HUNTERSVILLE – The final step in a yearlong process to abandon a roadway – a preliminary step in plans for a county park improvement project proposed and approved several years ago – was expected at the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners meeting on July 10 after press deadline.
Following months of procedures and public notices, commissioners were expected to adopt a resolution authorizing the abandonment of more than 11 acres of right of way on Sample Road, located off Beatties Ford Road in the southwestern edge of Huntersville. The action is part of the preparations to create a new entrance to the 1,460-acre Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.
The county board’s action comes one month after Huntersville commissioners, acting on a request from the county, agreed to abandon about one-half acre of Sample Road right of way within the town limits.
The combined effort to re-purpose Sample Road, a dead-end road that provides the main access to Latta Plantation, is part of large-scale changes planned at the county-owned park, which includes the Latta Plantation Nature Center and the Carolina Raptor Center.
In an application to Huntersville outlining plans for Sample Road, county officials said plans include the installation of a new entrance gate that will be closed when Latta Plantation is closed. A gate is not allowed on a public street so the status of the road had to be changed. Also, in a document delivered to the county in March, North Carolina Department of Transportation officials stated sections of Sample Road would be removed from the state maintenance program and a vehicle turnaround area would be constructed near the site of the proposed gate.
The road changes are tied to an extensive upgrade and renovation project at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve previously adopted by the county. Improvements, according to county documents, will include new shelters and a renovated bathroom at the waterfront parking area at the end of Sample Road, covered storage and work space at the county maintenance compound, building repairs at the Latta Equestrian Center, repairs to the Historic Latta House, walking and equestrian trail improvements, a new accessible canoe/kayak launch and a new 13,000-square-foot visitors center to replace the existing Latta Plantation Nature Center.
Plans for changes at the Nature Preserve were approved by the county in 2016.