A new vision for downtown Huntersville

In 20 years, downtown Huntersville will be a thriving, mixed-use town center with varied housing types, retailers, restaurants, offices and recreational and other public offerings.

Roads will be well-connected. Building design will be of the highest architectural quality.

Attractive lighting, street trees and signage will grace the area, and people will have several convenient ways to get around, such as trains, buses and walking.

That's all part of the vision for the downtown of 2030 that town planners handed to the Huntersville Planning Board last week.

With major retail and residential projects happening elsewhere across town, "downtown has been bypassed," Planning Director Jack Simoneau told the board. "I would characterize downtown as a place ready for redevelopment."

Planners developed the vision, which is still subject to lots of change, as part of the town's ongoing work to create a 2030 Community Plan.

The town is tackling nine topics as part of the plan, such as the downtown area, economic development, housing and the environment.

Downtown was first up for having a vision created, and planners used input from the community, the Huntersville Board of Commissioners and the Huntersville Planning Board at meetings in March and April.

Meanwhile, to get further input on the overall Community Plan, surveys were mailed June 15-17 to 1,500 randomly selected households. Planners urge residents to return their answers by June 30.

Survey results will be reported at a joint meeting of the board of commissioners, and the planning board July 12, Huntersville Principal Planner Zac Gordon said. The survey will also be posted on the town's website in July so more residents can answer the questions, he said.

For regular updates on the plan, visit www.huntersville .org/planning_community plan.asp .

Go-kart track land sale OK'd

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners unanimously approved selling 31.7 acres in the town's Mazeppa Park for $26,000 to a company that intends to build a go-karting track on the land.

The commissioners on June 1 approved a permit for DryLake Entertainment LLC to build the track but had to schedule a separate vote on selling the town-owned land, after allowing time for anyone else to offer a better price; no one did, town officials said. They held the second vote on June 21.

NASCAR driver Michael McDowell and ARCA racer Justin Marks have said their paved track will meet all international karting standards. They've assured the town that track noise will be barely audible to the nearest homes.

Hospital set to open July 10

CMC-Lincoln's $90-million, 182,000-square-foot replacement hospital is set to open July 10 at 433 McAlister Road, across from the Boger City Fire Department.

The new CMC-Lincoln represents the Catawba Valley region's largest new hospital construction project in more than a decade.

The three-story, 101-bed hospital anchors a 64-acre medical campus that includes a 40,000-square-foot medical office building housing surgical, orthopedics, cardiology, urology and OB/GYN practices.