December 2016 Updates
- Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in November. The decrease likely reflects the drag caused by rising mortgage rates and the shallow inventory of properties on the market. The National Association of Realtors seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 2.5 percent to 107.3, the lowest reading since the start of 2016. Pending sales declined in the Midwest, South and West, while improving in the Northeast. The slowdown marks a reversal for the housing market, as sales growth has been solid for the past year.
- Tax changes went into effect Jan. 1:
- The corporate tax rate dropped from about 4 percent to 3 percent – a move that makes North Carolina even more competitive in luring economic suitors from competing states such as South Carolina and Virginia.
- Personal income tax will decreased from 5.75 percent to just under 5.5 percent.
- Republicans called for an additional special session of the legislature which resulted in a substantial curtailment of Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s authority. Cooper has threatened to file suit contesting the constitutionality of the law.
- There is no question the Raleigh-Durham International Airport has bounced back from the Great Recession, announcing several new flights and a record-breaking number of passengers this year. About 344 flights travel to and from RDU each day, and nearly 11 million people passed through the airport by the end of 2016. That tops the airport’s current record, set in 2000, of 10.4 million passengers. In 2009, RDU saw about 9 million passengers, down from 9.7 million the prior year, likely a sign of economic trouble and uncertainty.
- Toll rates on the 17-mile Triangle Expressway highway increased 3.5 percent Jan. 1. Quick Pass drivers will pay an extra 9 cents to drive the entire expressway; commuters without the Quick Pass will pay up to 16 cents more.
- There are two new interchanges under construction on 540; one located at Old Holly Springs-Apex Road will open in early 2017 while the other planned for Morrisville Parkway will open in 2019.
· The Town of Siler City has been awarded a $1.5 million grant through the Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development program, which is administered through the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA). The grant, based on Mountaire Farm’s announcement of 700 new jobs for its future processing facility in the Town of Siler City, will help the town make wastewater system upgrades. “We are very pleased with the announcement of this grant for the Town of Siler City to upgrade our wastewater system,” said Mayor John Grimes. For more information, contact the Chatham Economic Development Corporation at 919-542-8274.
- The Golden LEAF Foundation has announced grants totaling $8 million to be used for further infrastructure development of the two Chatham County industrial megasites near Siler City and Moncure. The grants from the foundation’s new Major Site Development Initiative (MSDI) are aimed at attracting major employers to rural and economically-distressed areas. “We are extremely pleased and appreciative to receive these awards from the Golden LEAF Foundation said Kyle Touchstone, president of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation. Extending these utilities to the two sites eliminates risk to potential site users and makes them more marketable to major industries.”
- Durham County Commissioners certified results from the Nov. 8 election in which the majority of voters passed more than $170 million worth of bonds.
- As both Orange and Durham counties are asked to support a memorandum of understanding to address a $250 million "funding gap" for the future Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project, the outstanding question is who's picking up the check. Orange County commissioners voted 5-2 for the memorandum of understanding, with Commissioners Earl McKee and Renee Price voting against it. GoTriangle is committed to working with partners to identify additional funding sources to help complete the D-O LRT Project. For more information, visit http://ourtransitfuture.com/projects/durham-orange/
Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes represents District 3 and was first elected in 2014. She abruptly resigned over a dispute centered on the makeup of the County’s Affordable Housing Task Force and subsequently changed her mind and rescinded her resignation. The TCC’s 2017 Chairman Tom Anhut was selected as one of the members of the Task Force.
· Council adopted a Tax Incentive Policy to attract high-paying jobs.
· Town Council – Upcoming Public Hearings
o January 3, 2017 Agenda
§ Rezoning Case #16CZ26 Pricewood PUD (continued from December 20, 2016)
§ Meridian at Nichols Plaza Major Site Plan
§ Unified Development Ordinance Amendment Jason Barron Request (continued from December 20, 2016)
o January 17, 2017 Agenda
o Unified Development Ordinance Amendment Staff Requests (continued from December 20, 2016)
o Rezoning Case #16CZ30 The Preserve at White Oak Creek PUD Amendment
o Rezoning Case #16CZ33 Roberts Road
o Transportation Plan Amendment Lufkin Road/Burma Drive Minor Collector
o 2030 Land Use Map Amendment Planning Committee Recommendations
- Cary will be deciding if the section from near the intersection of Cary Parkway to the Maynard intersection will be ultimately six or four lanes. This will happen at a January 3rd work session. It is important to point out that there is no funding or plans for funding for this section of state road. That means any change is likely to be at least ten years away.
- Imagine Cary: based on our collaborative work, the plan will most likely move to adoption on January 24.
- Cary and Raleigh have landed on a list of the top boomtowns in the country, and Cary was at the top. On SmartAsset’s list of the “Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016,” Cary scored a 100 percent based on several factors, including net migration rate, housing growth, unemployment, 2015-16 change in unemployment and GDP growth. Raleigh, ranked 10th, scored an 87.05.
