On April 13, NCDOT presented a modified plan of the N. Highland Lake Road project (U-5887) to the Flat Rock village council at a special council meeting.
We’re looking at how that modified plan will affect the road, and here we take a look at the possible new entrance to The Park at Flat Rock.
In January 2016, NCDOT notified the Village of Flat Rock that they would be undertaking work on N. Highland Lake Road. In June 2017, NCDOT presented their first set of plans to the village council. At that time, the village council asked if NCDOT could include in the plans a new entrance to The Park at Flat Rock. The original design for the park showed a new entrance farther along N. Highland Lake Road, which would have required building a new roadway through the middle of the park to connect to the current parking lot. Initial estimates for that construction were close to $1M, and the village council had already concluded that this design was not feasible.
Why a new entrance to the park?
When the village council first looked into purchasing the Highland Lake Golf Club property and creating a park, residents of Highland Golf Villas, who own Highland Golf Drive, a private road providing access to the golf course parking lot, were concerned about traffic. While the village acquired a legal easement to use that road with their purchase of the property, Highland Golf Villas residents thought the use by park visitors might cause problems and advocated for a separate park entrance. The village council included a new separate entrance in the original park design, but with its exorbitant price tag, the new entrance was not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.
Enter NCDOT with their road project.
Not part of NCDOT’s original plans, a new entrance (closer to the current entrance in order to reduce costs) was suggested by council members as something that could be included with the road project. NCDOT agreed, and added a curb cut for a new park entrance in their October 2017 plans presented to the public. That curb cut remained in the modified plans presented in April 2018.
Is a new entrance necessary?
While initially residents of Highland Golf Villas were concerned about park traffic, and did have some problems with park visitors coming into their neighborhood to park on grass, etc., most if not all of these problems have decreased over time as Highland Golf Villas has increased their signage and as park visitors have become more careful with their parking.
Impact of new entrance location
- NCDOT plans call for a left turn lane with a concrete median on N. Highland Lake Road at the new entrance. This significantly affects Dale’s Automotive as customers will only be able to enter Dale’s from the west and exit to the east.
- Dale’s Automotive will lose the use of some of its property for business.
- Highland Golf Drive will be closed and the new entrance will be used for both park visitors and Golf Villas residents, so no separate park entrance (the original impetus for a new entrance).
- With the grade changes planned for the railroad tracks, traffic will be moving much faster in that area than it currently does, which will cause problems for any park entrance.