New 'Quality of Life' study encourages nosy neighbors

New 'Quality of Life' study encourages nosy neighbors

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 22 at 6:59 PM

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. -- Officials tout Mecklenburg County's newest Quality of Life study as groundbreaking when it comes to capturing how neighborhoods are faring.

For the first time, the information about nearly 175 area in Mecklenburg County includes environmental information like electricity and gas usage.

It also no longer labels areas as stable, transitioning or challenged the way previous studies have.

Officials say people are urged to be nosy neighbors to see what the information says, the challenges neighborhoods face and then come up with their own conclusions.

A few examples from the newest study, which is done every two years with the help of UNC Charlotte:

The area where people tell on each other the most appears to be in and around Windsor Park, with 1,443 neighborhood nuisance calls in a year for things like high weeds and grass, trash and junk cars. That compares to the county average of 121 calls

"It probably would sound like this neighborhood," said neighbor Regina Miller.

That same area also ranks high with calls to Animal Care and Control, with 547 compared to the county average of 101.

Knowing the numbers and the problems helps neighbors identify solutions.

"I don't think that it's being nosey, just concerned; you want to know what's going on in your neighborhood," Miller said.

The area around Remount Road and Barringer Drive has one of the highest CMS dropout rates at 17.8 percent, when the county average is 3 percent.

Identifying those types of areas allows CMS to come up with plans to fight it.  The overall findings help the county determine how to allocate time, resources and money.

The area in and around South Tryon and Distribution Street has only a 7.6 percent tree canopy compared to the county's 48 percent average. 

The area is industrial, but several new apartment complexes are under construction.

In and around Shenandoah Avenue you will find some of the most tree covered areas in town at 75.2 percent.

"I didn't know the percentages, but that's why I chose here.  There are lots of cookie cutter neighborhoods with trees that don't have a lot of character to it," said neighbor Cranston Blanks,  "Yes, it's quite interesting."

The county plans start Quality of Life information training sessions for the public starting next month.

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