Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rating Charlotte neighborhoods: Measurements are changing

The city of Charlotte and partners at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte are changing the way they rate neighborhoods.
They're drawing new lines, including all of Mecklenburg County and adding more data that can help neighborhoods determine how environmentally sensitive they are, among other things.

The new survey is scheduled to be published in December 2012. In the mean time, researchers are holding meetings to share their plans with neighborhood leaders and to ask for feedback.

The survey also drops the neighborhood labels of "stable," "challenged" and "transitional."

The next two meetings are Tuesday, for the northwest slice of Charlotte, and Thursday, for the southwest slice.

The changes will likely mean eventual changes in Charlotte's housing locational policy that sites low-income housing.
"It might cause us to adjust some of the policies we have," said Tom Warshauser, community and commerce manager for the city of Charlotte, during a meeting for the southeast slice of Charlotte.

The survey also will include a "green assessment tool" that will measure factors like water usage and frequency of recycling.

Most neighborhoods, like Merry Oaks, will fall into smaller boundaries, with data that will more truly reflect the neighborhoods. The researchers hope to provide tools to the public to allow people to slice and dice the data to look at broader geographic areas.

The current survey lists Merry Oaks as "stable," with a property crime rate below the city average and access to public transportation above average. Access to basic retail, however, was way below the city average at 4.9 percent versus a city average of 17.4 percent (based on numbers a couple of years old.)

For questions or feedback, email the researchers.

For an interactive map of the current data, visit here.

Next forums:
Northwest School of the Arts, for the northwest district: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
415 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216
Southview Recreational Center, for the southwest district: Thursday, 6 p.m.
1720 Vilma St., Charlotte, NC, 28208


From the Charlotte Observer

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