teen depression/anxiety. According to faculty SLT members, this is an enormous and increasing problem in our schools.

Educators and counselors at the meeting explained that stress starts at a very young age. An SLT faculty member stated that elementary school is a “magical place until third grade.”

What is happening to our third graders? The magic ends when testing, grades, end-of-grade exams, and honor roll begins. The stress is very real for these eight-year-olds and it only gets worse as they become teenagers. Author Julie Lythcott-Haims argues that overparenting fuels childhood anxiety and depression. Constantly striving for perfection, parents are creating a “checklisted childhood” by: preventing mistakes, protecting feelings, giving participation prizes, intervening in relationships, redshirting kindergarteners for sports, doing their children’s homework, hiring tutors and college counselors, pushing for highly-selective colleges, and sending excessive emails to teachers.

Recognizing unhealthy parenting behaviors is essential for helping our children become confident, resilient adults. One humble, brave SLT parent stood up and admitted, “We are all guilty of everything they say in this book.”

The approximately fifty SLT members broke off into small groups to discuss relevant topics: changing times, teaching children how to handle failure, teaching independence and self-advocacy skills, and how to have balance in their lives. Group leaders then presented suggestions to help parents, teachers and administrators tackle the issues.

Suggestions for the schools included: end class ranking, limit the number of Advanced Placement courses permitted, encourage students to consider lesser-known colleges, stop having projects and homework assignments during school holidays or breaks, and increase access to study hall. Parenting suggestions included: reduce the amount of extracurricular activities, reduce the focus on grades while increasing the focus on learning, increase awareness of excellent college options that include smaller schools, less-selective schools and community college, and encourage children to consider the best personal college fit. Parents were encouraged to spread the word by “speaking up in the cul-de-sac conversations” and find an “accountability partner.” An SLT member recommended telling our children, “It’s okay to get a B.”

Lythcott-Haims would agree with the recommendations made by the SLT.  How to Raise an Adult is full of parenting tips for raising resilient children: give choices, show love, build character, let kids fail, teach street smarts and life skills, stay in a committed relationship, require chores, stop handling school problems, allow children to speak for themselves, allow unstructured free time, enjoy nature, stop using our children as a tool to market ourselves on social media (the “humble brag”), keep an open mind about colleges, eat dinner together as a family, be present, and build a community of like-minded adults.

Reading the book and attending the SLT meeting affected me deeply. I left the meeting asking myself: What can I do to help restore my son’s childhood? How can I be a better parent? I found a like-minded friend to be my accountability partner. We agreed to help our sons scale back on their course load next year. I am encouraging my son to think beyond the “Gold Standard” and consider colleges where he can find success and happiness. And our family is taking back Sunday.

Recommended Reading:

How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life by Bill Deresiewicz

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell Alternative

College Search Tools: (Colleges That Change Lives) (The Alumni Factor) (The National Center for Fair & Open Testing)

Crisis Resource: (“Supporting suicide prevention and mental health awareness in our community”)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Davidson Coffee Chat at The Egg, Monday 9am

DAVIDSON, NC -- The Davidson Board of Commissioners invite all community members to attend a Davidson Coffee Chat on Monday, March 19 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. at The Egg at Davidson located at 231 Griffith Street in Sadler Square.

These coffee chats are informal meetings and are typically held the third Monday of the month so attendees can ask questions on issues and projects in the Town of Davidson. The next chat is scheduled for Monday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m. at The Egg at Davidson.

Commissioners will treat attendees to coffee and tea, but payment for all other orders is the responsibility of each individual.

We encourage all to attend.  For more information, please contact Town Clerk Carmen Clemsic at or 704-940-9614.

Board votes 3-2 to move forward on Beaty Street park

"On Tuesday, March 13, the Davidson Board of Commissioners voted to create a task force to develop 100% of the town-owned land on Beaty Street as a park. The compilation of the task force will be discussed at the March 27 meeting. The Davidson Board of Commissioners directed staff to work on the application process for the task force."

The above comment is from Christina Shaul, Public Information Officer for the Town of Davidson.  It comes after what was at times an unexpectedly raucous Board meeting Tuesday evening where the Davidson Board effectively ended the debate over what will happen with the 19 acres of Town land that has been the epicenter of much swirl and controversy over the past 18 months.

