So what is “south Charlotte”?
A recent CharlotteFive writer opened up a lively debate by referring to Cotswold and environs as “south Charlotte” and readers – the ones who weren’t focusing on other, ahem, aspects of the piece – scoffed at that definition.
“Cotswold is not South Charlotte.” “Cotswold is definitely not south Charlotte. Just like South Park isn’t south Charlotte.” Cotswold is not “TRUE south charlotte.” Another can’t “believe that Cotswold was mentioned in the same sentence with South Charlotte.” (Clearly we have some capitalization issues as well.)
Others felt differently. “South Charlotte is everything south of Uptown, east of South Blvd, and west of Monroe Rd.”
The Charlotte Planning Department’s Wanda Birmingham tells us there’s no formal definition of “south Charlotte.” And the Charlotte Chamber doesn’t list “south Charlotte” among its Mecklenburg County “residential areas.”
But the Chamber does use the terms Southeast and Southwest. Here’s how those are defined:
“Southeast Charlotte: When the city started expanding rapidly during the 1960s and ’70s, most of the development headed south. The Cotswold neighborhood was one of the first areas, developed in the 1960s. SouthPark Mall, established in 1970, became the catalyst for a host of retail, business and residential development. Today, SouthPark feels almost urban. Throughout the area, you’ll find plenty of housing options, ranging from small brick ranches to new-home communities to mansions. Southeast Charlotte continues to be the best place in town to find upscale shopping, both at the mall and in several mixed-use developments in the area, including Phillips Place, Piedmont Town Center and Morrison.”
“Southwest: The southwest corner of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County is home to large business parks on Arrowood Road and Westinghouse Boulevard, as well as one of Mecklenburg’s largest parks, McDowell, along Lake Wylie. Airport expansion and the I-485 outerbelt are luring even more businesses. The widening of N.C. 49 through southwest Charlotte into South Carolina bolstered development in the area, including several expensive developments along the shores of Lake Wylie. Duke Power created Lake Wylie in 1904 and enlarged it in 1924. With 12,455 acres and 325 miles of shoreline, the lake provides water recreation to residents and visitors in three counties – Mecklenburg and Gaston in N.C. and York County in S.C. Major mixed-use developments in this area include Arysley (sic) and Whitehall.”
The Chamber lists a “Center City Ring” that includes what it dubs “Old Charlotte,” and lists Myers Park, Eastover, Dilworth, SouthEnd (as one word), Cherry, Biddleville, Washington Heights, Wesley Heights, Wilmore, Elizabeth, Crescent Heights, Plaza-Midwood and Belmont by name among them.
“Transitional neighborhoods” is what it calls Chantilly and Sedgefield, Camp Greene and NoDa.
South Charlotte Weekly defines its coverage area, says Charlotte Media Group managing editor Justin Vick, as focusing on “the zip codes of 28209, 28210, 28211, 28226, 28270 and 28277 (yes, this includes Cotswold). I love zip codes ... vague and non-controversial.”
Wikipedia puts areas including Sedgefield, Myers Park and Cotswold to SouthPark, Steele Creek and Ballantyne in “South Charlotte.”
Meanwhile, in an Urban Dictionary entry from May 2009, “socharlotte011” defines the area as “where people with money in Charlotte eat, live, and play... Where Old Money Old South, in Quail Hollow and Myers Park, meets new money New South, in Ballantyne and Providence Country Clubs ... Where the roads are wide, upscale shopping plentiful, and the recession not felt ...”
How do you define it?