Charlotte City Council stays course with focus areas for 2016

The Charlotte City Council decided Monday to largely stay the course on its five priorities – housing and neighborhood development, economic development and global competitiveness, community safety, transportation and planning, and the environment.

Council members discussed the focus areas at a workshop Monday, making only a few changes to the priorities they laid out a year earlier.

▪ In housing, the city said it wants to continue to correct 90 percent of nuisance and code violations within 30 days.

▪ The city said it would consider changing its Business Investment Grant program, a financial subsidy program designed to attract new businesses. Council member Greg Phipps asked whether the city has a program designed to convince existing businesses to stay.

While city officials said they wanted to implement a plan for an amateur sports complex at Bojangles’ Coliseum, Mayor Dan Clodfelter questioned whether the city is still committed to developing the Eastland Mall site. The city owns the roughly 80-acre site at Eastland.

▪ In transportation, the city wants to continue to advance the 2030 transit plan, which will be more difficult because it doesn’t have the money to build new rail lines. A task force has been working to identify new sources of money.

▪ There were no major changes in the area of public safety. The city wants to continue to improve response times to 911 calls.

▪ Under the environment, the city wants to continue to work toward having a 50 percent tree canopy. Council member John Autry said the city could develop a baseline of its carbon emissions today, so it could understand in the future how it could reduce carbon.

The council has committees specifically tasked with the focus areas.

Harrison: 704-358-5160