Monroe-Idlewild Development: Why You Should Attend Wednesday’s Meeting

We learned a month ago that some exciting development is coming to the Monroe Road and Idlewild Road intersection. MoRA representatives met with the developers over a month ago, and have since met with the Charlotte Area Transit System and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department. There are a lot of moving parts and we have tried to get an idea on how it will shake out.

 

For any new development on Monroe Road, we generally ask the following questions:
• Is what is proposed an appropriate gateway statement for our area?
• Is it welcoming to access by bikes and pedestrians?
• Can it function as a community gathering spot?
• Does it offer mixed-use as guided by city plans?
• Will it be able to shift to accommodate the Silver Line along Independence as that is built?
• Is it complementary to nearby properties?
• Is this the highest and best use of the site?

We love the plan to bring another grocery store to our area. The Monroe-Idlewild intersection is severely underserved, especially when it comes to grocery stores. The current buildings have fallen into disrepair and are in desperate need of replacement. Plans for the Silver Line suggest possibly putting a light rail station within walking distance of this area, and new commercial property could turn our area into a destination than simply a pass-through. The prominent intersection has a lot of potential, but early plans appear very suburban. City planning suggests our area should have mixed-use, like what we see at Meridian Place and the proposed Oakhurst Square one mile away.

Wednesday’s community meeting (hosted by the petitioner/developer and mandated by the rezoning process) is the time to be sure new construction includes things that are important for you and for the neighborhood. Do you think the plans have enough green space and walkable areas? Might this be a community gathering place that will be enhanced by a potential light rail station? Are designs appealing and materials high quality? Will Monroe Road have creative building frontage – or a view of parking lots? Should there be a mix of commercial and residential?

Voice your thoughts 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday December 14 at the Independence Library, and ensure that new construction is in line with your vision of the area.

MoRA needs YOUR help! VOLUNTEER with us on important community projects. Can’t volunteer? DONATE to help make our public art dream a reality. Even a $20 tax-deductible donation will help give the neighborhood a beautiful, defining sculpture that residents can be proud of.

MoRA’s 2nd Annual Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting

You’re invited to celebrate the season at MoRA’s 2nd Annual Holiday Fest.

Join friends and neighbors in this community tree lighting, raffle prizes from local businesses, caroling, holiday parade, food, music, beer, and more. The newest member of our community is a 15 foot Hemlock provided by Matt Bartell of Bartels Construction Solutions, LLC. The tree’s new home is at the corner of McAlpine Station Drive and Monroe Road, thanks to the generosity of Daniel Levine of Levine Properties.  As MoRA grows in popularity and attractiveness, so will our new Holiday tree, lighting up the night throughout the month of December.

planting-holiday-treeFood, drink, music, and fun abounds around the tree this year!  Beer from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and wine, hot chocolate and apple cider will keep all comers warm for just $2 per ticket. City Barbeque, which is opening in the MoRA corridor in March 2017 will provide the food. At just $5 per plate, it’s a fabulous price to sample their menu. Community Culinary School of Charlotte is providing dessert.

For just a dollar a ticket, you can purchase the opportunity to win all sorts of items from local MoRA businesses: Wild Birds Unlimited, Munchee’s Popcorn, New Zealand Cafe, Charlotte Swim Academy, Hawthorne’s Pizza, Deep Sea Fish Market, Harris Teeter, Russell’s Pub & Grill, Pizza Hut, Deep Sea Fish Market, Ted’s Restaurant, Queen City Yoga, and more. The raffle is just one new addition to the Holiday Fest this year.

MoRA remembers not all folks have everything they need at holiday time, so please bring a bag with boxed or canned goods for a local food pantry donation. Bring a bag – get 10 raffle tickets!

The fun doesn’t end there:  Come dressed as your favorite holiday character, be it a reindeer, elf, snowman, Mrs. Claus… and then parade around the tree in costume by twinkly lights.  Don’t forget to dress up your pet, as well!  There will be a craft table to make a holiday hat if you don’t bring your own.

And finally, the East Meck HS Choir will lead us in caroling, to get us all into the spirit of the season.

 

Tree lighting: 6:00 pm

Caroling: 6:30 pm

Parade: 7:00 pm

Raffle Winners announced: 7:30

Food, drink, music, and fun from 5:00pm – 8:00pm

 

Let’s celebrate the season together.  See you Saturday night!

 

Reshaping MoRA’s Future – Weigh In!

