WAXHAW — Consultants recently wrapped up the public comment period for the downtown small area plan giving Waxhaw leaders a clear grasp of what’s needed to preserve the town’s charm and history, while also preparing for growth.
But the project isn’t finished just yet.
“What (consultants) did was kind of say ‘this is what we’re recommending and what we’ve come up with,’ but it hasn’t been vetted by the full council yet,” said town manager Mike McLaurin.
McLaurin said some of what consultants talked about included building homes around the mill again, stressing the importance of density in downtown and having people living close by so they can walk and really feel like they’re part of the downtown area.
Monica Holmes, one of the consultants with the Lawrence Group, which is working on the small area plan, said there are eight key things the town needs to ensure its success: increased connectivity and transportation choices, diverse housing options, investments on Main Street, prioritized civic buildings and locations, parking improvements and wayfinding signs, an emphasis on other downtown destinations, support and recruitment for Main Street and encouraging quality development through coding.
“Now we’re moving into the report and implementation phase where we’re compiling all the information we’ve completed and have one more advisory committee meeting in June to go over our suggestions and recommendations and get one final feedback,” Holmes said.
The final report will include an implementation schedule, a timeline for when projects should be implemented and who’s responsible, and will be a very detailed report, Holmes said.
“Overall I think it was a good process,” McLaurin said. “I think (consultants) certainly brought up some things we haven’t thought about that will help give the board opportunities to evaluate some recommendations and set forth a path. It won’t be done right away, but over the years, having some sort of visionary approach of how you would see downtown developing is healthy.”
Holmes will give a draft presentation of the final report to the town’s advisory committee June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Waxhaw Women’s Club. To see a copy of the final presentation from the charettes, visit www.unioncountyweekly.com.