TCC & Town of Cary Coffee Chat Summary April 1, 2015

 

The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat with the Town of Cary
Elected Officials and Staff on April 1, 2015. 

Joining our members were 
Councilor Don Frantz and Councilor Jennifer Robinson.  Also attending were Town Manager Ben Shivar, Deputy Town Manager Michael Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager Russ Overton, Assistant Town Manager Tim Bailey, Director of Planning Jeff Ulma to have an informal exchange of ideas about general policy matters and economic development issues.
 

We provided the Town of Cary 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:

·         Jennifer Robinson – Town Council

o    Seeing tremendous growth

o    Concern amongst citizens about school capacities, mainly middle schools

o    Concerned about small lot sizes in Southwest Cary

·         Don Frantz – Town Council

o    Council will meet with the County Commission later this month to talk about issues in Cary. Mainly schools

o    Believes that the schools are not used to the full extent of their capacities.
Would like to see the school board look into the capacity for each school

o    Vision for downtown – mixed use, walkability, restaurants

·         Russ Overton – Assistant Town Manager

o    Permits are currently down in Cary

·         Michael Bajorek – Deputy Town Manager

o    Town underwent reorganization last year to be more like a small business.

o    Want to be problem-solvers

·         Tim Bailey – Assistant Town Manager

o    Believes developments will have many positive impacts in their community

o    Working on transportation issues

o    Cary is well positioned for more development

o    Google plans to install 40 miles of fiber per week. Believes this will begin in July
and the first customer will be served by the end of the year. 600 miles of fiber throughout the area

·         Jeff Ulma – Director of Planning

o    Imagine Cary – just completed phase 2

§  Have drafted preliminary ordinances and presented to Council

§  Late fall 2015 will be the start of the adoption process

§  Wants to have a future growth map

o    Will be revising the LDO next year to align with the plan from Imagine Cary

o    75% of land use in Cary is residential

o    Architectural design standards are currently under review

·         Ben Shiver – Town Manager

o    Only 2 businesses have taken advantage of the historic tax credit in Cary

 

·         Craig Duerr asked Council to support the requests of department heads for additional staff

·         TCC members asked that the TOC to routinely inform Jacob Rogers of amendments and to include the stakeholders for their input.

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 "in the KNOW" March 2015 Newsletter

March 2015 Updates

North Carolina:

·         Four North Carolina Republican Representatives introduced a bill this month that would allow renewables developers to bypass utilities and sell power directly to customers.  HB 245, or the Energy Freedom Act, would legalize the third party ownership (TPO) financing that has driven a rooftop solar boom where it is permitted. A coalition of businesses supports the proposed legislation. The bill is expected to be opposed by Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress, and Dominion North Carolina Power, the state’s dominant utilities, although a spokesperson said Duke Energy could support TPO in the context of broader energy legislation, like it did in South Carolina.

·         After North Carolina eliminated many tax credit programs in 2013, some legislators want to restore some of the more popular credits. Here's what's on the table this session:

o   Historic preservation: Heavily supported by Gov. Pat McCrory and mayors' groups, this program expired on Dec. 31 and rewards property owners who fix up historic buildings. McCrory's effort to restore the program last year fell short, but he included $12.2 million in his budget proposal this week for a scaled-back program that would offer smaller credits. The House Finance Committee on 3/24/15 approved plans to restore a tax credit for historic preservation projects, despite a few objections from Republicans.

o   Jet fuel: This provision caps sales taxes on jet fuel at $2.5 million per year. Only one airline buys enough fuel to hit that cap and avoid further taxation: American Airlines, which has a hub at the Charlotte airport. The credit is estimated to cost the state $10 million a year and is set to expire at the end of 2015. A provision in the House economic development bill would extend the program, and funding is in McCrory's budget.

o   Motorsports: The motorsports industry, including NASCAR, also receives a credit on fuel tax. McCrory's budget includes $1.2 million to keep the credit from expiring.

o   Data centers: The House economic development bill also includes an expansion of electricity sales tax credits for technology data centers. House Republicans want to apply the existing break to centers housing equipment for multiple companies. To qualify, centers would need to involve at least $75 million in private investment.