The previous Board's attempt to turn the wooded land off Beaty Street into a mini Birkdale known as The Lumonous project gave rise to the Save Davidson movement.  It sparked protests at Town Hall and led to repeatedly packed monthly Board meetings.  Multiple rounds of staff orchestrated feedback sessions could not make the sale to the public that the Luminous was a good idea.  The controversy eventually was a significant contributor to an election day rout at the polls for those who had pushed the project and other bad decisions.

At Tuesday's Board meeting after hearing again from several residents on the original purpose for the land being purchased for a park, particularly the bulk of it purchased from Venie Clontz, the new Board took a split vote to charge a new task force with deciding what type of park it will be and made the somewhat surprising move of saying 100% of the land will be as a park rather than charging the task force with determining how the land will be used.

The vote was 3-2 with Commissioners David Sitton, Matthew Fort, and Autumn Michael voting "for" the move and Commissioners Campbell and Fuller voting "against".  It should be noted that Campbell and Fuller weren't voting against the idea of the park but more the decision to have the vote last night and the idea of charging the task force with exclusively looking at the land as a park.

While clearly there is much to be decided before any final disposition of the land is determined, the decision last night takes some of the uncertainty about what will happen with this property out of the equation. Even coming as a split decision, this was a decisive move by the new Board.  It is sure to engender some consternation from the handful of people who supported the failed Luminous project, but it is hopefully a move that begins to close the book on this controversy.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Davidson Board Tuesday agenda...Beaty St Task Force, Fund Balance, Legislative Priorities, and Strategic Plan

The Davidson Board of Commissioners meets Tuesday  for its March regular meeting with another packed agenda.  Topics include...

  • Beaty Street Task Force - Commissioners are looking to form a task force with direct citizen input to determine the correct disposition of the Town's 19 acre Beaty Street property.  This critical step was skipped by the previous Board in favor of going directly to the development community with an RFP designed to get what Town Hall wanted rather than what the community wanted.
  • Fund Balance - Commissioners will here a presentation on the money in the Town's savings account known as its "find balance".  There is currently about $1.55 million in the account above the Town's self-imposed minimum threshold f 35% of its annual general fund budget.  An additional $925k is tied up as "assigned" to the new Town Hall public facilities project which is currently on-hold. (Some of this $925k has already been spend however, so the exact number ties up by this project is TBD.)
  • Legislative Priorities - Each year the Town provides a list of priorities it would like to see the State General Assembly pass.  This year's list includes many of the same items seen in the past and is mostly about supporting what the NC League of Municipalities wants to get done in Raleigh.
  • Strategic Plan -  Commissioners will discuss the updated Strategic Plan covering land use, economic development, historic preservation, affordable housing and other areas.  The changes highlighted in the draft document show subtle but significant changes towards these issues that should be welcome to citizens.
Check out the entire agenda here.  Download the Town's mobile app here.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Davidson Wildcats win A10 tournament, heading to the Big Dance

Update: From Davidson Sports Information Director Joey Beeler, the Davidson men’s basketball team is expected back on campus around 11:45 pm.

Led by the Senior/Freshman duo of Peyton Aldridge and Kellan Grady, the Davidson Wildcats beat the Rhode Island Rams 58-57 Sunday afternoon in Washington, DC to win the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.  In the process Davidson gets the conference automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Starting the season expected to finish in the middle of the A10 pack, the Wildcats entered the A10 tournament a 3 seed and beat the nationally ranked Rhode Island Rams for the second time in a 10 day span.  When the NCAA brackets are released later on Sunday, Davidson along with the Rams and most likely St Bonaventure will give the A10 a very respectable three teams to make the championship field.

This win gives Davidson's its first A10 Tournament Championship and second trip to the NCAA in the the past 4 seasons.

