TCC "in the KNOW" March 2017 Issue

March 2017 Updates

State:

  • Regulatory Reform (HB131 (link is external): A bill entitled Regulatory Reform Act of 2016, which seeks to adopt all of the regulatory provisions agreed upon by the House and Senate last year, has passed the Senate Natural and Environmental Resources Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 38-11, mostly along party lines, and now heads to the House.
  • North Carolina is no longer among the states suing the federal government over a series of environmental regulations.  The Clean Power Plan, set up by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Power Act, was designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and focused effort on developing alternative energy sources.
  • The North Carolina homeownership rate increased one-half percentage point to 65.7 percent in 2016, according to an analysis of data published by the Census Bureau.  In the past quarter century, only twice – 2005 and 2009 – did the rate increase at a sharper clip, and both of those years were followed by significant declines the following year.

Regional:

  • The Raleigh and overall Triangle retail markets ended 2016 in a very healthy position.  The Triangle retail vacancy rate is currently at 6.09 percent, nearing 10-year lows dating back pre-recession and includes retail absorption nearing 900,000 square feet over the past four quarters.  The region’s diverse economic engine driven by technology, university systems, heath care and Raleigh as a state capital, combined with a relatively low cost of living and temperate climate, continue to push population growth and related retail expansion.  With fierce grocery competition, a natural evolution of inward growth and urbanization and several large mixed-use development projects, the Triangle retail market is thriving.   However, e-commerce, rightsizing and store closures continue to challenge the broader U.S. retail market and the Triangle has not been spared.
    Source: Charlie Coyne, Senior Vice President and Tiffany Barrier, Senior Associate of Retail Services, CBRE | Raleigh. This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of Southeast Real Estate Business.
  • As part of a study examining a 27-mile section of N.C. 98, the public is encouraged to share their thoughts and issues on the corridor with county and state planners.  The study – launched by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Agency, the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization and the North Carolina Department of Transportation – runs through July 2018.  The three groups will assess current and future roads, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety and transit uses on a stretch of N.C. 98 that runs from U.S. 70 in Durham County through Wake County to U.S. 401 in Franklin County.  People can post their comments on traffic, safety or other issues at a specific intersection or piece of the corridor anonymously using an online map found at NC98Corridor.com through April 6.  Some of the questions people are asked to consider when commenting include:  What areas are challenging for you to navigate?  Where do you see major issues?  Do you have any environmental or safety concerns?
  • Orange and Durham County leaders agreed Friday to accelerate efforts to update plans for a 17-mile light rail line that would stretch from UNC Hospitals to NC Central University.  County officials need to meet a new Federal Transit Administration deadline at the end of April. The FTA wants an updated cost estimate and funding strategy for the two-county light rail plan by April 30th. That's more than a month earlier than originally planned.

Wake County:

  • Wake County residents are encouraged to participate in a series of public meetings this month to learn more about the Fiscal Year (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) Wake Transit Draft Work Plan. It outlines the improvements, such as expanding bus routes and increasing bus service, proposed in first year of the 10-year plan to enhance Wake County’s transit system.  Residents can comment on the FY 18 Draft Work Plan by visiting waketransit.com or contacting David Powe, GoTriangle Public Outreach Specialist, at 919-485-7522. Printed copies of the draft work plan will be available at all Wake County public libraries (list of library locations).  The public can comment on the draft work plan through April 3, 2017.  The Wake County Transit Plan will be implemented over a 10-year period and includes tripling existing bus service, creating Bus Rapid Transit corridors, and a commuter rail connection between Garner, Raleigh, Cary, RTP and Durham.

Cary:

  • The Town has taken considerable measures to protect water quality and provide relief for flooding.  These measures include innovative ordinances to protect storm buffers and control runoff by development.  They include policies to evaluate citizen requests to reduce flooding and improve drainage.  The Town has completed numerous projects to manage stormwater more effectively and improve streams.  The Town completed a Stormwater Master Plan in 2013 and a Town Center Area Floodplain Study in 2006.  The Town’s stormwater program operates under an NPDES Stormwater permit issued by the state of North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.  The town has created an index of information that describes these initiatives and actions in more detail to provide a more complete picture of Cary’s approach. 
  • Quarterly Report of Economic Development. Here are a few notable items from that report:
    • Cary’s inventory of land and buildings in key locations is critical to attracting and retaining companies and jobs.  Inventory on both is low.
    • Class A office vacancy has dropped to 7.03% which is low.
    • There is a strong interest in corporate offices looking to locate in downtown.  There are currently 4 active projects with potentially 2,000 employees.
    • Developers are showing strong interest in moving forward with apartments and condos in downtown.
    • Cary was the #1 boomtown in the US out of 572 of the largest municipalities.  The criteria included unemployment rate, GDP growth, and negative migration.
    • Cary was the #6 city where millennials are buying a home.
    • Cary’s Umstead was named to 2017 best hotels list.
    • Cary’s unemployment rate is 3.5% as compared to Wake County at 4%, North Carolina at 4.9%, and the United States at 5.1%.
    • Current potential economic development in the pipeline includes 3,400 jobs and $174 million in capital investment.
  • The Construction and Activity report for the month of January included the following notable items:
    • 83 single family permits were issued which was the most since July of 2016.
    • Cary had 6.9% of the county’s single family permits which was 7th out of the 12 municipalities.
    • The average single family dwelling was 3665 square feet compared to 4101 square feet in January of 2013.

·        LDO Amendments Round 36 and 38 are up for council adoption this month. 

·       Planning Director, Jeff Ulma is retiring from the Town at the end of March. 

