A public meeting was held on July 10, 2007 in the Lecture Hall at Charlotte Catholic High School. The purpose of the meeting was to present the preliminary construction plans for the Nightingale Lane Capital Improvement Project (CIP) to the neighborhood residents and to solicit input from them regarding the proposed improvements. Real Estate agents representing the City of Charlotte were also on hand to help initiate the Real Estate phase of the project. There was a sign-in sheet for the residents that attended the meeting to provide their contact information. Fifty residents attended the meeting.
Jordan Jones & Goulding (JJ&G) prepared a large map of the project area that displayed the proposed improvements and the parcels of the property owners that would be affected by the project. The residents attending the meeting were asked to place a sticker on the map on the location of their property.
The following project team members were present:
- Matthew Gustis – Charlotte Storm Water Services (CSWS)
- William Harris – CSWS
- Laura Rushing – Charlotte Real Estate
- Matt Clabaugh – JJ&G
- Larry Fraser – JJ&G
- Dan Rice – JJ&G
- Jimmy Fitzenreiter – JJ&G
- Dan Rushing – Telics
- Andrew Ponder – Telics
- Steve Frey - Telics
The CSWS Project Manager of the project, Matthew Gustis, began the meeting by explaining the housekeeping matters of the facility. He asked the meeting attendees if everyone had a copy of the agenda and then proceeded to review the agenda. Mr. Gustis then asked the attendees if they had previously attended a Nightingale Lane CIP public meeting. Six people raised their hands.
Mr. Gustis introduced the project team members and gave a general description of the purpose of the meeting. He then stated that the meeting was the third of three that were held to solicit input from residents that may be affected by the project. Mr. Gustis then discussed the Capital Improvement Program process and showed a video that summarized the role of CSWS and the procedure for completing a typical project.
Mr. Gustis and Dan Rice (JJ&G) presented a detailed description of the project that included background information, identified problems, and design information. The proposed improvements include replacing the roadway culverts at Osprey Drive, Kingfisher Drive, and Blue Heron Drive. Additionally, channel work along the main channel from Osprey Drive to Blue Heron Drive will include grading and bank stabilization. The project will also relocate a large portion of the channel using stream restoration techniques in the floodway upgradient of McMullen Creek. Finally, work will also be completed on the secondary pipe and channel systems. A majority of Mr. Rice's presentation dealt with the stream restoration portion of the project. The project schedule was also discussed.
After Mr. Rice's presentation, Mr. Gustis presented a video that discussed the easement acquisition process and he gave a verbal explanation/presentation of the various types of easements that will be used on the project. Mr. Gustis also explained that there are existing public drainage easements that were set aside by the developer when the neighborhood was constructed. Currently, it is the individual property owner's responsibility for any storm drainage system on their property and within the existing public drainage easement. As part of the project, CSWS will claim any existing public drainage easements (and storm drainage infrastructure) thus taking the financial responsibilities off of the private property owners and may require additional easements to complete the work.
Mr. Gustis then opened the floor to general questions. All of the questions were not documented but some of the questions included:
When will construction start? Fall 2008
How long will the construction take? ~1.5 years
Are the trees and roots in the stream causing flooding? No, they are stabilizing the banks. Flooding is being caused by the under capacity of the existing roadway culverts at Osprey Drive, Kingfisher Drive, and Blue Heron Drive. The roadway culverts will be upsized and the main channel will be graded to increase capacity and stabilize the banks to minimize erosion.
Why can't the main channel be piped in? Issues that keep us from piping in existing channels include permitting with the regulatory agencies (state and federal), a City Council approved policy, and cost prohibitions.
Does the City own my property within the easement? By donating an easement, you are giving the City rights to access that portion of your property for construction and future maintenance. By donating, it transfers the financial liability from the property owner to the City for any future issues that may occur with the drainage system. You will still own the property, but it does put some restrictions on what can be done within the easement.
Residents expressed concern with the following topics:
Hazards to school kids at the apartments.
The amount of money that the project will cost.
An abundance of mosquitoes are in the area.
Drainage from Highway 51 is causing downstream flooding.
After the question session turned into a parcel specific discussion, the audience was invited to split into groups to discuss specific problems and review the design documents. Representatives of CSWS, Telics, and JJ&G presided over each group.
The public meeting ended at 9:15 pm.