TCC Coffee Chat Summary with Town of Holly Springs

The Triangle Community Coalition had another successful Coffee Chat
with the Town of Holly Springs on May 20 2015.

Joining our members in an informal chat were Mayor Dick Sears, Councilor Jimmy Cobb and Councilor Tim Sack, Town Manager Chuck Simmons, Senior Project Manager Daniel Weeks, Development Inspection Administrator Rodney Campbell, Senior Engineer Aaron Levitt, Director of Economic Development Jenny Mizelle and Jeff Jones, Planning Department.

We provided the Mayor and staff 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 of Holly Springs 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:

·         Mayor Dick Sears noted the vision to make the Town of Holly Springs where the people have everything they need here.

o    In 1990 the population was 1000,  in 1995 – 3500 and in 2015- 31,000

o    He noted the new stadium will host the Carolina Coastal League on May 28 and is sold out

o    The North Main Athletic Complex will be used for town football, baseball, lacrosse, and soccer programs; rentals, concerts, festivals and other events

o    Holly Springs is noted as the #1 safest town in North Carolina

·         Councilor Tim Sack noted the economic development struggle when the Town of Holly Springs was at 90% resident and 10 % commercial.

o    Jenny Mizelle the Economic Development Director noted Holly Springs is now 75% residents and 25% commercial.  Goal is to be 60% resident and 40% commercial

o    Novartis has employed over 800 people, much more than they expected

o    Town Council approve an amendment near 540 interchange, by the new athletic facility and along main street for a heavy commercial parcel area for development

·         Councilor Jimmy Cobb noted how the town was “plan forward” working towards a common goal in the 21 years he has lived here.

·         Town Manager Chuck Simmons noted the vision and strategy are in place and sees the community as partners.  Holly Springs is diverse and has a sense pf place.  

o    Will continue to invest in infrastructure by working with developers and the utility companies

o    Educate public regarding the growth coming into the area – regional and local

o    The town will reduce requirements re: stormwater projects if it is in the Downtown area

o    The town is working on changing Downtown traffic circulations to make it more pedestrian accessible

o    Older homes and businesses would not be require to do infrastructure upgrade

o    The Town anticipates growth at 1200 residents per year and expects to cap at about 55K.

·         Jeff Jones, Sr. Planner noted that infill projects were happening in the town. 

o    20-40 acre parcels are available to develop

o    Challenges are with utilities

o    Growth in the south west part of Holly Springs

o    Looking at comprehensive plan

o    Holly Springs staff has toured Downtown Raleigh to look at their high density and
3 story row housing

o    Town will have an underground pedestrian walkway between Athletic Facility and shopping areas

o    Expect development by interchange in 5 years

o    Water and Sewer can support the 55k residents

o    The Town has areas that use the reclaimed water access.

Alan Thompson, Allen Tate noted Wake County has 62 new residents per day.  40 are transient and 22 are new.  He also noted there were 4500+ housing projects approved.

Steve Leach, Lennar noted that the town did an excellent job on the downtown area.  How would HS help facilitate small parcels around the downtown area?

o    Holly Springs has created a Village District, which now includes the Saturday Farmers Market. 
This has now become a weekly event to residents and visitors

o    The Village District was developed for infill area and the town wants as much density as possible 

The TCC asked that the Town of Holly Springs include the development community in the process of developing the Village District.

·         Councilor Tim Sack noted the economic development struggle when the Town of Holly Springs was 90% resident and 10 % commercial.

o    Jenny Mizelle the Economic Development Director noted Holly Springs is now 75% residents and 25% commercial

·         Jenny Mizelle noted the need for local restaurant’s in the downtown area. 

o    The new Law Enforcement Center will open in November 2015 with an additional 25K square feet

o    The affordable office space co-working project that will offer free space for residents and visitors to work offering free Wi-Fi.

The Town of Holly springs has 13 miles of fiber optic network ready to use and can lease to a 3rd party.  They are currently working with a DOT’s pilot project that will utilize the Towns fiber optics to synchronize the traffic lights.
The Town offers free public Wi-Fi to all parks and public facilities.  The town anticipates a 7 year pay off on this investment.

If you are interested in participating in future meetings with the Town of Holly Springs 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.