- The Town Council voted on the Mills Rezoning that would put a residential area just South of Green Hope High School. Several conditions were added, including limited detached dwelling units or townhomes to a maximum of 40, adding a requirement for two car garages, putting pedestrian connections in place, increasing buffer sizes and making certain design requirements.
- Council will hold a public hearing regarding minor updates to the LDO on Jan. 8, 2017 regarding free standing garages, neighborhood meetings for example.
- Council discussion to adopt new Town Standards and Specifications at the Jan. 8, 2017 meeting.
- Recommendation to Council to award construction contract for the Crabtree Creek Greenway along the southern lake shore of Lake Crabtree that would provide a vital link to Morrisville’s section of the greenway and the Black Creek Greenway.
- Council approved the M-16 (Alston Ridge Middle School) sketch plan at their December quasi-judicial hearing.
- The Durham City Council is once again considering saving taxpayers thousands of dollars by eliminating primaries from municipal elections. A vote by the seven-member council Jan. 3 would set the reconsideration in motion. The council would then hold a public hearing Jan. 17 and have to vote on the change within 60 days after that.
- A for-profit real estate company owned by Duke University has acquired the 300 Swift Ave. apartment building that opened in 2014 near Duke’s Central Campus in Durham. According to county records, Durham Realty Inc., which is managed by the university’s Office of Counsel, paid $50 million for the
202-unit apartment building. The seller is a partnership led by Charlotte real estate development firm FCA Partners.
- On January 1, 2017, new site plan and preliminary plat pre-submittal requirements will take effect.
A pre-application conference will be required for any site plan or preliminary plat application on property zoned with a development plan, or with a design district zoning designation. This amendment was approved by City Council on December 5th and the Board of Commissioners on December 12th as part of text amendment TC1600004.
- Meeting the Pre-application Conference Requirement:
ü In order to satisfy the requirements of paragraph 3.2.2.B of the Unified Development Ordinance applicants can schedule either a Concept Meeting or Pre-Submittal Conference prior to their intake meeting date. Evidence that the pre-application conference requirement has been satisfied will need to be provided at the intake meeting in order for the site plan or preliminary plat application to be accepted.
ü Meeting request forms can be accessed at: http://durhamnc.gov/388/Development-Review-Process-Overview
ü For more information, please contact Alysia Taylor at Alysia.Bailey-Taylor@DurhamNC.gov
ü Planning Webpage: http://durhamnc.gov/338/City-County-Planning
- For Development Review Information: http://durhamnc.gov/388/Development-Review-Process-Overview
- Development Services Center (DSC)
Effective January 12, 2017, the Customer Service and Plan Intake functions of the City/County Planning Department and City/County Inspections Department will be operating temporarily out of Conference Room GA on the Ground Floor of Durham City Hall, directly across from the Inspections Department lobby area. All telephone numbers, office hours and services will remain unchanged.
This move is to allow for construction of the Development Services Center (DSC), scheduled to open in April 2017. The goal of the DSC is to help people better navigate through the development review process in Durham. Whether constructing a deck on your home or building a high-rise, customers will experience an improved & better coordinated development review process, and benefit from improved customer service.
This new center will coordinate over 70 administrative reviews, permits, and approvals involving 22 departments, agencies, and advisory boards to provide an improved “One-Stop Shop” experience for customers.
The opening of this new center is in direct response to the Durham Joint Economic Development Strategic Plan and the Development Review Performance Audit, which noted the need for time-sensitive, easy-to-navigate development review process and improvement of internal collaboration on review turnarounds in the Site Plan, Exempt Plat and Final Plat approval process.
More details about this center along with helpful information to further ease the development review process will be forthcoming, including a new website. Please contact Assistant Planning Director
Patrick Young with any questions, comments or concerns at Patrick.Young@durhamnc.gov or 919.560.4137 x28273.
- Engineering consulting firm CTC Technology & Energy made a presentation to the board on the costs and feasibility of making a public investment in a fiber optic communications network that would serve town facilities and encourage third parties to deliver services to the public. The firm estimated that an initial phase, connecting a majority of town facilities and two county facilities, would cost $1.37 million. A second phase, extending fiber through the southern part of town, would cost $1.32 million. The presentation outlined different forms of public-private cooperation that could be used to spread costs and risk. Orange County is conducting its own fiber optic networking study, and representatives from the county and Orange County Schools attended the meeting to express interest in collaborating on future projects. CTC will refine its analysis to incorporate these potential partnerships.
- Dozens of people spoke out and voiced concerns about the possibility of a large new development on Avent Ferry Road. Town leaders voted against the proposed project.
