I am writing to address comments directed at the Touchstone Homeowners Association and myself in a letter to the editor on the proposed greenway parking lot at Rea and Bevington by Mary Kamerer, a resident of Glynmoor Lakes. I find her letter to be quite biased and in error. She is attempting to dismiss the opinion of Touchstone, a large community that has been actively involved in the development of the trail for over eight years.
The trail runs along the perimeter of Touchstone, bordering the property of many of our homeowners. We see, firsthand, the need for the proposed parking lot to accommodate the large number of people that are enjoying this very popular trail.
I am president of the Touchstone Homeowners Association. Ms. Kamerer asserts that my only interest in the parking lot is because my husband happens to be employed by Lat Purser. However, I have represented our association concerning the trail since 2002. I have attended all trail workshops and many related meetings on behalf of my neighborhood, long before Lat Purser’s involvement in the Shops at Piper Glen. I can assure you that I, and the Touchstone Homeowners Association board members, continue to represent only the interests of the Touchstone neighborhood.
Touchstone, at 285 homes, has an active membership that is multiples of Glynmoor Lakes at 66 homes. While not every one of our homeowners is an association member or was in favor of the greenway, I can assure you that we hear from our non-members when they have a complaint or concern. Limiting greenway parking traffic within our neighborhood, in the interest of safety for our families and children, is the consensus that we represent.
Glynmoor Lakes is on the opposite side of Rea Road from the end of the trail. The intended continuation of the Four Mile Creek Trail would run along and border property within Glynmoor Lakes, a fact that Ms. Kamerer neglected to share. It is common knowledge that a number of residents of Glynmoor Lakes are strongly opposed to the trail’s further development. Per Mecklenburg County GIS, Park & Recreation has owned the land needed to continue the greenway along Glynmoor Lakes since 1994.
We support the parking lot for two important reasons:
1. Public parking should be provided outside the Touchstone neighborhood as Park and Recreation presented at the trail design workshops. Park and Recreation stated that the trail would have minimal impact on the privacy and safety of our neighborhood because they would provide adequate public parking outside the neighborhood. They also pledged that the two pedestrian entrances within Touchstone were intended for the use of residents, not the general public. That has been and continues to be their design policy. The proposed lot is consistent with that intent.
2. Public parking should be provided next to the trail so the trail is safely accessible. Ms Kamerer suggested satellite-parking areas. Trail users could park in any of the suggested locations now, but the fact is, they would rather risk being towed from the shopping center or along Elm Lane to park as close as possible to the trail. The proposed parking lot would provide a safe and logical location for parking.
Providing safe parking next to the trail and public parking outside of our neighborhood are both very important and integral to the development of a quality trail system in Charlotte. Trails should be designed to serve both the general public and enhance the adjoining communities, including provisions for adequate parking, which the proposed parking lot will accomplish.
President, Touchstone Homeowners Association
Editor’s note: The park department’s request to rezone land for the proposed Four Mile Creek Greenway parking lot has been delayed until Charlotte City Council’s Feb. 21 zoning meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.