Dear Tom Tate,
I read with dismay about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools plan to sell off some extra parcels of land recently. While I understand the need to demonstrate strong fiscal management without waste, two parcels in particular concern me because of their importance to long-term plans for green space in East Charlotte.
The “mystery parcel” to the north of Independence Boulevard and to the south of Commonwealth Avenue, plus the parcel between Eastway Middle School and Evergreen Nature Preserve are key pieces of green space. The in-town neighborhoods of Charlotte’s East Side have been under tremendous pressure since 2010 for infill development and have lost large stands of trees already.
I’m writing to request that the school board seek a solution by working with the city of Charlotte or Mecklenburg County to purchase those parcels as set-aside land for future green spaces for all of Charlotte. A study (PDF) done in 2010 by American Forests showed a disturbing pattern for the “City of Trees,” with loss near the center city being particularly devastating, and that study pre-dates even more infill development along Central Avenue at Briar Creek Road.
Long-term residents had dreamed of using Eastway Middle School’s great location and its land as a key link in building green space corridors with educational opportunities in Charlotte. Please do everything you can to save the parcel next to Eastway, and please consider the environmental and human impacts of selling off the “mystery parcel,” which appears to serve as a floodplain.
Thanks for everything you do,