People Can Tell When You Sell Out To Autobell - During Monday's Charlotte City Council meeting, members voted to rezone two acres on the corner of Park and Tyvola Roads for an Autobell car wash. The vote was unanimous despite the objection of city zoning staff and opposition from neighbors.
The site was last used for a daycare center that closed nearly ten years ago. City staff said the change went against the South District Plan as the area is mostly residential.
Andy Dulin, who represents the area, asked that he be recused from the vote. Dulin who tweets about having his car washed at Autobell at least once a week claimed to have a 40 year business relationship with the Howard family who started Autobell in 1969.
Cedar's Take: It is impossible to know just what deal was made behind council doors, what agreement was reached, or what emails were circulated between council members but something smells like cheap air freshener.
Not sure what Autobell has on council members but I suggest they keep good records and at more than 20 bucks a wash I hope Dulin keeps his receipts.
Two and a Half Men - Killed off Charlie Sheen's character Charlie Harper by having him allegedly slip off of a subway platform in Paris into the path of an oncoming train.
Monday night's premier introduced Ashton Kutcher as the new main character. Kutcher is a multi talented actor, director, writer and producer and frankly is too much for the show's one directional theme. Fans who found Sheen's portrayal of a hard drinking sex obsessed bachelor will now move on to other shows and of course the back to back hours of Two and a Half Men in syndication.
In the end the entire show is now a train wreak and not just Charlie Sheen.
Trolly Folly - Speaking of train wrecks, Charlotte will soon have a Trolly Line that runs 1.5 miles from Presbyterian Hospital to the Time Warner Cable Box. Of course its a massive waste of money with little upside. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed yesterday that the line will become an economic engine and city claims it will create 385 jobs.
The line is expected to cost $37 million, with the city paying $12 million. The city hasn't said how it will pay for an estimated $1.5 million in operating costs.
How can anyone justify the expense of $100,000.00 per 1/10th of a mile annually? How will we pay for it? Considering that a taxi cab in Charlotte costs $2.50 per mile a fare of $3.75 might be in order. However the Lyxn Light Rail line fare is 18 cents per mile so maybe a fair of 27 cents is in order. All we need now is the 5.5 million annual riders it will take to nail that 1.5 million dollar expense number.
The city's long term goal is to extend the route to create a 10-mile line from Beatties Ford Road to the site of the old Eastland Mall. Of course the obvious problem with that idea is that Elizabeth Avenue doesn't go to Eastland Mall it dead ends at Presbitian Hospital.
Rea Road Widening - It boggles the mind that the City of Charlotte will spend $22,500,000 of our tax dollars to build "two travel lanes divided by a planted median with left turn lanes, bicycle lanes, curb and gutter and sidewalks" along Rea Road between Colony Road and Highway 51. Yet they have been unable to convince Duke Energy to bury their power lines.
Early last week Duke Energy crews were again out in force to butcher trees along Rea Road and now are in the process of installing new bigger power poles less than ten feet from the old power pole location.
According to the CDOT web site the Rea Road project will also "improve the vertical alignment of the road eliminating sight distance problems when turning in and out of the subdivisions". The project will also ease traffic congestion, provide safe, aesthetically pleasing pedestrian and bike routes throughout the project area and provide landscaping in designated areas along the project.
All sounds great but why do a project of this size and cost and not do it right? Why doesn't the City of Charlotte insist that Duke Energy bury their lines in an area of Charlotte that already has 99% on the utility lines under ground?