Three public meetings took place during the planning phase in 2007 and 2008. The project was put on hold for 15 months awaiting the passage of voter-approved neighborhood improvement bonds in 2010, and more public meetings were held in 2011.
After an extensive public input process, it was determined that the proposed improvements would include sidewalk on Owen Boulevard, Kemp Street, Gray Drive, Creekstone Place, Blue Rock Drive and Rockland Drive. The project will also include an overland connector on Rockland Drive and some curb and gutter and minor storm drainage improvements.
During the real estate phase, discussions with property owners and further study and exploration by staff resulted in the need for additional storm water improvements to be added to the NIP project on Kemp Street. This storm water design is under way, and the project plans will be revised when the design is approved and accepted by the City. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation is proposing to construct a portion of Toby Creek Greenway and Overland Connector parallel to Rockland Drive. This proposed greenway is also parallel to the proposed Newell South NIP sidewalk along Rockland. To minimize impacts to this area, staff has decided to eliminate the NIP sidewalk along Rockland from Rocky River to Blue Rock. Safe pedestrian access in this area will be provided by the greenway/overland connector. Bidding the NIP project and utility relocation will follow approval of the additional Kemp Street storm drainage work, with construction currently to be determined based upon Storm Water Services approval.