In an on court post game interview, Coach Bob McKillop said the team played with "joy" and had been playing that way for much of the 2nd half of the season.  This tournament win certainly brings a lot of joy to the Wildcat faithful and certainly ranks as one of the high points in program history

Check back for more info on when the A10 Champions should be rolling back into town.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Davidson Police seek help in accident that damaged Christian Aid Society Cemetary

Friday afternoon, aShortChronicle was made aware of an incident that occurred at the Christian Aid Society Cemetary off of Ridge Road.  Several grave markers were damaged in what appeared to be an incident involving a vehicle.  After inquiring with the Town, the Town of Davidson put out the below press release Friday even a little after 630pm.

DAVIDSON, N.C. – The Davidson Police Department seeks information in an ongoing investigation of an incident that transpired late on Wednesday, March 7. Here are the details:

  1.  At 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7, Davidson Police Officer Better clocked a vehicle traveling east at 50 miles per hour (mph) along Griffith Street, a street with a speed limit of 25 mph. Officer Better attempted to pursue this vehicle as it went onto Beaty Street, but lost sight of the vehicle and per protocol, ceased his pursuit.
  2.  At 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 8, Davidson College Campus Police found a car matching the description of the vehicle seen by Officer Better damaged and abandoned on Ridge Road.
  3.  At 4:00 a.m., the Davidson College Campus Police found damage at the Christian Aid Society cemetery on Ridge Road.

“The Davidson Police Department is conducting an investigation into the owner and driver of the vehicle in this unfortunate incident,” said Davidson Police Chief Penny Dunn. “We believe the speeding driver Officer Better attempted to pursue drove from Beaty Street onto Ridge Road, lost control of his vehicle on the dark roadway and in the process, damaged several headstones at the Christian Aid Society cemetery. We appreciate the assistance of Davidson College Campus Police in this investigation.”

If you have any information related to the owner or driver of the vehicle in this incident, please email Davidson Police Detective Jay Stokes at<> or call 704-892-5131 (main police line) or 704-940-9633 (direct line).

Please Consider Assisting Christian Aid Society
The Christian Aid Society cemetery, located on Ridge Road, sustained damage during this incident, including the destruction of several headstones. If you would like to provide assistance in the form of volunteer hours or monetary contribution, please call Erving McClain, the president of the board of the Christian Aid Society, at 704-896-7729.

Save Davidson saves low income elderly $28,496 in Town fees charged due to "clerical error"

Or, at least that's what can be saved for homeowners incorrectly charged the Town of Davidson's exorbitant solid waste fee over the past several years.

In a press release sent out last week, Save Davidson announced that it had identified examples where homeowners eligible for the Homestead Exclusion on property taxes had been incorrectly charged Davidson's $201 solid waste fee.  Per Davidson's ordinance, Homeowners who qualified for the Homestead Exclusion should also be exempt from this fee.

Davidson's solid waste fee is by far the highest such fee in the Lake Norman area.  The fee was implemented in 2011 to raise additional money needed to offset the subsidies required after the ill conceived decision to enter the cable business and form Mi-Connection.  The controversial fee is seen as a particularly regressive tax and has been a sore subject since its implementation.  That's particularly true in Davidson's Westside community.

From the Save Davidson press release...

The founding and continued purpose of Save Davidson is to attain transparency in the process and business done by and for the Town of Davidson.  An example of recent Save Davidson efforts and success is attributed to Donna Pollack, Treasurer of Save Davidson.  Pollack discovered and then questioned the Town of Davidson regarding erroneously billing citizens who qualify for the Homestead Exclusion for the Davidson Solid-Waste Fee of $201, which was instituted to off-set costs from the town owned cable company.  Citizens with income of less than $29,500, and who are 65+ years of age or who are totally and permanently disabled qualify for the exemption.  The Town of Davidson Ordinance, adopted on July 12, 2011, specifically states that citizens who qualify are not subject to the solid-waste fee.  “In many cases, this fee represents 25-35% of these residents’ tax bills.” Donna Pollack says and adds, “I fear this fee may have been a factor in property foreclosures in past years and we are advocating not only for citizens to be reimbursed but also for an investigation into possible process breakdown that allowed these citizens to be charged in error.”  According to Elizabeth Wilson, a family member of a resident being erroneously charged, “We’ve approached Town staff and former elected officials on many occasions regarding this fee and our concerns were dismissed and not addressed.” 

