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Old 05-19-2012, 10:46 PM
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
7,914 posts, read 9,387,477 times
Reputation: 5988
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
Some cities (or at least one) has already started doing just that.

In 1998, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to establish a dedicated revenue stream to support the Charlotte-region’s 2025 transit and land-use plan. This was a big leap of faith and a strong demonstration of support by Charlotte-Mecklenburg voters, as this additional sales tax gave Mecklenburg County the distinction of having the highest sales tax rate in the state – and this is a city and region that faces stiff competition for commerce from our adjacent neighbor, the State of South Carolina. The pitch for establishing the dedicated transit revenue stream in Charlotte-Mecklenburg was an easy sell because of three factors – we presented a compelling vision in the 2025 transit and land-use plan, the state government agreed to be a funding partner and the Federal government was identified as a partner through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998.

As of 2011, that 1998 plan has created areas of Charlotte that look like the following:

All sizes | LYNX | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Charlotte Lynx Light Rail (11/23/11) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Charlotte's Southend Trolley | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Mid-day Charlotte Light Rail Ridership | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Charlotte skyline from The Vue condos | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Charlotte skyline from The Vue condos | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Charlotte skyline from The Vue condos | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Fall colors in Charlotte's South End - MetroScenes.com – City Skyline and Urban Photography by Matt Robinson
Downtown Charlotte and the South End as seen from the Ashton Apartments - MetroScenes.com – City Skyline and Urban Photography by Matt Robinson

^^^And there's more currently under construction this year.

To answer the OP's question; will we see more urban/transit friendly development from other NC cities just because the state decided to make annexations more difficult? I doubt it. Why? Because a city that is serious about such a thing would have started doing it before the new annexation law.

FWIW, (since we've seen what Charlotte has done in the last 14 years) here is a short video of Charlotte recently getting an $18 million grant from the Feds to help expand light rail to UNC Charlotte by 2017.

CATS FTA Blue Line Grant - YouTube

Last but certainly NOT least, it is not wise to judge a city by its "on paper" density. Take a look at Kansas City (density less than 2,000 people per sq/mile).

^^^Clearly, there are areas of this city that's MUCH more dense than Charlotte and Raleigh. Much of the city's density drops off due to areas east of downtown (Charlotte's density drops off due to areas west and north-west of uptown). Just sayin...
All well and good yet Charlotte's urban area became overall less dense in the last 10 years. Raleigh's UA became slightly more dense in the last ten years and neither city has anything to currently brag about in that regard. Has NC's current annexation laws contributed to this or is this just a function of the timing of both areas' growth?

IMO, both cities have as much land as they need (actually Charlotte probably has more than they need) to become great cities in the future. Frankly, both cities are running out of possible land to annex. I am not as familiar with Charlotte but Raleigh can't reach 200 square miles, even with the current annexation laws.

Miami is an interesting case of how to succeed within a constrained footprint. At less than 36 square miles, Miami proper has 400,000 residents and increased its population density by over 1000 PPL/Sq Mile in the last decade because it had to grow vertically to expand its tax base. Miami Beach, at 7 square miles has just under 90,000 residents and tens of thousands of seasonal residents who pay property taxes year round to support all the city's offerings. The streets are cleaned all the time, the public right of way is always being upgraded and the infrastructure of the city is well funded. One can do bigger and better things with more money and less to maintain.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:20 PM
3,271 posts, read 868,687 times
Reputation: 1440
The big difference between Raleigh/Charlotte and Miami is Miami historically has had compelling reasons to be downtown after 5pm. But it's not as if every square inch of land available for development in south Florida hasn't been used, and there isn't tons of pressure from developers to zone more wetlands for building on.

Plus there are external factors such as most of the development since the 70s in Miami being driven first by drug money laundering, then recovery from Hurricane Andrew. Charleston has had a similar development boom since Hugo. It's not really a one-to-one comparison.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:59 PM
4,886 posts, read 5,319,353 times
Reputation: 3036
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
All well and good yet Charlotte's urban area became overall less dense in the last 10 years.
I showed you infill urban developments within Charlotte's core; then you complained about how Charlotte's UA population (a population that includes towns outside of Meck and NC) lost density as it grew and added more suburban real estate. Um, OK.... So what is this thread really about huh? As an FYI, here's the thread title....

How Restrictive Annexation Laws can HELP cities

^^^And here's my answer once again. Restrictive annexation from the state won't change a thing because the cities that are truly interested in mass transit and urban styled transit oriented developments are already building both. Charlotte is one of those cities; one that has gained national recognition for its efforts with the LYNX blue line as well as the city's land use policies for more TODs to help boost ridership. FWIW, I am more concerned with what takes place within the 50 sq/mile area surrounding uptown; what happens outside of that area is moot because its too far away from uptown's employment center. Whether that area is called "Charlotte" or called "Matthews" makes no difference. Efforts in the core is what counts most (and Charlotte is building up its core quite nicely).

If anything, your gripe should be with the rest of NC; not the one NC city that a liberal president wishes to be the back drop of his re-election efforts. IMO, this thread looks and smells like a tired, obvious, and desperate attempt to make Charlotte's recent urban efforts appear to be as weak as Raleigh's; when most people would agree that the biggest difference between Charlotte and Raleigh are their respective urban efforts in their core areas.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:59 PM
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,200 posts, read 21,907,188 times
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Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
IMO, both cities have as much land as they need (actually Charlotte probably has more than they need) to become great cities in the future.
Both cities, and most every other annex grown city in the state,
have about 3-4 times as much land as they'll need for another thousand years to come.

The question or problem is the lack of some OTHER way (or political entity) to join those outer ring
areas together into one (or several) cohesive unit that can/will provide the services they need.
But it doesn't seem that any of those other towns were interested in expanding their influence.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:52 PM
Location: Charlotte, NC
606 posts, read 459,614 times
Reputation: 339
I don't think stopping cities from annexing is going to make them stronger in the long run. Denser maybe. But dense population doesn't equate to being a prosperous city.

Most of the people against forced annexation are the ones who live on the edges of the city limits but still want to use the city's amenities and infrastructure without paying for it. If their areas are developed, I'd say the city has every right to annex them.

With restrictive annexation, Charlotte and Raleigh easily become Baltimore, DC, Richmond, or the many SC cities that cannot annex surrounding land. None of which I think NC cities should be striving to be like. Those metros based on cities who cannot annex are usually made up of a poor or decaying urban core with wealthy and beautiful suburbs surrounding it. The exceptions being traditionally large areas like NY, Atlanta, Miami, etc. So far the cities in NC have been able to avoid that.
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