The county has been slowly collecting land along the Clark’s Creek tributary to build its expansion of the existing greenway. However Browne’s Ferry owns a quarry that is the “missing link” that prevents the county from continuing with its plans.
The biggest hurdle the county faces in greenway expansion is land acquisition. Rather than spend its limited budget on buying land, the county prioritizes projects with land ready. Once the land is available, the county can “score” a project much higher, meaning it will be more likely to be funded.
The county’s Master Greenway Plan includes extending the greenway westward to the nature preserve and 115, eventually connecting to a larger regional network. Without the funding to buy the land at market value, the county relies heavily on donations — both of the land ownership and easements.
What Can We Do?
Community leaders have been working with county parks officials for years to come up with a plan that will benefit all involved. The solution? Browne’s Ferry needs to donate an easement of common area land that will allow the county to build and maintain a greenway extension over it.
Why Should I Approve the Easement?
Greenway access will mean a viable cycling and pedestrian route from our community park all the way to UNCC and beyond, including the light rail terminal into uptown.
Greenways are considered a highly valued amenity, and can raise property values for nearby single-family homes.
Greenways are essentially a linear park, giving people the benefit of nature without traveling far from their homes.
The land needed is a Browne’s Ferry common area, which means it belongs to the HOA and is “owned” by all HOA members. Our covenants require 2/3 of all members approve any easements of common area that are not for utility use. We have 210 homes in our HOA, so at least 140 would need to approve this easement for it to move forward.
The county drafted an easement donation form that Browne’s Ferry HOA members will need to complete in order for the easement to be granted.
The map above shows a rough approximation of the land the county wishes to receive easement access to. This includes the watershed area around the creek (it does not include the quarry or the access point on Brownes Creek Road). This is where the greenway would be built in the future.
It also includes a small area at the base of the Browne’s Ferry Road cul de sac in order to build an ADA-compliant sidewalk access to the greenway trail. This area does not include any of Browne’s Ferry Park.
Frequently Asked Questions
See the Trail Map
Neighborhood access points are not official parking areas. Because the Browne’s Ferry Park parking area is private property (and also chained), visitors would not be allowed to park their cars to access the greenway. In other neighborhoods with similar access points, there was minimal disruption to their street. Official parking areas are marked as such on trail maps.
A 2004 UNCC study found that greenways do not increase crime, and, in some instances, crime is slightly reduced. Greenway trails have fewer issues than any other Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation amenity.
A study published in a peer-reviewed journal examined the impact greenway access has on single-family home values in Mecklenburg County. The study concluded that homes within 1 mile of a greenway access point saw property values rise by $3,000.
This would be a community amenity that we didn’t have to pay for, we don’t have to maintain and we can include in amenities when selling our homes.
Because it will be an easement, the HOA will still own the land. The HOA is a non-profit corporation, so we do not pay property taxes on common area land. The easement will grant Mecklenburg County the power to improve and maintain the easement areas at no cost to us.