TCC “in the KNOW” February 2015 Issue

North Carolina:

  • Consumers and businesses in Virginia and North Carolina could save an estimated $377 million annually in lower energy costs thanks to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, according to an analysis by Virginia-based consulting firm ICF International. Virginia and North Carolina electricity consumers benefit from (the Atlantic Coast Pipeline) because the lower cost of natural gas to fuel power generation will, in turn, result in lower electricity bills for consumers.
  • Local governments all across NC are actively lobbying and speaking out against state legislation
    that would limit their power to regulate home designs and exert planning authority on their outskirts.
    The N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition is lobbying against the bills, House Bill 36
    (and a companion in the Senate, Senate Bill 25) and House Bill 51.

 

Chatham County:

  • Over the next 40 years, the planned Chatham Park development could generate $154 billion in spending statewide, including $80 billion in Chatham County alone. That’s according to a study by N.C. State University economics professor Michael Walden, whose report was released Tuesday by the Chatham Economic Development Corp.

 

Durham County:

  • The City of Durham and Durham County governments in North Carolina have chosen OpenDataSoft,
    an award-winning Paris-based internet platform, to power their growing Open Data initiative. The deal marks OpenDataSoft’s first customer in the United States. “We chose OpenDataSoft because it was best suited to help us achieve specific distinctive project objectives,” said Greg Marrow, CIO of Durham County. “Our vision is to build a highly sustainable open data program that empowers our citizens, employees, private industry while being open to other local, state and federal governments.”

 

Orange County:

  • A bond, if approved, could pay for some of the $330 million in needed repairs and upgrades that
    Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Orange County schools officials have identified. It also could address other needs, such as affordable housing and parks,

 

Wake County:

  • Wake County leaders signaled that additional revenue from a property-tax increase will likely be needed soon to help keep up with population growth that is filling schools and stretching county services.

 

Cary:

  • Town leaders blocked a proposed residential project despite a developer’s repeated attempts to quell their concerns that it might overburden local infrastructure. A rezoning request that would have brought 70 townhomes to 13 acres on Stephens Road in south Cary was effectively denied after a motion to approve the project failed with a 3-3 vote.
  • Town leaders seem open to loosening some of Cary’s building design rules, but they recently agreed that others need to be strengthened. For example, current rules require masonry materials to make up at least 75 percent of commercial building facades and at least 35 percent of apartment and townhouse facades. However, developers who follow the letter of the law sometimes have transitioned away from masonry material at an awkward place, such as at the middle of a window, rather than above it or below it. Council members said they also want to limit the use of dark glass windows on commercial buildings. Town rules require windows to account for 50 percent of the front facade on ground-level retail buildings, and developers currently are allowed to use opaque glass.

 

Durham (City):

  • Durham residents have four opportunities to share their thoughts on the 2015-16 budget and the city’s priorities: three remaining Coffee with Council meetings and a public hearing. Coffees with Council are held, one in each Partners Against Crime district, but all are open to the public at large.
    • Budget Public Hearing, Monday, March 2, 7 p.m., City Hall council chamber (during regular City Council meeting)
    • Coffee With Council, Thursday, March 12, 5:30-7 p.m., City Hall Committee Room, Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m.-noon, Campus Hill Recreation Center, 2000 S. Alston Ave., Saturday, March 21, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Holton Career and Resource Center, 401 N. Driver St.

 

Morrisville:

  • Town Council members indicated at their annual retreat last month that they want to examine the
    capital improvement list and start taking action on the highest-priority ideas. The town’s current capital improvements plan is 129 pages long and contains 32 potential projects.

 

Raleigh:

  • New pipeline will curb wastewater overflow problem in Crabtree basin. At 54 inches in diameter, the 21,000-foot line will run along Crabtree Creek from just outside the Beltline near Glenwood Avenue to just east of Capital Boulevard a bit south of the Beltline. Construction of the $30 million to $35 million pipeline is slated to kick off this spring and last until 2018, bringing with it rolling road and greenway closures. The project has a dedicated website (crabtreepipeline.com), phone number, email and Twitter hashtag. All residents within 1,500 feet of the project are expected to receive letters in the coming weeks with information about it.
  • Water and Sewer Rate Hikes? – The Raleigh City Council now is considering the first of those hikes, which also will affect Garner and Rolesville. Scheduled for July, the initial increase would add about 7 percent to a typical Raleigh residential bill, or about $3 on the average $49 monthly charge.

 

Wendell:

  • Town Commissioners recently talked town project priorities and cited Wendell Park. Town leaders will have a further discussion and residents may soon be asked to vote on proposal. Other priorities include: installing fiber optic cable throughout the downtown and creating a transportation improvement plan.

 

Zebulon:

  • Visit www.zebulongreenways.com, where visitors can take surveys and stay up to date on the greenway master plan throughout the process.