Well, now it appears those concerns and process issues are being given the attention they deserve.

aShortChronicle contacted the Town this week to find out more on how this happened and if a resolution was in the works.  The good news is that attempts to resolve the issue are under way.

Per Public Information Officer, Christina Shaul...

"When the budget ordinance pertaining to the new solid waste fee was passed in 2011, we informed both Mecklenburg and Iredell counties of the “Homestead” exemptions, and it seems that most of the appropriate exemptions were made. Due to a clerical error, Mecklenburg County resumed including the Town of Davidson solid waste fee on the property tax bills for certain parcels that should have been exempted.

The town will contact parcel owners within the next week to explain the situation and provide assistance in rectifying it."

In an email dated February 26th provided by Shaul to aShortChronicle, Town Finance Director Piet Swart outlines the scope of the "clerical error" behind the problem.  In the email to Town Manager Jamie Justice and Town Attorney Cindy Reid, Swart indicates 44 total parcels are impacted with 34 being impacted in the current budget year.  Per state statute, taxpayers can request refunds for taxes assessed due to a clerical error up to a five year limit.

The operative word here being "request".  These refunds will not be automatically issued.  Instead, taxpayers must request them.  That is due to the state statute, not Town policy.  To facilitate the request process, the Town has been working with the County to identify the taxpayers and will be sending out letters with instructions on how to make the request.  If all impacted taxpayers make the necessary requests, the total refunded by the Town will be $28,496.  Those letters are expected to go out on Monday.

It is certainly unfortunate this situation went on for as long as it did, but thankfully it seems to be on the way to being corrected.  Save Davidson deserves a lot of kudos for making that happen.  Sometimes it takes a forceful voice to make positive change with the activist roup showing that to be true on multiple occasions in 2017.  With its sustained involvement on local issues like this one, the group is continuing to have a positive impact.  That is great to see.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Davidson Rotary hosts Blarney Bingo Fundraiser - March 15th

The Rotary Club of Davidson is hosting a Fundraiser Bingo on Thursday, March 15th at Sweet Magnolia Estate, 10101 Bailey Road Cornelius NC 28031. Proceeds benefit the Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center Capital Campaign.

The Master of Ceremonies is Cale Evans from the popular improv group Now Are the Foxes. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar featuring beer and wine. Event is from 7-10. The event cost is $50/person, $90/couple or $300/table of 8. Please buy early to support DCCDC as we believe this will be a sold out event!

Please purchase tickets from a Rotary Club of Davidson member, on our facebook page

Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center provides high-quality, affordable early education and care for any child of our community without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or socioeconomic status. They are the only center in North Mecklenburg area that offers 5-star, full-time, affordable early education and child care with scholarship support for children age 6 weeks to pre-K. For more information please visit

The Rotary Club of Davidson would like to raise $10,000 for DCCDC to assist in their goal to expand their playground. For any questions regarding this event or our community service efforts in LKN please contact Frances Dawson President Rotary Club of Davidson 704-701-7599

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Beaty at the Board Meeting


“We don’t have much of this left. It’s our last chance.”
- Commissioner David Sitton referring to town-owned land on Beaty Street

The Board of Commissioners, Mayor Rusty Knox, and Town Manager Jamie Justice discussed the nineteen-acres of town-owned land on Beaty Street last night in their informal meeting. They agreed there needs to be a citizen-led task force, but did not agree about who should be on the committee. Commissioners Matt Fort, David Sitton and Autumn Michael all pushed to have two commissioners participate, while Commissioner Jane Campbell stressed the importance of keeping the task force citizen-led. Fort stated that Sitton would be a vital part of the process, given his past involvement in preserving the land for a park. Mayor Knox expressed desire for town staff to be a driving force. “We will have staff on the task force. We need people who are articulate in what we do day in and day out,” said Knox.

The Beaty property was a hot topic during the 2017 municipal election season. Despite overwhelming opposition, the previous board voted to approve a developer’s plan for a hotel, condos, retail and restaurants on the Beaty land. Citizen activists claimed that Venie Clontz sold the land to the town over thirty years ago with the promise that it would be a park. The activists were concerned about the lack of public involvement. Elected officials terminated the “Luminous Plan” in September 2017; there was no mention of an independent appraisal that proved the land was possibly worth three times the Luminous price.

