Mooresville to explore parking quandary

Town leaders are considering how to provide more parking for patrons of downtown businesses.

Although downtown has at least 600 parking spaces, comparatively few are right in front of Main Street stores.

The lack of convenient parking grew more apparent with the recent opening of J.J. Wasabi's Grill and Bar.

The Mooresville commissioners discussed the issue at a June 4 meeting at Town Hall.

One option they suggested: Level a vacant house on town-owned downtown property and replace it with a parking lot. The house is at Church Street and Moore Avenue.

"What we need to do is tear down that house," commissioner Mac Herring said.

"The time is now," commissioner Mitch Abraham said. "Not because (J.J. Wasabi's) is here, but because downtown is full."

Planning Director Tim Brown said there's plenty of parking downtown, including a lot at Church Street and Iredell Avenue. But many of the spaces aren't directly in front of stores, so shoppers tend not to use them, he said.

Another problem is that many people attending events at the Charles Mack Citizen Center at 215 N. Main St. each day are parking in Main Street spaces instead of the center's parking lot, town officials said.

Commissioners urged the town staff to review past studies of downtown parking to develop recommendations that would ease the crunch. The most recent study was in the early 2000s, Brown said.

Town Manager Steve Husemann said the staff will review the studies and issue a new report.

Fort Dobbs reconstruction plans to be unveiled

Plans will be unveiled Monday for reconstructing Fort Dobbs, which was built in what is now Statesville during the 18th-century French and Indian Wars. It was later destroyed.

Bill Haley of Haley Sharpe Designs in London, England, will present a plan for the fort from 4 to 6 p.m. at Marquee Cinemas, 1515 Cinema Drive. N.C. Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle will also address the gathering.

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site in Statesville is the only French and Indian Wars historic site in North Carolina.

Self-guided farm tours begin Monday

Learn & Grow Discovery Farm , a self-guided tour geared to education of farm life and work, will open Monday at Patterson Farm Market & Tours, 10390 Caldwell Road, off N.C. 150.

About 25,000 visitors, many of them students, participate in the tours each year, said Michelle Patterson of Patterson Farm Market & Tours.

"Children will learn where their food comes from as they 'work' the farm with 13 interactive learning stations," she said.

Visitors will tour the farmer's market, apple orchard, dairy barn, bee barn, chicken coop, grain bin, composting area and tomato, berry, potato and pumpkin patches.

Hours will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It will be closed July 4 and Labor Day.

Groups of 10 or more need a reservation; call 704-636-4005 or register at The cost is $8 per person, free for children younger than 2.

'Produce Lady' program to expand

N.C. MarketReady, a program of the N.C. Cooperative Extension, has received a $92,000 grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to expand its "Produce Lady" program. The grant provides funding through 2012.

The program will develop new Internet resources, healthy cooking demonstrations, an e-newsletter, online videos and printed materials that promote N.C. fruits and vegetables and the farmers who grow them.

Visitors to will find videos with tips on selecting, storing, preparing and preserving fresh produce items; healthy recipes that use fruits and vegetables; nutritional facts and advice; and a calendar of appearances by The Produce Lady.

Development wins national 'green' award

Circle at Concord Mills, a development by Crescent Resources Multifamily Development Group, has been named "luxury multifamily project of the year" by the National Association of Home Builders.

The apartment community's clubhouse was the first LEED-certified structure in Cabarrus County. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Surrounded by 30 acres of preserved woods and wetlands, Circle at Concord Mills was also the first multifamily community in the country to be certified by Audubon International as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary. The community has 312 apartments.

"This project is a great example of green building done right, while also done beautifully," Eric Borsting, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders' Green Building Subcommittee, said last week in announcing the award.