DSC_0125WEIGH IN ON THE FUTURE OF MORA AT OUR SECOND ANNUAL GOVERNMENT OPEN HOUSE

Meet your reps at MoRA’s Second Annual Government Open House – Wednesday, October 12 from 5:30-6:30 at East Mecklenburg High School’s media center; immediately afterwards, from 6:30 – 7:30, learn about key projects that can reshape MoRA’s land use and transportation future.

Development and revitalization doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs months and years ahead of time. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to meet and discuss with countless members of the local government the changes and future of our cherished area. They will cover updates on construction, development, traffic, land use, and the future of the Monroe Road corridor.

Government Open House from 5:30 to 6:30

  • Construction update on Independence Boulevard
  • The latest on the Silver Line
  • MoRA items in November’s bond package
  • Learn about new McAlpine Greenway events
  • Meet your community’s police officers
  • Find out about new happenings at the Independence Regional Library
  • Updates from Charlotte’s Economic Development department
  • Charlotte’s lead paint abatement initiative
  • Hear the latest from the Public Information Office

Land use development changes from 6:30 to 7:00

Planning wants to update and modernize Charlotte’s zoning and development process to meet the changing needs of a rapidly growing city. More information is available on the Planning Department’s website. Changes may include:

  • New neighborhood requirements
  • Mix of commercial and residential areas
  • Sidewalk placements

Learning what is under consideration will give MoRA stakeholders an edge on harnessing any new code to bring desired area improvements.

Development of Monroe Road intersections from 7:00 to 7:30

The City’s Idlewild/Rama/Monroe Intersection (IRMI) project team will introduce this long-range project at MoRA’s Oct. 12 Workshop. The team will identify and plan for future improvements at these intersections, such as:

  • The future of this part of Monroe road
  • Improve mobility and accessibility at these intersections
  • Support the right types of private development at these sites
  • Learn how to mix pedestrian, bicyclist, public transit, and motorist traffic

Currently, the team is beginning the planning stage. That makes your input crucially important. Weigh in while changes can be considered. More information can be found on charlottefuture.com.

Visit the media center at East Mecklenburg High School between 5:30 and 6:30 on Oct. 12 to meet with representatives of over 14 state and local government agencies. Don’t miss this chance to be involved with the biggest future changes for southeast Charlotte.

 

MoRA board meetings

MoRA’S NEXT MONTHLY BOARD MEETING:   Our next board meeting is Tuesday, June 20 from 6 until 8pm at the Independence Regional Library.  We’ll be discussing priorities and future events during this session, in addition to board updates. If you’re planning to come as a guest, send a note to Rachel Moyer in case there are last-minute changes.

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Are you interested in getting involved in MoRA? Here’s your guide!

MoRA board meetings are typically the third Tuesdays of the month, and they are open to all. Come and see what we’re doing and discussing, no commitment necessary.

 

We have 4 committees (work groups), and ask that new volunteers join one or more:

  • Arts, culture and education (John Lincoln, chair)
  • Government (James Scanlon and Jack Miller, co-chairs)
  • Business outreach, sponsorships and advertising (Richard Darlington, chair)
  • Communications (Matt Chambers, chair)

We’ll also put the word out when volunteers are needed for a specific event; you’ll want to watch our Facebook page for those.

Each January we have a Board Retreat, where we review our goals and decide where to refocus our energies.

MoRA asks that those interested in being on the board first volunteer at the committee level; engaged committee members are then eligible to serve on the board.

MoRA is a nonprofit organization with its 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.

We’d love to have you get involved! Here are the scheduled board meetings for 2017:  June 20, July 18, August 15, September 18, October 17, November 21, and December 19.

Past meeting minutes:

MoRA minutes 12-20-16

MoRA minutes 11-16-16

MoRA minutes-10-19-16

MoRA minutes-9-21-16

MoRA minutes 8-16-16

MoRA minutes 7-19-16

MoRA minutes 6-21-16

MoRA minutes 5-17-16

MoRA minutes 4-19-16

MoRA minutes 03-15-16

MoRA minutes 2-16-16

MoRA 2016 board retreat notes

 

Join Us for a Fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings on Oct. 10!

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Join us for MoRA Night at Buffalo Wild Wings!

Ten percent of every check will be donated back to MoRA to support our annual holiday tree lighting and party. Simply bring the ticket on the back of your town hall program (download) or just mention that you are with MoRA to participate.

When: October 10, 2016 – 10:00a-until

Where: Buffalo Wild Wings – 2530 Sardis Road N, Charlotte, NC 28227

 

Join us for MoRA 101 on October 12!