Who will be on the task force? Who will decide the task force composition? Will town staff drive the Beaty-decision bus? Plan to attend the Tuesday, March 13th, Board of Commissioners meeting at 6:00 pm in Davidson Town Hall.

Quotable Moments 

“This is the people’s land.”
 - Commissioner Matthew Fort advocates for the people

“I have a real question about what the original intention was.”
- Commissioner Jim Fuller questions whether the land was intended to be a park

“I want at least one commissioner on the task force.”
- Commissioner Autumn Michael

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

North Regional Recreation Center Open House - March 10th (Press Release]

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- Mecklenburg County is planning a new regional recreation center in north Mecklenburg, and wants to hear from you.

On Saturday, March 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the county’s Park and Recreation Department, along with the parks departments from the towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville, will host an open house at Bailey Middle School, 11900 Bailey Road in Cornelius, to discuss the planning process for the Northern Regional Recreational Center. The new facility will be located at 18121 Old Statesville Road in Cornelius.

Residents are invited to attend the informal drop-in session to learn about the recreation center, share their feedback, and enjoy games, activities and complimentary refreshments. A project overview and presentation will be made in the school cafeteria by the design team at 11:00 a.m.

The Northern Regional Recreation Center is the second of four proposed regional recreation centers throughout the County. Last year, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation began the planning process for the Eastway Regional Recreation Center at Eastway Park.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Walk With A Doc in Davidson begins Saturday

By Melissa Atherton

"Health may not be everything, but without health, everything is nothing."

- Dr. Hans Diehl, Complete Health Improvement Programs (CHIP) Founder

Walk With A Doc (WWAD) Davidson begins Saturday, March 10th, from 9-10 am, beginning at the Davidson Town Green. WWAD will feature a five-to-ten minute health-issue talk by a physician followed by a 30-45 minute walk. The talk, walk, water, coffee, healthy snacks and blood pressure checks are complimentary for all participants. WWAD will meet every other Saturday and is partnering with Davidson Parks and Recreation. The program is sponsored by Live Healthy Carolinas, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, whose mission is to “provide motivating education that inspires healthy lifestyles, promoting physical, nutritional and emotional well-being that leads to the alleviation of chronic disease” (

Davidson resident, Patrick Coleman, DMD, is an owner and Co-Founder of Live Healthy Carolinas. Additional board members include a marketing professional, consultant, nutritionist and two physicians. Live Healthy Carolinas is also partnering with Davidson Parks and Recreation for their Diabetes Undone program which is scheduled for eight consecutive Thursday nights in April and May. Meetings will be held in the Davidson Town Hall Board Room from 6:30-8:00 pm.

Coleman shared his inspiring personal health story in an interview:

"Live Healthy Carolinas started from a personal passion to better health. My father had his first heart attack at age 35, bypass surgery at 43, dead at 50. After running the Chicago Marathon for my 50th birthday, in honor of my father, I went through many years of my weight yo-yoing up and down. Approximately nine years ago, on blood pressure and cholesterol medications, and faced with going on diabetes medication, I decided to make a change. I began reading, researching and educating myself through seminars and conferences and getting certified in Plant-Based Nutrition. I knew there had to be another answer to health than drugs, which only mask symptoms, but don't address the underlying cause of disease. I have now gone from 245 pounds down to 190, and I am on my way to 180; I’m now free of chronic disease and off all medications. I am continuing to educate myself further all the time.

Out of this passion developed the idea of creating a non-profit to educate others, children and adults, on better dietary and lifestyle habits to promote long-term health. Along with much help from several other dedicated individuals (Denise Andersen, Denise Streppa, Leigh Beth Lairamore, Live Healthy Appalachia in Athens, Ohio, and others), Live Healthy Carolinas was created. My wife, Connie Coleman, has done the yeoman’s work with all the IT aspects. She is our Chief Chef; none of this would have been possible without her help.

It has taken over a year-and-a-half to finally get things up and running, but everything is now coming together. We start this Saturday, March 10th, with Walk With A Doc partnering with Davidson Parks and Recreation. March 12th is our first Complete Health Improvement Programs meeting. April-May our Diabetes Undone program will meet at Davidson Town Hall (again in partnership with Davidson Parks and Recreation).

