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Plan for Neighborhood Park at The Palisades Released

(September 24, 2009) Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department staff recently gave the public its first look at the new Palisades Neighborhood Park. The park, an elementary school, and a high school all will be located on a 110-acre site on York Road across from McDowell Nature Preserve. Click on the image below, or HERE, the view a pdf version of the park and school layouts.

Palisades Park

The elementary school will be in the northwest corner of the site along York Road. The park will be on 20 acres behind the school, along the west side of the site. Plans call for it to feature two age-specific playgrounds, a park pavilion, and a play field. All of these will be adjacent to the school and will be used by the school during school hours. They will be open for public use outside school hours.

Also planned is a .75 mile asphalt loop trail to the south of the school.

A 100 foot buffer will be maintained within the property line. No facilities will be built within this 100 foot buffer.

Plans could change based on public input, however.

The park will be funded by $311,000 in bonds approved by voters in 2008. The elementary school will be funded by school bonds approved in 2007. The plan is for the school and park to be built at the same time under the same contract.

However, the bonds have yet to be sold, and county staff attending the public meeting in July couldn't say when they would be sold. The state of the economy and the county's financial situation have caused the Mecklenburg County Commissioners to postpone bond sales.

Ideally the county will sell bonds in time to begin construction for the elementary school and park to open in 2010, but no one was willing to predict when funding will be available.

The high school will take up the bulk of the property on the east side. No funding has been authorized and there is no schedule for its construction. When that is built, plans call for a second, 1-mile asphalt loop trail around the school. When the high school is built, a road will be built through the property connecting to a new subdivision planned to the south. The loop trail will have two pedestrian connections to the future neighborhood.

The components and layout of the park are subject to change as a result of public input and other assessment. The footprints and layouts of the schools are preliminary and also subject to change.

The full 110 acre site has a 70-foot drop off from York Road to the back of the property, which leads to planning and design challenges.

To comment on this story, please visit the Steele Creek Residents Association Message Board.