Chapel Hill:

  • Recently, a public presentation on guidelines for the redevelopment of West Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill was given by town officials and members of an urban design firm.  “Rosemary Street is seeing development pressure, and it’s creating a tension between increasing market demand for higher-density and larger developments, and a historic African-American neighborhood in the north side,” “Rosemary Street is literally the seam between those pressures.”  A a public hearing on the guidelines will take place in April, with a ratification vote from the Chapel Hill Town Council expected in May.
  • Apply to serve the community by serving on a Town of Chapel Hill advisory board, committee or commission.  The town is currently looking to fill vacancies on all boards and commissions.  For more information on the work of these groups, eligibility requirements, or to complete an application, please visit www.townofchapelhill.org/boards. View a video at https://vimeo.com/157782030.  Apply now at https://chapelhill.granicus.com/boards/forms/146/apply.  Apply by April 3 for assured consideration.

Fuquay-Varina:

  • Fuquay-Varina will receive the $4.5 million it applied for to complete Northwest Judd Parkway after its application scored highest among the 10 Wake County proposals CAMPO reviewed.

Holly Springs:

  • A major new subdivision won zoning approval at the Town Council’s March 7 meeting over the objections of a standing room-only crowd at Town Hall who oppose the project.  The Honeycutt Road neighborhood will be built on either side of its namesake between Cass Holt Road and Piney Grove-Wilbon Road.  It lies on 231 acres bordered by Holly Springs High School to the north and by the site of the unbuilt Buckhorn Creek Elementary School to the west.  The 610 homes to be built by Ohio-based M/I Homes are the result of several months of negotiations between the developer, the town and residents. It was the zoning case’s fourth appearance before the Holly Springs council since Nov. 15.

Morrisville:

  • A plan to widen Morrisville Carpenter Road between Davis Drive and Page Street will proceed on schedule after CAMPO awarded Morrisville $6.3 million in federal grant money to help pay for the project’s construction.
  • Cary has been charging developers a transportation development fee for almost 30 years to augment its roads funding.  Morrisville, a town with traffic problems of its own, recently began to wonder whether it should pursue a similar practice.  But analysis by Morrisville town staff revealed that the fee would net the town less than expected and that it would be prohibitively difficult to implement.  Council members directed the town’s legislative liaisons at the Feb. 28 council meeting to drop the matter.

Raleigh:

  • City Gateway will have an exoskeleton of roof- and wall-mounted photovoltaic panels along with a ground-sourced, geothermal energy storage system.  City Gateway, located at 120 Kindley St., is also being designed as a new home for The Exploris School, a K-8 charter school program seeking to combine its middle school on Hillsborough Street and its elementary school on New Bern Avenue into one building.  Exploris plans to open a campus on the first floor level of the 10-story building, taking about 50,000 square feet that will open up to its own courtyard and play area.
  • The 2017-2018 Annual Action Plan Draft is ready for review! Send feedback on the draft to cd.info@Raleighnc.gov during the 30-day comment until April 17.  A public hearing for the Action Plan will be held April 4 after 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers where citizens can also contribute feedback in front of City Council.  Action Plan includes projected funding amounts and efforts for:
    • Increasing Affordable Housing
    • Improving Neighborhoods
    • Re-housing people who are homeless.

TCC Updates:

The TCC organizes monthly Coffee Chats with municipalities across the Triangle. This type of event provides TCC members with the opportunity to have an informal but intimate conversation with elected officials and senior staff
about the area's growth and development. The chats are a TCC Member Only event! 
For more information, please contact Charlene at charlenel@tricc.org
 

Upcoming Coffee Chats:  Save the Dates and All Member Invites will be sent one month prior to the chat!
April 5, 2017 Coffee Chat with Town of Morrisville
May 10, 2017 Coffee Chat with Town of Wake Forest
June 27, 2017 Coffee Chat with Town of Cary
August 9, 2017 Coffee Chat with Town of Holly Springs

Upcoming Luncheon Learn Programs in 2017

March 30, 2017 -Go Big and Go Home! The Triangle's Next New Community - Chatham Park!"

Come hear Preston Development outline their plans for what will be the largest development project in the
history of North Carolina!  Keynote Speakers: Dr. Mike Walden, Vanessa Jenkins, Chuck Smith & Robin Rose.

May (TBD) Southeast Raleigh/East Durham Development
July (TBD) University Land & Real Estate
October (TBD) Completion of 540
November (TBD) Dix Master Plan

Other Events:

August 4, 2017 - Campaign Training School: 
The Campaign School is designed to give political candidates and their campaign staff the winning edge!  The full day interactive school is taught by state and national campaign experts who shared their success stories and show the attendees the latest technologies that would benefit their campaigns.  They discuss topics such as; Planning & Budgeting, Elections Laws & Finance Report Deadlines, Fundraising, Voter Lists, Targeting, Identification, Voter Contact, Navigating the New Media & Social Networking.

September 21, 2017 – Political Pig Pickin’ at Angus Barn.  Get ready for an old fashion political rally and candidate forum, with style!  Candidates throughout the region have the opportunity to mingle with hundreds of potential voters. 

Sponsorships are available for all events. 
Visit http://www.tricc.org/2017-sponsorship-opportunities/ for more information!

TCC Membership Information
In 2017 we will act to:

  • Influence public policy
  • Promote responsible stewardship by government
  • Shape public opinion through education
  • Provide solutions for community issues

If you are not a member of the TCC, please join now and commit your resources to help us.  If you are a TCC member, get ready for a year of action.  We cannot hold our peace and leave the future of this region in the hands of those who fail to understand the benefits of growth, the very growth that has made the Triangle the best place to live in the country. 

“Act now or forever hold your peace.”

For more information about TCC membership visit www.tricc.org or call the TCC office at 919 812-7785