o   Renewable energy: Tax credits for renewable energy projects are set to expire at the end of the year. Owners of solar farms and other renewable energy facilities receive a tax credit equal to 35 percent of the project's cost. An industry report says the credit has paid out $182.6 million from 2007 to 2014. McCrory's budget proposal includes $7 million to extend the program, but it would no longer apply to solar projects. That industry has grown substantially, and McCrory's budget director says it doesn't need the boost anymore.

o   Research and development: This credit is slated to cost $58 million in McCrory's budget proposal. Companies’ spending money on research and development can receive tax credits for those expenses, and the credit is largest when the business paid a North Carolina research university for the work.

o   Democrats' plan: House Democrats have filed a 61-page economic development bill that restores numerous credits they say "were proven to work in the past." House Bill 89 reinstates credits for historic preservation projects, film productions, professional motorsports teams and cigarette exports, among others.

 Chatham County:

  • A group opposed to the planned Chatham Park development wants the Chatham County Board of Commissioners to insert itself into the planning process for the 7,000-acre project.

 Durham/Orange Counties:

  • Information on the Durham-Orange Light Rail project is available at Triangle Transit’s “Our Transit Future” website, nando.com/dolr.
  • A survey on the “five key questions” currently before planners, and a form for submitting general comments, is available at nando.com/12f.

Orange County:

  • Orange County Solid Waste Director Gayle Wilson presented two options: a $103 flat fee charged countywide or a two-part fee that charges $94 a year to urban owners of developed property and apartment dwellers, and $118 a year to rural property owners and residents.  

Apex:

  • Apex officials voted 3-2 to rezone 165 acres, making way for a mixed-use development known as Sweetwater that residents and officials say could drastically alter western Apex. The town has approved mixed-use developments before, but Sweetwater is especially large in size and ambition.

Cary:

  • LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS - Round 31- Specific chapters and sections proposed for amendment are listed and other related items, chapters and sections may also be considered for amendment. Substantial changes to the amendments proposed may result from the hearing process.

         Chapel Hill:

  • Shortbread property owners Larry Short and Roy and Bill Piscitello are looking east to build a new, 10-story apartment building with ground-floor retail and offices at 322 W. Rosemary St. A concept plan submitted to the town says the project would replace the site’s current occupants – Breadman’s Restaurant, which the Piscitellos operate, and Amity Apartments. A concept plan is an unofficial look at a project so the developer can get feedback. The plan for Amity Station shows 140 to 175 apartments in a 10-story building, with 1,200 to 1,500 square feet of retail and office space on the ground floor

          Durham (City):

  • A one-cent rise in the property-tax rate could be part of the city’s 2015-16 budget, if the fire and police departments show “data and strategy” to support adding firefighters and officers. A possible tax increase to pay for the new personnel is among the City Council’s guidelines for staff to follow in drafting a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Otherwise the guidelines hold the line on the current property-tax rate of 59.12 cents per $100 valuation. Adding a penny would raise the tax on a $250,000 house and lot by $35. Formal adoption of the guidelines (nando.com/guide) is scheduled for the April 6 council meeting.

Hillsborough:

  • For Fiscal Year 2016, Town Manager Eric Peterson is recommending no change in property tax or water rates. An 8.8 percent increase in sewer rates is included, which is intended to be the last of a multi-year plan of raised sewer rates since FY12 to pay for the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s completed Phase 1 expansion and the projected loss of Efland-Cheeks sewer customers in the upcoming fiscal year. The draft budget also recommends continuing to lower the monthly minimum water usage for which Hillsborough charges, providing some savings to low-volume users.

Morrisville:

  • Three Wake County senators filed a bill March 19 that would allow Morrisville to charge townhouse and apartment developers a fee to help the town acquire open space for parks and recreational uses. This bill addresses one of four issues the Morrisville Town Council identified as priorities during the current legislative session.

