Two Important Topics Discussed in Town Hall this Summer

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MINT HILL, NC – The Mint Hill Mayor, Town Manager, Planning Director, Board of Commissioners, and concerned citizens are focused on two important subjects that could have a major impact upon our town in the future.

First and foremost is the discussion on a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Land Use Plan. There are serious discussions about the need for a 10-Year Land Use Plan update. The Board agreed to direct the staff back in February 2020 to move forward with a draft document.

The purpose of the document is to obtain competitive proposals from qualified entities interested in performing a Comprehensive Plan update for the town. The plan will be used as a guideline, a road map for considerations of changes and improvements in policy, infrastructure, planning, transportation, zoning, and land use.

Mayor Brad Simmons and Mint Hill's First Lady.
Mayor Brad Simmons and Mint Hill’s First Lady.

In North Carolina, state law requires a local government to adopt zoning regulations. The municipality should maintain a comprehensive plan with specific goals, policies, and programs as a guide for the present and future needs for the development of the local jurisdiction regarding demographics, environmental, economic, cultural, physical, and social impacts. The 10-year plan is an opportunity to review present and future needs through expected growth. It will lay out a strategy to navigate and address some pressing issues that could certainly affect Mint Hill and its future development.

We have a good quality of life in our town, communities, and neighborhoods. It’s important that the process includes citizens and holds town leadership accountable for the development of a realistic comprehensive plan. The discussions and decisions made about land use, neighborhoods, transportation, housing, space, zoning, and recreation are all significant and must be carefully evaluated through a comprehensive analysis so that not only are we making informed decisions but the best decisions possible.

The Town of Mint Hill is 24.29 square miles and has an additional 11.62 square miles of extra-territorial jurisdiction. The previous plan was developed in 2010, so the timing appears to be on target for the new plan to lead us through the next phase of growth and development in an orderly fashion.

The second topic of interest is the discussion regarding the Mint Hill Athletic Association (MHAA) and the creation of a Parks and Recreation Department. There are various and different ideas and views pertaining to this particular endeavor.

Some citizens have expressed support for the Parks and Recreation Department while others have opposed the idea of its establishment. The supporters’ views vary; however, a contingent of residents believe an official department would expand programs beyond youth athletics, adding programs such as day camps, and senior activities that would be more beneficial for the entire community. Those opposed prefer to keep the MHAA an all volunteer-based organization and not spend the funds required to create a new department while using both Veterans Memorial Park and Wilgrove Park to support and facilitate non-athletic activities.

The Town of Mint Hill is considering purchasing the MHAA facility and then will lease the fields back to the organization to continue to operate and provide youth athletic programs in Mint Hill. These youth programs are certainly an important part of our community for many families’ children while adding value to the overall quality of life in Mint Hill. The Board to date has not provided any direction to study a formal Parks and Recreation Department, and the town staff has not undertaken a self-directed study.

“At this point, there is nothing to share about MHAA beyond what was discussed at the meeting,” said Town Manager Brian Welch. “Staff is still collecting financial information and analyzing costs associated with the possible operation of the facility. Any potential deal does not include any organizational operations. We hope to bring this information to the Board at either the September or October meeting. The possible venture with MHAA is completely a stand-alone issue.”

We will continue to monitor both these important challenges facing the community along with others that might have an impact upon our growth and development as we move forward into the future as they develop.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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