The Town of Davidson comprises just 5.1 square miles (not including the extra-territorial jurisdiction – ETJ). Our town is a finite area with separate and competing needs (residential, commercial, open space, active space, etc.). How we balance these needs going forward is critical as the east side of town develops. We do not want to repeat the issues we are experiencing in the village and on the west side of Davidson.
Growth management is one of the biggest concerns I’ve heard from our residents. Given all the development projects that have emerged over the past few years, many residents feel as if they’ve been drinking out of a development “fire hose.” We need to balance these growth pressures with the quality of life we all desire.
Let’s take a look at a few facts & figures:
|Town area||5.1 sq mi||5.1 sq mi||5.1 sq mi||5.1 sq mi|
Back in 1990, we were a small, quaint college town with a population under 5,000.
25+ years later, we have almost tripled in size to over 12,000 and our largest demographic is 35-54 year olds with children. The median age in Davidson is now 35.7 years old. However, the fastest growing demographic is 55+ years old, "single" (never married, divorced, widowed) or empty-nesters.
We have been experiencing a steady increase in growth that is projected to continue. The area comprising the town of Davidson has not changed; it remains a mere 5.1 square miles. Balancing the competing desires for our land (residential, commercial, open space, active space, rural, etc.) is going to be more critical than ever in the coming years.
I-77 was built with a 15-year horizon instead of a 50-year vision and that shortsightedness has caused tremendous problems for the Lake Norman area. To truly “manage our growth,” we need to work more closely with Cornelius, Huntersville and Mooresville to take into account our entire region's current infrastructure (schools, roads, pedestrian and bicycle paths, police, fire, and other services), and the ability to keep pace with development over the next several decades before we approve additional projects within our individual towns.
I propose the following:
- Work with our schools, neighboring towns, and state leaders to better coordinate planning efforts regarding timing of development and infrastructure needs.
- Re-evaluate our focus on downtown infill and instead steer development towards the highway 73 corridor. East Davidson citizens have told me they would welcome a moderate amount of retail shopping, restaurants, commercial space, a grocery store, etc.
- Engage more citizens to foster a productive dialogue around what they actually want in terms of development for the future of Davidson.
- Ensure a fair, equitable, and transparent process for all projects.
- Review the zoning density levels and consider dialing them back in certain areas of town.