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Nov 01

Question 4: What has Been Waxhaw’s “Plan of Action”?

Posted on November 1, 2017 at 9:50 AM by Waxhaw Communications

Question 4: What has been Waxhaw’s “plan of action”?        

: Much like the increase in population, our journey has literally been a number of steps, both intentional and accidental, that have been bringing this vision to reality.  
In 1997, with the Old Hickory Shopping Center firmly in place, the Town took a major step towards transportation planning. Waxhaw and the NC Department of Transportation identified the present and future roads were that would be key passage ways connecting Waxhaw with the region: Highway 16, Highway 75, Waxhaw Indian Trail, Rehobeth Road, Old Providence and Old Waxhaw Monroe Highway. Also included was a new Highway, the Waxhaw Parkway. The Town officially adopted Waxhaw’s Thoroughfare Plan in 1997, and was adopted by the State in February 1998.
When Waxhaw approved, “Waxhaw, Come on In,” it brought challenges for the Town. In order for Waxhaw to go forward, it would require a larger and skilled st
aff. In 2005 Waxhaw took the first step to mitigate the challenge by changing its charter to approve the Council Manager Governance structure commonplace in North Carolina. And by 2007, Waxhaw hired its first Town Manager. They assigned the manager with the task to design, find funding, recommend to the Town Board, and implement a growth management strategy. One year into the task, the economic recession of 2008/2009 hit. Everything came to a near standstill while those unique challenges were navigated. 
The end of the economic recession saw a return to growth. The Town’s focus through 2013 was in vision planning. Over a 6 year period Waxhaw invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in defining various pieces of Waxhaw’s future state. Nearly every corridor of Waxhaw was touched via our “master planning” efforts. During that same time period Waxhaw also shared what it did not want by saying “NO” to a “big box” development and “NO” to a Historic Overlay District. And Waxhaw framed regulations for Downtown by approving a set of ordinances (form based code) that were specific to the vision of the downtown district.
In the fall of 2014, the focus shifted to Waxhaw’s emerging reality. There were no concrete answers to how we manage and pay for the big three of infrastructure – in our case transportation, quality of life (parks and recreation), and environment - let alone the $150M wish list that had been identified in, “master planning”. Our development and growth management pieces were in question. What distinguishes Waxhaw now is a laser- focus on growth management, on how we manage growth and how it impacts our quality of life. We do this through a “growth management” system
No one wants Waxhaw to be a clutter of crazy signage and asphalt parking lots. We are in the process of putting in place the 50 policies in addition to development ordinances that are needed to support our Master plans. Since 2015, Waxhaw has established a Parks and Recreation Department to develop a modern plan and build new parks and green space. We have  re-engaged with our state and regional transportation partners while investing hundreds of thousands of Waxhaw’s own dollars to begin to address the traffic and congestion issues. We re-engaged with Union County to address our aging sewer infrastructure. We have implemented a sidewalk program to begin to support our walkability and sidewalk master plan. We are investing over $1M to make downtown a walkable, people-focused Main Street. We have seen the beginning of rehabilitation to our downtown commercial areas. And we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing the necessary standards and policies to keep our environment, our town and neighborhoods beautiful and livable.