STEELE CREEK NEWS
Steele Creek Area
Plan Taking Shape
The process to develop a
Steele Creek Area Plan continues. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department staff presented
a draft executive summary and maps
for the plan last week. Staff will refine the maps and other
parts of the plan based on
input from the Citizens Advisory Committee and present these at a
Community Meeting in January. The date and location of this meeting
is yet to be determined.
Much of what is in
the draft executive summary is consistent with citywide goals,
including higher density, pedestrian-friendly centers, environmental
protection, and transportation connectivity. But the plan will
include many things that are specific to Steele Creek.
For more information,
Steele Creek Area Plan web page. Under the November 9
heading, click on
Agenda to see the Draft Executive Summary and maps. Click
PowerPoint Presentation to see descriptions of key plan
Her are some
highlights of the plan so far:
Centers, Corridors and Wedges Growth Framework is the City of
Charlotte's adopted policy for organizing and guiding
growth and development within the City of Charlotte.
Activity Centers have
or will have a significant amount of nonresidential development.
They include Mixed Use Activity Centers, which generally contain
high intensity residential and retail development, and Industrial
Centers, which are more low density. The Steele Creek Area Plan
includes two Mixed Use Activity Centers (Whitehall/Ayrsley and
RiverGate) and two Industrial Centers (the Westinghouse Center and
the southern edge of the Shopton Road Center).
The framework for
Charlotte includes five growth corridors, which contain many areas
that are appropriate for significant new growth. The West Corridor
is located north of Steele Creek along Wilkinson Boulevard and I-85.
The South Corridor is located along South Boulevard and includes
portions of Steele Creek northeast of I-485 and east of S Tryon
Street along Arrowood Road. This area is not within the Steele
Creek Area Plan boundary, however.
Most of Steele Creek
is in a wedge. Wedges consist generally of single family
neighborhoods, interspersed with small areas of mixed use and commercial
development; multi-family housing (typically in apartment
complexes); and civic uses, such as schools, religious institutions, parks,
fire stations and libraries.
A major component of
the Steele Creek Area Plan is land use. The following map
shows the generalized draft concept plan. Most of what is in the
plan corresponds to current or approved land use in Steele Creek.
The map to the left
shows detailed recommended land use. Click on the map or
HERE to see a PDF version of this map.
The Draft Steele
Creek Area Plan includes four activity centers.
presentation on November 9 provided little detail on the
Whitehall/Ayrsley Mixed Use Activity Center, but current plans
contain the most intensive development anticipated in Steele Creek.
Whitehall Corporate Center Addition to Feature Eight Towers
- March 22, 2008.) The site plan for the southeast quadrant of
the Arrowood Road/I-485 interchange includes a mixed-use development
containing eight office towers with up to twelve stories and almost
two million square feet, multi-family housing, and open plazas.
shopping center is the largest occupant of the RiverGate Mixed-Use
Activity Center. This area contains 600,000 square feet of existing
retail and office uses and has 1,775 residential units approved.
Although vacant space is limited, the projected future development
in the draft includes a mixture of residential, office, and retail
development with parking structures wrapped with active ground floor
uses. Buildings could be up to 6 stories and generally would front
streets with parking at the rear. The draft plan calls for
additional multi-family housing with up to 8 dwellings per acre just
south of the current RiverGate shopping center.
Industrial Center extends through the plan area along Westinghouse
Boulevard from Shopton Road West to I-485 and is the largest
industrial core in the Carolinas. This area is developed with over
20 million square feet of industrial development. Additional
industrial development is appropriate, but not outside the current
area zoned for industrial.
Airport has been acquiring significant property in the northern area
of Steele Creek. Much of this has been for airport expansion and
construction of the new intermodal facility, but the airport also
has purchased a significant amount of land within its noise
corridors. This area is not suitable for residential development due
to airport noise and likely will eventually be used for industrial
purposes, This effect extends to the northern edge of the plan area.
Much of this is already zoned for office or industrial use and
includes a site for a new regional library.
The draft plan
includes four additional Community Centers. These would have up to
350,000 square feet of retail and office development.
Town center is planned along York Road at the northern edge of The
Palisades. The center originally was approved for 225,000 square
feet of retail and office land uses, but developers are asking for a
site plan amendment that will bring this to 325,000 square feet.
Most of the Berewick
Town Center is outside the plan area, but the draft recommendation
calls for mixed-use development, including retail, office, and
residential, on the eastern side of Steele Creek Road. This is a
change from the current land use.
Two other projected
community centers would be located at the intersection of S Tryon
Street and Westinghouse Boulevard and at the I-77/Westinghouse
The plan includes two
Neighborhood Centers, which would include up to 70,000 square feet
of retail and office development, generally not large enough for a
grocery store anchor. One is at the intersection of S Tryon Street and
Shopton Road West and the second is at the intersection of Shopton
Road West with the future extension of Winget Road. The second
Neighborhood Center in the plan has previously been identified for
residential development and seems like an unlikely site for a
The plan does not
acknowledge existing or potential retail development along S Tryon
Street east of Moss Road up to Westinghouse Boulevard as a community
or neighborhood center.
Most of the area in
the plan is slated for residential, and most of this would be less
than 4 dwelling units per acre. Even though most of these areas
currently are zoned R-3 (up to 3 units per acre), 4 dwelling units
per acre is the base density for the county. An exception is a area
north of Brown-Grier Road and another area between Shopton Road and
Arrowood Road which are identified for residential development up to
6 dwelling units per acre.
This residential area
generally corresponds to the wedge in the city's growth framework.
Institutional land uses are scatted throughout the wedge areas.
A second major
component of the Steele Creek Area Plan is transportation, including
roads, greenways, sidewalks, and other infrastructure that will help
provide a safe, accessible, and efficient transportation network.
The map to the left
shows detailed recommended transportation network. Click on the map or
HERE to see a PDF version of this map.
Roads generally are
classified as boulevards, avenues, and local streets.
upgrades include widening S Tryon Street to six lanes south to
Steele Creek Road and widening Steele Creek Road, Brown-Grier Road,
and Carowinds Boulevard to four lanes. New roads include an
extension of Carowinds Boulevard to Shopton Road West that includes
current sections of Sam Neely Road and Winget Road, a realignment of
Choate Circle at S Tryon Street, a connector between Whitehall Park
Drive and Arrowood Road across I-485, and a connector from Arrowood
Road to Shopton Road. None of these projects currently are funded or
scheduled for construction.
The plan includes
many additional new local streets, but these are conceptual only.
Alternate locations will be considered if they are consistent with
Also among the
transportation recommendations are improvements at several
intersections. However, the draft does not include improvements to
the Steele Creek Road/Sledge Road intersection, which is approved
and funded, and inprovements to the Steele Creek Road/Erwin Road
intersection, which is needed before the widening of Steele creek
road is likely to occur.
What is missing from
this map are additional greenways, especially extensions of the
Walker Branch Greenway trail north of S Tryon Street (which are on
the concept map) and an extension of the Steele Creek greenway trail
north of Brown-Grier Road. Much the land needed for both of these
extensions is already owned by the county or committed to be
Please check the
Steele Creek Area Plan or Steele Creek Residents
Association web sites for information about the Community Meeting
that will be held in January so that you can have input to this plan
that will guide development in Steele Creek for decades to come.
To comment on this
story, please visit the
Steele Creek Residents Association Message Board.
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