The city and county have both recently launched new online portals to help residents get a better grasp on what’s going where as the city rapidly changes around them. Following the city’s June launch of the Development Near Me tool, the county on Monday launched its Parkland Reserves webpage, both of which act as interactive tools that keep residents up to date on developing projects within city and county lines.
Launched by the city’s Planning, Design & Development department, Development Near Me allows users to explore development projects in and around their neighborhood while staying informed about new submissions.
The Parkland Reserves page, launched by the county’s Park & Rec Department, lets residents know when land near them is purchased and planned for future parks or nature preserves.
Mecklenburg County’s Parkland Reserves page
According to Mecklenburg County Park & Rec, nearly 60 future parks and preserves totaling approximately 3,000 acres of parkland currently await full funding and development, and the county continues to purchase land for green spaces and conservation.
With the county ramping up its focus on land acquisition in recent years, the Mecklenburg County Parkland Reserves webpage was designed as a way to allow residents to locate future park projects and track land purchases.
“We are ambitious in our land acquisition goals,” said W. Lee Jones, director of the Park and Recreation Department, in a release on Monday. “As custodians of public lands, it is our responsibility to protect these resources for future generations, to support human health and wellbeing, and to ensure all residents have equitable access to outdoor spaces.”
In its Fiscal Year 2024 budget, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners allocated $50 million for land acquisition while simultaneously adopting a five-year Capital Improvement Plan that included another $50 million to purchase new parkland between fiscal years 2025-2028.
“Between the long-term vision of our department and County leadership, and the support of our Board, we have been able to expand access to parkland in key areas across the county,” Park and Rec Capital Planning Division Director Bert Lynn said in the release. “We surpassed our land acquisition goal last year and have been able to lay the groundwork for additional acquisitions over the next 12 months.”
The Parkland Reserves webpage lists future local parks (parks accessible to neighbors by walking or cycling), regional parks (parks that will include parking), and nature preserves that will act as wildlife refuges and areas for nature-based recreation, with each project included on a searchable map made for the webpage.
“We have received enthusiastic questions about the parkland reserves that the County has recently acquired, so we created the page to be a starting point for dialogue with community members,” said Katie Lloyd, senior planner with Park and Rec. “We look forward to hearing ideas for the future activation of these park sites.”
City of Charlotte’s Development Near Me Tool
On June 28, the city’s Planning, Design & Development department announced the launch of the Development Near Me tool, a platform that aims to simplify the way residents access and interact with information about new development in Charlotte.
The centerpiece of the app is an interactive web map viewer that allows residents to easily review development information from a single location. By simply inputting an address, users can access information including ongoing development in Charlotte as well as pending, approved and completed projects.
“This application represents our commitment to ensuring our community remains informed and engaged in the development processes that shape our city,” said Alyson Craig, city planning director, in a release on the day of the app’s launch. “We understand the importance of transparent and accessible information, and our aim is to empower residents by providing them with an intuitive tool to stay informed about the development activities in their neighborhoods.”
The app was developed in response to recommendations from the city’s Community Benefits Task Force in 2022. It includes local development information from The Development Center and/or Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement.
Development projects and information featured on the app include residential development, non-residential development, mixed-use and other projects requiring permitting, grading permits, rezonings, and capital improvement projects.
Any questions about specific projects shown in this application can be emailed to DevelopmentNearMe@CharlotteNC.gov. For more information on specific rezoning petitions, residents can visit the city’s rezoning website.
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