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.
  • The Raleigh City Council today approved a contract with Kimley Horn, Inc. for an amount not to exceed $630,000 to conduct a comprehensive transportation and land use planning study for the southeastern portion of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s planning area. The region includes southeastern Wake County and western Johnston County. The study will also require an interlocal agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for funding and project management purposes.

 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:

  • Major setback in UDO Update.  The town broke ties with consulting group. 

TCC & Wake County Coffee Chat Summary March 18, 2015

The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat with the Wake County Elected Officials and Staff on March 18, 2015.  

Joining our members in an informal chat were Wake County Commissioner John Burns, Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria, Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann, Chris Snow - Parks, Recreation and Open Space Director, Tim Maloney - Planning, Development and Inspections Director and Clerk to the Board of Commissioners Denise Hogan.

We provided the Wake County 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 County 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:

  • Commissioner John Burns
    • Balance issue is the most important with growth. Believes sustainability is a product of balance
    • Encourages access that allows availability to transit options among others
  • Commissioner Matt Calabria
    • Believes commission is committed to digging into details, data driven answers
      All-values board of commissioners
    • Defining character of Wake County is growth
    • Need to figure out how to pay for tomorrow’s infrastructure with today’s budget
  • County Manager Jim Hartmann
    • Foundation of the County is growth. The County needs to get ready for the next million people over the next 40 years
    • Transit plan is huge – must provide mass-transit plan for the community
      Report to be issued in late April. waketransit.com
    • Schools – 155,000 current students. Growing by 3,000 per year
      • Half of the County’s $1.1 Billion budget goes to the schools
      • County has good relationship with School Board
    • 52 projects currently with Economic Development. One that exceeds $1 Billion investment
  • Lack of local control – County has no influence with State legislation. Redistricting could affect County budget by $20 million.
  • Parks & Recreation
    • $10 million left to purchase land
      • RFP process to purchase land
      • Sent 50 letters to property owners last week
    • Strategic plan includes 30% of land to be open space in Wake County. Currently at 1/3 of that goal
    • Tim Maloney
      • Little River Reservoir is one of the future sources of water supply in 30-40 years.
        Most restrictive watershed.
    • Tim Minton asked the Commission to rank the needs of County dollars
      • Commissioner Burns – Education, transportation, and mental health facilities
      • Commissioner Calabria agreed with Burns
    • Suzanne Harris asked if school performance or capacity was the issue at hand
      • Hartmann – performance is key
      • Commissioner Burns – instead of using money for renovations, make the schools more efficient
    • Tom Anhut
      • Not currently using the capacity in schools
      • Says many people including himself would like to see a capacity study
      • Commissioner Burns agrees and said he was for year-round schools
    • Tim Maloney
      • Wanting to collect ordinances into a new comprehensive plan. Current document is 15 years old. Transportation plan is 10 years old. Believes both documents need updates and would work with municipalities when compiling the updates

If you are interested in participating in future meetings with Wake County 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.

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 "in the KNOW" February 2015 Newsletter

February 2015 Updates

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.

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.

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 "in the KNOW" January 2015 Newsletter

January 2015 Updates

 Wake County:

·         Some highlights for the New Year: Three new schools will open. The construction funding for the new schools comes from an $810 billion bond referendum voters approved last year to build 16 schools and renovate six schools to keep pace with a growing population. Design work is underway for many of those schools, and construction will begin on some in 2015. Democrats swept the Wake County
Board of Commissioners in this fall’s election, bringing new life to the debate about public transit. 

Western Wake County:

  • A recent hearing was held on a state proposal to allow the western Wake County towns a daily allotment of 33 million gallons of water a day, up from the current daily allotment of 24 million, to help their growing populations. DENR held another hearing on the proposal in Fayetteville on Jan. 22, and is accepting written comments from the public until Feb. 5. People can send comments to Harold Brady at the N.C. Division of Water Resources, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699, or by email to harold.m.brady@ncdenr.gov.
    The Environmental Management Commission will likely vote in March whether to approve the changes.