 

Raleigh’s GI/LID Work Plan

The City of Raleigh has developed a new work plan for the Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development with the anticipation of presenting to Council at the March 3rd meeting. City staff are requesting anyone interested to attend the March 3rd City Council meeting to show your interest in the discussion about GI and LID in Raleigh.

Click here to access the “Overview of the Process and Work Plan for Next Steps”

Click here to access the “Work Plan for Advancing GI/LID in Raleigh”

Please email Jacob Rogers (jrogers@tricc.org) to have a copy emailed to you.

TCC Luncheon Learn Program – “Best Practices in the Triangle: What Does Your City do Best?”

On Thursday, February 5, 2015, the Triangle Community Coalition hosted a Luncheon Learn Program with several Triangle municipalities to discuss what they do best in their planning and development processes.

With almost a hundred members, guests and elected officials, the TCC’s first Luncheon Learn of 2015 was a statement of how working together can make a positive impact on Balanced Growth in the Triangle. This program is another step forward after last summer’s survey of TCC members. Your input matters and the TCC have made sure that the municipalities have heard, with individual meetings with the leadership of each and every one. Look out for the next survey as we continue to make progress for our membership and the building community at large.
Photo Gallery*

We would like to extend a special thanks to our keynote speakers as they provided the following information with their presentations:

Apex: Jean Weatherman, Development Projects Coordinator

  • Presentation*
  • Development Projects Coordinator – project manager for the Town’s construction plan development review process and approvals. Go-to person for the entire process.
  • Four main focus areas: Customer Service, Development Process, Department Liaison, and Development Approvals.
  • They will be rolling out a new website for Development Services in the Spring.
  • Currently exploring options for online review and permitting for single family residential. Developing online application for single trade building permits –
    late spring 2015 launch.
  • Apex Builder/Developer Workshop – February 19, 2015, 8:15-11:00 to be held at Apex Town Hall.

Cary: Russ Overton, Assistant Town Manager

  • 2015 Development Review Changes
  • Published review schedule – creates predictability and a time frame of the review.
  • Pre-Application meetings. Recently developed checklists to help during these meetings.
  • After March, staff will have meetings with the public to help with the Town’s predictability.
  • Development Liaison Service – focused on small business owners. Purpose is to have clear communication, includes call center. Very customer service focused.
  • Online Submittals:
    – Express 1-3 days
    – Helps eliminate trips to Town Halls

Wake Forest: Chad Sary, Assistant Planning Director

  • Presentation*
  • The Town maintains a “partnership mentality” with the development community and other town departments.
  • Ownership – the Town staff take pride in what they do. Believes in clear communication and being organized. Staff will return calls within 1 business day.
  • Flexibility in the Code:
    • Choices on how to get to the finished product
    • Believes in the power of pre-submittal meetings. They have proven to be very helpful. Established expectations
  • Town constantly seeks feedback through surveys on their website, attached to their emails, and at meetings.
  • Handbook for the UDO – guide to the UDO.

Raleigh: Christine Darges, Manager of the Office of Development Services

  • Express review process:
    • Focusing on project timeliness
    • Face-to-face option offered flyer*
    • At the moment, there are not enough slots
      Currently booked 6-8 weeks out
    • A regular application process can be started and then converted to Express Review
    • Trying to expand with the upcoming budget
    • 4-10 reviewers
  • Litchford Office – Customers love the convenience of the location. Ease to get in and out.
  • BED Services*

Durham: Gene Bradham, Director of City/County Inspections Department
                Dana Inebnit, Chief Plumbing Inspector

  • Presentation*
  • Free mobile app available to everyone:
    • Use for tracking the status of permits and inspections
    • App will let you know which inspection has occurred and each inspection that needs to be done
    • Will work in any mobile browser, no need to download app
    • Can also schedule inspections with personal ID assignment by Durham

Again, the Triangle Community Coalition thanks all our speakers for their time and insightful perspective to this program. We hope you can join us for our next Luncheon Learn re: Transit at our Annual Meeting on March 30, 2015.

A very special thank you to our sponsors for their support
to the TCC and the Luncheon Learn Programs!

Smith Anderson, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Smith Moore Leatherwood, Williams Property Group, K&L Gates, Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®, Triangle Apartment Association, Allen Tate Companies, Gaines & Company, Sepi Engineering, Northwood Ravin, Ramey Kemp & Associates, Ammons Development, Toll Brothers, Inc., Taylor Wiseman & Taylor, Duke Energy, McAdams, Morningstar Law Group, Newland Communities, WSP, M/I Homes, Stantec, Tri Properties, Kilpatrick Stockton, Withers & Ravenel, Community Properties

If you wish to sponsor a Luncheon Learn program, please contact Charlene Logan at charlenel@tricc.org or visit the TCC website at www.tricc.org for upcoming events and sponsorship forms. To be included on promotional materials and sign each month, you must have your form in 15 days prior to each event.