- Public Hearing at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, January 10, 2017- Rezoning (REZ 16-04): WMCi Raleigh VIII, LLC, the property owner, is requesting to rezone 14.61 acres within Park West Village in order to revise conditions. The parcel is located at 3016 Bristol Creek Drive and is specifically identified as Wake County PIN 0754-38-0423. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Kari Grace at 919-463-6194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New Year brings changes to Development Services -Update to the Permit Application
In an effort to capture more detailed information at submittal we have made updates to the Permit Application. The areas with the most significant changes are under the Right-of-Way and Utility sections. The changes include:
ü A link to the Development Services Guide where all development review processes and requirements are described
ü Project information section where the clients select review type and specific work to be preformed
ü Right-of-Way permit are now allows for street, lane, sidewalk closures, and utility cuts
ü Added a drop down selection for meter size
ü Added water and sewer service section (Stubs for water and sewer)
ü Added a hyperlink to the Utility Service Addendum, which allows listings for multiple addresses or lot
ü The NEW Permit Application is currently available on the web. Effective February 1, 2017, the old Permit Application will no longer be accepted.
· Utility Service Process Improvement: Changes have been made to streamline the Stub Permit Process.
ü Customers wishing to obtain a stub permit to install new water or sewer to the existing City of Raleigh main can now apply at the same time as building or concurrent review. This saves on both time and paperwork
ü Single parcel service connection can use the Permit Application to obtain both building and stub permits. Or the stub permit can be issued with concurrent review (which is Final Site and Infrastructure Construction plans review)
ü Multiple parcel connections can be issued with Concurrent Review prior to lot recordation with the use of the Utility Service Addendum
ü Process change will be effective February 1, 2017 with a grace period until March 6, 2017
· Raleigh plans to finish construction on the Union Station transportation hub next fall. The $90 million project on Martin Street will be a transit hub for trains and buses, and the city plans to pursue tenants to lease office and retail space. The building will have about 4,000 square feet of space to rent for retail or office use on its main level; 6,000 square feet on its lower level; and 2,700 square feet on its upper level. When it opens in 2018, Union Station is expected to breathe new life into the Warehouse District downtown.
· Kane Realty expects to expand North Hills outward and upward on the east side of Six Forks Road, near the Interstate 440 Beltline. The development company expects to open several projects in 2017: the AC Hotel, The Cardinal senior-living center, the 12-story Midtown Plaza office building and Park Central, a retail center topped by apartments.
· Lambert Development plans to build two projects near downtown and the Boylan Heights neighborhood. The company wants to build a three-story condominium project called 611 West South across the street from Boulted Bread. It also plans to build a 12-unit townhouse project at the corner of West and Lenoir streets.
· Exploris School has filed a plan proposal with the city of Raleigh that would have it building a 10-story building downtown. According to plans the Raleigh charter school filed with the city this month, the building would house the K-8 charter school as well as its commercial office, and would provide internal parking.
- The state has agreed to sell two underutilized sites on the northern end of downtown, which has drawn lots of interest from developers in recent years. A group of developers has offered $4.85 million for a 1.8-acre site on West Peace Street, across from Seaboard Station. A different group has offered $1.75 million for the
.5-acre site of an old steam plant on North Dawson Street near the Days Inn Hotel. Both sites are zoned by the city to allow mixed-use development up to 12 stories.
- Upcoming Public Hearings Scheduled for January 3, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
- FY 2017-2018 Pre-Budget Hearing
- Petition Annexations
- Country Trail Estates
- Family Dollar – Trawick
o STC-06-2016 - Maiden Lane
o Z-11-16 - North Rogers Lane
o Z-27-16 - Alexander Drive
o Z-31-16 - Cumberland Street
o TC-18-16 - Animal care (indoor) - Limited Use in OX-District
o TC-21-16 - Single unit housing (via single-family detached house) to be permitted in the MH District
- The TCC Annual Meeting will take place on Friday, January 12, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. and will feature the Mayors of Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina & Pittsboro. For more information or to register visit our website at www.tricc.org We will also award the James R Wahlbrink Grassroots Leadership Award to a very special recipient.
- The business and real estate communities need a strong voice to advocate for their business, and the TCC will persevere to be the leader in the growth conversation in the Triangle. In the coming year and years to follow, the TCC will continue to advance our approaches to influence policy to meet the ever-changing needs within the business community. We have an exciting year planned for 2017! Our focus will be to advocate for balanced growth by strengthening our partnerships and relationships in the community that will offer better opportunities and outcomes for our members.
We will need your financial commitment to carry out this mission. Now is the time to strengthen our resolve and commitment! Doing business in this area continues to become increasingly difficult, making the TCC more important than ever. To join or renew your membership in 2017 visit www.tricc.org
- Upcoming Coffee Chats (Member Only)
Fuquay-Varina – January 18, 2017
Duke Energy – February Date TBD
Upcoming Luncheon Learns: March 30, 2017 – Chatham Park