In August, our Live Healthy Kids Program will commence in all five second-grade classrooms at Lake Norman Charter School. Getting our health message to children at an early age is the key to combating the national epidemics in childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes.

Our new website is now up and running,, and gives more information on all these programs. People can also sign-up to volunteer as well as make tax deductible donations in support of our causes directly on the website. We are always looking for volunteers with a passion for health to help us with these programs. We are engaging Davidson College for student volunteers to fulfill their community involvement requirement and working with the Ada Jenkins Center on some exciting new initiatives. Some of our programs require a fee to cover costs and to also fund our school and non-profit functions. We are looking to be an active force in promoting healthy dietary and lifestyle habits in the Lake Norman area and eventually beyond. Feedback on how we are doing and questions are always welcome."

Put on your walking shoes and grab a friend! We hope to see you this Saturday at the exciting inaugural Walk With A Doc Davidson event!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mandolino's adds family friendly option to Davidson's Main Street

Open less than two weeks, Mandolino's Artisan Pizza has brought a great new addition to Davidson's Main Street.  That was probably a foregone conclusion for most people since the operation comes from the same folks behind Flatiron just across the street.  Based on that, you just knew the quality of the food would be top notch.

What may be a little unexpected for some is how family friendly the new place definitely is - both in atmosphere and on your wallet.

aShortChronicle has had the pleasure of stopping by Mandolino's twice already.  The first time was after dinner on opening night to meet a friend and to check out the newest place in town.  No pizza was had that time, but the best root beer float ever landed on the table - served in a mason jar for a nice bit of southern flair.

The second trip was just this weekend for a Saturday evening dinner and a little father daughter time.

Myself and my ten year old daughter got there for a late afternoon early dinner and were fortunate to be seated right by the serving window.  That gave us a great view of all the food that was coming out.  When we walked in, there were only a couple of other tables seated, but by the time we left 45 minutes later the main floor was almost full - mostly with families and kids of all ages.

As for the food, we just went with the basic cheese, or "Red", pie - nothing but red sauce, cheese, and a little fresh basil - a true test of the standard "kid" option.  Dad particularly liked the crust on the rectangular grandma style pizza.  It was a medium thin crust and very crispy.  The sauce was also very, very good - a little bit sweet and a lot of flavor.

And the "kid" rating?  My daughter initially gave it an eight on a scale of 1 - 10.  Not bad at all.  However, with every few bites that number enthusiastically went up.  By the time she was done with the first piece, she had raised the score to a perfect 10!

For desert we had chocolate gelato that was also delicious - more than enough to share unless you have a serious sweat tooth.

As for the cost?  A very reasonable $25 plus tip covered it all.  We also took home a few pieces, enough for one more meal for someone.  A pie is enough for 3 people, definitely for an adult and two kids.  You might get 4 out of it if Mom and Dad also split one of the big salads on the menu.  At just $14 for a "Red" pizza, that's pretty hard to beat - especially for a nice sit down dinner experience here in Davidson.

Having passed the "kid test" with flying colors, it has to be said that the "grown up" specialty pizzas all looked delicious as well as they came out of the kitchen, and Dad is looking forward to heading back to Mandolino's and trying them in the near future.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Backdoor Naturalist Seeks to Preserve Beaty Park

By Melissa Atherton

"I would like for people to think about nature and what we need to do to care for it.
-Alice Sudduth

Alice Sudduth hosted a highly-attended Saturday morning nature hike on the Beaty Property. Venie Clontz sold this nineteen-acre wooded parcel to the Town of Davidson in 1985 with the promise that it would be a park. In July 2017, despite months of citizen opposition, the Board of Commissioners voted to sell the land to a developer planning to build a hotel, condos, shops and restaurants. Three months later, the same officials terminated the agreement with the developer, but they did not create a plan to preserve the land as a park.