 

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Come learn about your local government at our upcoming open house!

October 12, 2016

East Mecklenburg High School

Starts at 5:30p

2nd Annual MoRA Public Town Hall: Shaping Future of Southeast Charlotte

“In 30 years of grassroots organizing, I’ve never seen a community group achieve as much, recruit as many volunteers and change area perceptions as quickly as MoRA”.  Mary Hopper, Community Consultant, MoRA Advisor

MoRA is excited to close out a year of rapid improvement in the Monroe Road corridor, but we are already looking forward to another year of bigger and faster revitalization. Our 2nd annual public town hall, on September 14th at East Mecklenburg High School, will cover our aggressive plans to shape and rejuvenate southeast Charlotte. We want to engage neighbors and stakeholders to align our visions and create the most appealing area of town.

Join us to learn about what we have accomplished in the last year, updates about the area, progress on the Silver Line light rail plans, and our plans for 2016 to 2017. MoRA has planned events and projects for the upcoming year that will make our neighborhood a closer and more unified community.

Lastly, we will officially unveil a significant collaborative community project that will give the Monroe Road corridor a much-needed sense of identity. We envision the venture engaging the public, propelling development, and putting the MoRA area on the map.

Come be a part of the exciting Monroe Road future on September 14th at the East Mecklenburg High School auditorium at 6:15 p.m.MoRA_TownHall_poster_2016

2nd Annual Town Hall, Wed Sept 14 at EMHS, 6:15-8pm

MoRA_TownHall_poster_2016Come hear about the great things taking place in the MoRA area!

Come learn about Silver Line (light rail) proposal!

Be there for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

When:     Wednesday, September 14 from 6:15 – 8pm

Where:    East Mecklenburg High School’s auditorium, 6800 Monroe Road

RSVP

We Want a Brewery in the Monroe Road Corridor

My wife and I live in MoRA and we’re big fans of Charlotte craft beer. This is an open letter welcoming a brewery to open in our corridor. Most of the craft breweries in NODA, South End and Plaza Midwood are between 9 and 11 miles from our house. Not bad for meeting some friends on a Saturday night or showing out-of-town friends around, but it’s not exactly convenient to Uber there on a Thursday night. Cycling or walking there is completely out of the question.

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Not only is there a broad, unserved gap in the market, but there’s an excellent value proposition for opening a brewery in MoRA. We have tens of thousands of cars driving up and down Monroe Road every day. Also, a lease in MoRA is likely to be far more affordable than other, more established, neighborhoods which would keep expenses lower. Can you imagine a brewery beside an entrance to the McAlpine Creek Greenway? Think about all the collaborative events that could be held: runs, bike rides, pub trivia, and dogs come to mind.

McAlpine Creek Greenway

Many businesses are moving into or increasing investment in our area, like Hendrick, BrandRPM, Sardis Marketplace, and the 165,000 square foot INQ office building. Thousands of people work up and down Monroe Road and Independence Blvd. There’s new residential investment in our corridor like the M-Station Apartments on Monroe Road.

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(Map courtesy of charlottebeer.com)

There’s no nearby competition and it’s affordable to get started in our neighborhood. There’s a huge, untapped (pun intended), local demand for craft beer in the Monroe Road corridor. What can we do to help make this happen? A petition? A Kickstarter campaign? We are a rapidly growing advocacy group and we would love to partner with someone to help make a MoRA brewery a reality. Please let us know what you think and help us to spread the word.

MoRA needs YOUR help! VOLUNTEER with us on important community projects. Can’t volunteer? DONATE to help make our public art dream a reality. Even a $20 tax-deductible donation will help give the neighborhood a beautiful, defining sculpture that will make residents proud.

PR workshop for your community group

Mary Hopper is a Community Engagement Consultant with over 25 years of professional experience — and who has been an integral advisor to MoRA.  She will be offering a free public relations workshop, in cooperation with the Independence Regional Library, as a community service.  This PR workshop will take into consideration the changing media landscape and will teach attendees how to use free media including newspaper, radio, and TV coverage to amplify your communication and outreach channels, including identifying media sources, creating news releases and op/ed pieces, requesting media coverage, getting on talk shows, and more.

Title:  Gaining Media Attention for your Community Group
Date:  Tuesday, August 2
Time:  6 – 7:45pm
Location:  Independence Regional Library, 6000 Conference Drive

To sign up for this workshop, click here.

 

MoRA prflyer