Cary:

  • Work has begun on a road project at Walnut Street and Buck Jones Road, weather permitting, the town said. The construction area will cover Walnut Street from the U.S. 1/64 southbound ramp to Piney Plains Road and Buck Jones Road from Walnut Street to Best Motor Imports. The year-long project will add new sidewalks along Walnut Street; will add a lane from Meeting Street to Buck Jones Road; improve lane alignment; and widen the bridge over U.S. 1/64.

Chapel Hill:

  • Notice of Request for Proposals: The Town of Chapel Hill desires to engage qualified Energy Service Companies (ESCO) to design and implement energy conservation measures to be financed through a guaranteed energy savings contract. Services for this project may include, but are not limited to, a preliminary audit, cost-benefit analysis, investment grade audit, design and installation of energy conservation measures, training, and identification of other utility cost-saving projects. The ESCO shall be pre-qualified by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Sealed proposals for guaranteed energy savings will be received by the Purchasing and Contracts Manager at Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, until February 9, 2015, at 1 p.m., at which time they will be publicly opened and read. A mandatory pre-proposal meeting will be held on January 30, 2015 at 1 p.m. in the 1st Floor Conference Room at Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Complete document may be downloaded from the Town of Chapel Hill’s website at www.townofchapelhill.org.  Any questions concerning the advertisement should be directed to Zakia Alam at zalam@townofchapelhill.org. Any questions regarding the project should be directed to Jesse Freedman at jfreedman@townofchapelhill.org. The Town of Chapel Hill reserves the right to reject any and all bids and accept the bid most favorable to the Town.

         Durham:

  • Durham Strategic Plan: Participate in survey.
  • The City of Durham and Durham County governments are embarking on an open data partnership that will lay the groundwork for businesses, non-profits, journalists, universities, and residents to access and use the wealth of public data available between the two government organizations, while becoming even more transparent to the residents of Durham.

Fuquay-Varina:

  • Town leaders have been discussing speeding up development-related decisions, standardizing how and when to extend utilities to unincorporated areas and also possibly tweaking some of the aesthetic requirements – or lack thereof – within the town code

Hillsborough:

  • The Town of Hillsborough wants to know what you think of its draft “Vision 2030” plan, a blueprint that will shape town policies for the next 15 years. You can also send comments to Planning Director Margaret Hauth at http://nando.com/sg Town staff can attend homeowner association, neighborhood, or civic group meetings to discuss the draft document. Call Hauth to schedule a meeting: 919-732-1270, ext. 86. For more information about Hillsborough's Vision 2030, go to http://nando.com/sh.

Morrisville:

  • After months of discussions on where to build a downtown, Morrisville leaders selected the land off of Jeremiah Street just behind Town Hall. The town already owns 10 of the 25 acres on the site. The Town Council decided, after heated debate, to continue developing the site, even though outside experts have said it stands little chance of attracting retail, especially shops and restaurants.

Raleigh:

  • A $2.79 million plan aims to make a stroll down Oberlin Road near Cameron Village more pleasant
    by improving sidewalks, landscaping and lighting. The Raleigh City Council approved a plan for Oberlin between Groveland and Bedford avenues built on the idea that as more business and
    residential development comes to the area, more pedestrian-friendly streets are needed.

    Read the entire plan for Oberlin Street at bit.ly/1n8zI6n.

 Wake Forest:

  • The town plans to soon widen Ligon Mill and Rogers roads, the first projects to get underway after voters approved a $25 million bond measure last fall to pay for streets, parks, sidewalks and greenways. Wake Forest will sell between $4 million and $6 million of the bonds in March. The road-widening projects are expected to cost $2.5 million.

·         Wake Forest residents can expect to pay lower electricity rates when the town untangles itself from partial ownership of four power plants. Duke Energy Progress will buy out 32 eastern North Carolina towns’ share of power plants valued at $1.2 billion.

 Wendell:

  • Wendell Falls prepares to market homes as early as the end of this month. Interested parties can sign up at wendellfalls.com and on social media to receive information on pre-sales and project updates.

 Zebulon:

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

TCC & City of Raleigh Coffee Chat Summary January 28, 2015

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.