A nonprofit in Flat Rock is requesting that Village Council place a moratorium on the N.C. Department of Transportation's plans for North Highland Lake Road.
Historic Flat Rock Inc. has submitted an open letter, endorsed by its board of directors, to the council requesting the pause until a comprehensive plan can be developed and adopted.
NCDOT plans to widen the lanes of North Highland Lake Road from Greenville Highway to Spartanburg Highway while adding a sidewalk or multi-use path on the north side of the road.
The project has faced opposition from residents who fear the road widening could ruin the village's historic nature, with a wider, straighter road leading to faster speeds by drivers.
While HFR is not opposed to transportation changes by NCDOT, its board of directors is opposed to the Highland Lake Road improvement project as it is has been presented.
HFR requests that NCDOT- and village-endorsed studies for both bicycle and pedestrian greenways include sensitivity to the historic quality of potentially affected areas, according to the village's comprehensive land use plan.
The plan calls for preservation of character-defining qualities in collaboration with HFR Inc. and allied partners.
HFR plans to commit both individual resources as well as funding assistance for the proposed community-driven transportation plan.
HFR has proposed working with the council to develop a comprehensive transportation plan that would incorporate bicycle and pedestrian accessibility as well as trails to connect The Park at Flat Rock on North Highland Lake Road with other areas of Flat Rock.
Mayor Bob Staton said all council members have seen the letter, but they have not discussed the issue as a board.
But Staton is not open to a moratorium. He said the town is in the process of cooperating with NCDOT on revised plans. The council has told NCDOT and members of the public they are waiting to see the latest plans for the project, which they hope to see in April.
The full two-page letter can be read on Historic Flat Rock's website at historicflatrockinc.com.
NCDOT had the project scheduled to begin construction in 2020.