Sudduth is a member of the grass-roots organization, Save Davidson, that fought to preserve the land and honor Mrs. Clontz’s intentions. Sudduth has lived in the Lake Norman area her entire adult life and has spent the past thirteen years on Julia Circle in Davidson. She spent her career as a clinical psychologist, and is now a self-described “Backdoor Naturalist.” She is participating in a twelve-week course to become a Certified Master Naturalist. The classes are taught by ornithologists, entomologists, and other scientists. Maintaining the certification will require Sudduth to volunteer 40 hours per year. Eager and purposeful, she has already begun volunteering by hosting nature hikes.

Sudduth’s Saturday hike traveled along the trails built by families in the neighborhood. Seven teaching stations included lessons on poison ivy, trees (willow oak, cedar, sycamore, Virginia pine, and tulip poplar), erosion, watershed, wetlands, fiddlehead ferns, animal tracks, and red-tailed hawks. She explained that the land was formerly used for farming and the man-made pond was used for fishing. Due to a leak in the dam next to the pond, the State requires the Town of Davidson to keep the pond at a low water level. Sudduth would like to see the leak repaired and the pond restored.

Sudduth’s modest, conceivable, and affordable vision for Beaty Park includes the following: repair the dam, build a small parking lot and bathroom, maintain the trails, and add a gazebo or pier. She noted that the work is a perfect opportunity for Eagle Scout projects. Sudduth plans to continue hosting the hikes in order to increase public awareness of this town-owned gem.

Link to the Save Davidson Beaty Property timeline:

Link to Master Naturalist program:

Davidson Depot project off Town website...previous approval invalid

This past week it was noticed by Melissa Atherton, a regular contributor here at aShortChronicle, that the controversial Davidson Depot project no longer shows up on the Town website as an active project in the Planning Department.

Readers will remember the Davidson Depot project as the 183 unit apartment complex set to for the Metrolina Warehouse site.  Legacy problems with asbestos at the site triggered a major cleanup effort by the EPA in the surrounding neighborhood last year.

The project would have involved massive cleanup efforts on the site itself, and costs for that cleanup caused the original developer, Miller Valentine, to pull out of the effort last year.  The project was handed off to a new group, a financing company called HFF, to see if any creative options could be found to handle cleanup costs.  aShortChronicle reported on that here.  Now, it looks like that effort may have ceased as well.

When asked why the Town had taken the project off the website, Christina Shaul responded that "the original approval from 2015 is no longer valid. It’s our understanding that Miller Valentine is no longer involved in the development of the Metrolina site."  When asked further about that Shaul responded with this.  "When planning staff was conducting a review of projects, they realized that it was not approval correctly at the outset – the definition of expansion vs. redevelopment was misinterpreted. At their February 27 meeting, the mayor and board of commissioners directed staff to look into the Metrolina Warehouse site on Depot Street as a potential site for housing some of our public facilities to help with our space needs."

The only 2015 approval on the project aShortChronicle was aware of involved a preliminary site plan needed to seek the Brownfield Abatement tax credits the project was hoping to use to defray some of the cleanup costs.  Now, it would appear that approval which benefited the project was done incorrectly.

HFF the company looking at creative financing options for the original plan was contacted multiple times this past week to see if anything else was in the works.  However, the firm did not respond.  Regardless, it would appear that if this project was to go forward now, it may be starting back at square one.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Four-Day Charrette for Davidson Mobility Plan Postponed - New Dates TBD

DAVIDSON, NC -- The four-day charrette, originally scheduled for March 5-8 as part of the creation of the Davidson Mobility Plan, has been postponed to allow for more citizen input. A new date for the charrette has yet to be selected.

A charrette is a collaborative session in which a group of designers draft solutions to a problem based on stakeholder and community input. Members of the community interested in transportation are invited to stop by the design studio throughout the week.
After initial community participation in this process, we received feedback from citizens requesting more information and the opportunity for more walks around town to examine areas that need improvements,” said Senior Planner and Davidson Mobility Plan Project Manager Travis Johnson. “We have decided to slow the mobility plan process, which will enable us to gather more citizen feedback.”

For more information, please visit and subscribe to the Davidson Mobility Plan eCrier list at -- simply enter your email address and click on the small grey envelope to the left of “Davidson Mobility Plan.”

For more information, please contact Senior Planner Travis Johnson at or 704-940-9639.