Waxhaw debates gifting roughly 30 acres to local colleges

Waxhaw's Town Manager hosted a forum on Thursday evening to discuss a potential partnership that would bring South Piedmont Community College and Wingate University to town.

The conversation is about 30-plus acres of land located off Waxhaw-Marvin Road that could, potentially, be donated to the local colleges.

The feasibility study will begin on Jan. 8 with a completion goal of May 2018.

Tensions rose during the meeting when Town Manager Greg Ferguson did not take questions from the public.

"There is zero transparency," resident Timothy Bagdasarian said. 

Waxhaw's Town Hall was a full house with an overwhelming majority of people against this potential partnership.The land was, initially, purchased for $1.55 million by the town -- with intentions to develop a public park on the space.

Residents cite traffic issues where the property rests that could become worse with thousands of students making daily commutes.

Waxhaw Mayor Stephen Maher was not present at the meeting but sent FOX 46 Charlotte a statement...

"The informational meeting this evening was hosted by our Town Manager to clarify misinformation regarding a recently announced feasibility study between SPCC, Waxhaw and Wingate.  The study will determine if  a portion of property owned by the Town of Waxhaw could provide park amenities with a college satellite facility, offering associate, bachelor, and graduate classes, along with recreational programming.

 There has never been an approved use or plan for the 34 acre property. The feasibility study commences in January. Everyone agrees that the focus is quality of life enhancements and that greenspace is a priority. All three entities seek to incorporate academic, professional development, and recreational programing opportunities for the community. 

 The meeting ended at the conclusion of the presentation with a commitment to a full citizen engagement component for all to participate in over the next 5 months. It is unfortunate that some were heated. The intent is to allow all citizens and stakeholders to have an opportunity to share their input in a respectful and civil manner, so all can be heard."