STEELE CREEK — Airport expansion, road construction and outlet shopping headline a busy gathering of Steele Creek residents.
The Steele Creek Resident Association holds its annual meeting Feb. 27 at Christ the King Church, 13501 S. Tryon St. Each year the event draws hundreds of residents, as well as experts on topics effecting the community from law enforcement to regional planners. For 30 minutes before the 7 p.m. start, residents can visit booths from nonprofits, government and civic groups.
A major topic this year is Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Residents will hear plans for airport expansion, land acquisition and road relocations south of the airport. They’ll hear about flight patterns and navigation system upgrades, and the impact on noise levels for Steele Creek neighborhoods.
“We don’t know who we’ll get, but we do hope to have someone who can talk about airport noise, airport expansion to the south and other issues,” said Dave Wiggins who runs steelecreekresidents.org, steelecreekforum.org and social media feeds for the community.
Last year’s main topic, like most years before, was about road planning. Regional planners detailed the process for getting roads widened and other improvements, and where Steele Creek fits into those prioritized lists. This year, Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization planners will update residents on the widening of N.C. 160.
“Last year there was a huge turnout, and a lot of that had to do with people wanting to hear about what was going to be done with Highway 160,” said Karl Froelich, association president. “That road impacts everything else.”
Highway widening there last year was “fairly low” on the priority list, Froelich said. But community members didn’t let the issue go. State and local elected officials heard calls for work to be done. The association passed its first resolution calling for improvements.
Froelich said since then, elected officials have given the road more attention. Now residents will find out how much more.
“I think they’re going to be pleasantly surprised their voices were heard,” he said.
The first phase of the planned 400,000 square foot Charlotte Premium Outlets broke ground in September 8 miles southwest of uptown Charlotte at the interchange of I-485 and Steele Creek Road (NC Hwy. 160), called two major thoroughfares for the city by project developers Simon Property Group Inc. and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. The center is scheduled to open in the summer and will have 90 stores including Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5TH. The developers will be at the meeting to update residents on the project.
For more information, visit steelecreekresidents.org.
John Marks • 803-831-8166