TCC- Coffee Chat with City of Raleigh

The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat with the City of Raleigh Elected Officials and Staff on January 28, 2015.

Joining our members in an informal chat were Mayor McFarlane, Assistant City Manager Jim Greene, Planning Director Ken Bowers, Parks & Recreation & Cultural Resources Director Diane Sauer, Development Services Manager Christine Darges, Economic Development Director James Sauls, and Jamie Brown, Mayor Assistant.

We provided the City of Raleigh leadership with a better perspective of the Triangle Community Coalition’s goal to be a proactive partner in growth and land use issues and to work with senior staff and elected officials to develop policies, regulations, and procedures to encourage economic development, produce predictable (yet flexible) outcomes for all stakeholders, and protect the community’s interests.

The town appreciated the TCC’s ability to offer objective facts and information in efforts to improve public policy debates and create effective working relationships between the business community and local government.  We had some great interaction with the TCC membership in attendance and had opportunity to talk about the following:

  • Nancy McFarlane – Raleigh Mayor
    • Two big economic development opportunities
      • Google Fiber – more residential
      • New acquisition of Dix Park – 306 acres. Planning for the park will be a multi-year effort
      • She mentioned that this is more proof that Raleigh is the place to be
    • Legislation – mentioned the privilege license fee has been a $7 million loss to the City of Raleigh. No comprehensive plan yet to address the issue
  • Jim Greene – Assistant City Manager
    • Other cities are envying Raleigh because of its growth
    • They will be presenting a 3-5 year strategic plan to Council during their retreat. It ties closely with their comprehensive plan. It outlines and sets specific objectives and initiatives.
    • The City will have a new Development Services Department starting in July. They will also hire a Development Services Director that will report to Jim. The position will address issues and be accountable to those issues. He also mentioned that he understands the process needs to be clear and predictable.
  • Christine Darges – City of Raleigh; Development Services
    • Raleigh is experiencing a transition in development – more re-development and mixed use.
    • She met with Cary last week to discuss what they do in Development Services that works.
      She realized that Cary has been conducting electronic review for over 10 years.
    • She has seen an explosion with Express Review
  • James Sauls – Economic Development Director
    • The City lost Project Eagle with Mercedes, but strongly believes that it was great exposure for the City. The consultant hired by Mercedes said Raleigh will definitely see more projects come from their office.
  • Ken Bowers – Planning Director
    • Gave an update with the re-mapping efforts. 80 square miles.
    • UDO – believes the progress has gone well since inception.
      • User-friendly
      • Allows administrative review
      • Zoning is quicker and less expensive
    • Initiating text changes to UDO – can be done by Planning Director and his recommendation.
      Or a citizen petition
  • Dianne Sauer – Parks and Rec Director
    • Looking forward to the Dicks Park
    • Citizens are wanting more walkability in the city
    • City will also be re-investing in current parks with recent bond
    • Re-development of Moore’s Square Park will take place within the next 9 months
  • Tom Anhut asked Mayor McFarlane what legislative help she needs. She replied with tax credits. Mentioned that it was a great investment for the community. She also expressed concern about HB 150 concerning aesthetics control. She is against it and believes municipalities should be able to control what their city looks like.
  • Brian Purdy made a comment about the need for more positions in development services. Jim said the Planning Department submitted a budget request for more personnel and will be discussing that with the departments. He understands that there is currently a shortage with staff and that development is almost at the levels during pre-recession times. Currently, they have 8 staff less than before the recession.

If you are interested in participating in future meetings with the City of Raleigh or future Coffee Chats, watch for notices or contact the TCC offices at 919 812-7785 or Charlene Logan at charlenel@tricc.org to reserve your spot!

These programs are a great way for you, as an exclusive benefit as a TCC member, to become active and help the TCC strengthen our relationships with local jurisdictions throughout the Triangle.

TCC Luncheon Learn – Best Practices in the Triangle – What Does Your City do Best?

February 5, 2015 -11:30 am at One Eleven Place in Cary, NC

“Best Practices in the Triangle - What Does Your City do Best?”

We asked the Triangle’s municipalities what they do best in their Planning and development processes.  We asked TCC members what they think each of the Triangle municipalities do best.

Then we put together a program of the Best Practices in the Triangle.

Please join the Triangle Community Coalition and representatives from Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, City of Durham and the City of Raleigh to find out what they do best!

If you are involved in the Developmental Process in any way in the Triangle,
this is a program you don’t want to miss!

Keynote Speakers: Town of Apex  Town of Cary  Town of Wake Forest
City of Raleigh     City of Durham

Register at www.tricc.org by Monday, February 2, 2015