Ch-ch-changes (part 7 of 9)

The N. Highland Lake Road project (NCDOT U-5887) was not initiated by NCDOT and the Flat Rock village council has the power to stop it.

Part 7 looks at the impact of this project on The Park at Flat Rock.

The Park at Flat Rock: Purchased in 2013 by the Village of Flat Rock, The Park at Flat Rock is 66 acres of natural landscape anchoring one of the gateways into the Village of Flat Rock. A golf course for many years, the park design calls for giving much of the parkland back to nature, providing habitat for native wildlife and offering park visitors a quiet, pastoral space to enjoy.


Effect of proposed changes would:

  • Take park property with the widening of the road.
  • Increase the road width from 22-feet wide to around 52-feet wide around the large curve being dampened (not including the two areas with turn lanes on this curve, which adds another 10 feet, making it almost 62-feet wide) with that space being taken from the park.
  • Increase the road width along most of the road from 22-feet wide to almost 46-feet wide.
  • Cut down numerous trees along N. Highland Lake Road, removing a natural visual barrier between the road and the park.
  • Negatively impact one of the gateways into the village. Preserving this gateway is one of the reasons the village purchased the golf course and created a park.
  • Increase speed of cars along the south side of the park with the dampened curves and widened lanes.
  • Allow more noise into the park with the removal of trees as a natural sound barrier and increased speed of the traffic.
  • Greatly increase NCDOT right-of-way and easement property into the park.
  • Possibly cause the Ed Lastein Trail around the park perimeter to be reconfigured due to the road widening.
  • Possibly require the village to refund part of the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) money received that was used for the purchase of the park. A stipulation of the PARTF grant is that property remain available for public recreation. Any park property used for road widening, and no longer available to the public for recreational use, might need to be compensated for by the village.

On the map above:

  • Grey: existing roadway
  • Orange: existing roadway to be resurfaced
  • Yellow: proposed new roadway
  • Red thick line to the north of the road: multi-use path
  • Light green: proposed new NCDOT right-of-way
  • Light green area with diagonal lines: proposed new NCDOT easement for drainage, construction, and utility systems

This map shows the historic district line incorrectly–the line actually goes down the middle of the road (NCDOT has been presented with the correct historic district boundary for Flat Rock’s designation on the National Register of Historic Places).

Part 1, part 2part 3, part 4,  part 5part 6part 8, and part 9.

One thought on “Ch-ch-changes (part 7 of 9)

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  1. The goal of Carl Sandburg is to increase visitors. They wish to do this without building parking lots on the parks land.

    Except for the one that the Mayor approved without the consultation or review of the Planning Board.

    (While Sandburg has a right to build the lot, the application should have been reviewed by The Planning Board for issues of TREE CUTTING and CURB CUTS and LIGHTING ).

    In their defense, they came to the Village but were given ” a pass”.

    They ,Sandburg, plan that since the Villages very own Comprehensive Land Use Plan envisions MULTI-USE PATHS and SIDEWALKS all over town –including N Highland Lake Rd and Gvl Hwy and Little River Rd.—that they will utilize The Park at Flat Rock for bus and overflow parking so visitors can drive and park at the Park, and then ride their bikes somehow to Sandburg.

    This is a strategy that uses The COMPLETE STREETS strategy for federal(?) funding. The Village of Flat Rock has signed on to the COMPLETE STREETS which, I now realize was a mistake. A BIG one.

    A lot needs to change in the “master plan” and with bike/ped planning if Flat Rock will remain the quaint village rather than morph into a cookie cutter suburb. The BIKE PED STUDY done last year is presently being reviewed to become a GUIDING DOCUMENT.

    While bike paths and pedestrian walks can be great and CAN BE INTEGRATED into our Village, it cannot be done in the context of “road improvements” by the NCDOT.

    The N Highland Lake Rd project demonstrates that clearly.


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