July 2017 Updates
- The N.C. General Assembly worked into the early morning hours on June 30 to finish its business for the 2017 legislative session. The session officially began January 11 and ran for six months for a total of 93 legislative days. During the six month session, 92 bills were enacted into law, 45 of which became law without the governor’s signature. The legislature will return for two additional legislative sessions in 2017. It will convene on August 3 and again on September 6 to consider veto overrides, make appointments and approve bills that are currently in negotiations between the House and Senate. The September session also allows the legislature to take up constitutional issues, judicial redistricting, and any court-ordered re-districting. Legislators have a self-imposed deadline of November 15 to consider revising the legislative maps that were ruled unconstitutional by the courts. The 2018 legislative session will begin Wednesday, May 16 at noon.
- Starting in 2019, thousands of North Carolinians will see lower state income tax bills. The standard deduction level will rise for both single and married filers, and the income tax rate will drop. The tax plan, part of the new state budget that the legislature passed over a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper, would reduce the personal income tax rate from 5.499 percent to 5.25 percent. It would raise the standard deduction – the amount on which people pay no income taxes unless they itemize – to $20,000 for married couples filing jointly from $17,500. It would also lower the corporate income tax rate to 2.5 percent from 3 percent.
- Utility regulators are postponing until Thanksgiving a hearing to decide whether to allow a 15 percent increase in the electricity bills of 1.3 million North Carolina customers. The North Carolina Utilities Commission is acting at the request of consumer advocates to delay hearing from expert witnesses until November 20 in Raleigh. The commission's decision last week postpones plans to question energy experts a month earlier. The commission plans to hold public meetings in September and October in Rockingham, Raleigh, Asheville, Snow Hill and Wilmington on Duke Energy Progress' request to charge an extra $477 million a year. That would mean $18 more per month for the typical household bill of $105.
- The Triangle has claimed yet another spot on a top list of notable places; this time for being called out for the cost of rent. Out of the 50 most expensive zip codes to rent an apartment in North Carolina, the Triangle has more than half of the listings, according to the website Rent Café. The North Carolina Housing Coalition says around 45 percent of renters in Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties are cost-burdened. According to NCHC, rent should be around 30 percent of income. The average apartment rent in Wake County is around $900. NCHC says the local average salary can afford to pay $750.
- Single-family home sales in the Triangle were up 3 percent in May, with the average sales price up 8 percent year-to-date – but sales in Wake County have been lagging for two months. According to the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, sales in Wake County were down 2.2 percent in May compared to the year prior and averaged nearly $332,000. Wake County sales in April had also been down by a rate of 1.2 percent. The report indicates that buyers who can’t afford – or don’t want to pay – the higher home prices in Wake County neighborhoods have started looking to neighboring counties where homes are less expensive. Home sales in Durham County, where the average home price was $250,106 in May, increased 12.4 percent to a volume of 562 units sold. Durham’s average home price is up 6.9 percent year-to-date. Johnston County sales were up 6.4 percent to 380 units, with an average price of $211,535 which is an increase of 7.8 percent year-to-date. Orange County home sales, where the average price is nearly $389,000, was flat with 224 units sold in May, the same number as the year prior. Orange County’s average home price is down 1.7 percent year-to-date. All of the Triangle’s core counties have been working with an anemic level of inventory of homes for sale since 2014, and in May, the inventory level dropped to 2.5 months of supply. The average days on market dropped to 42 days in May compared to a 48-day average in May the year prior.
- Upcoming road improvement projects in the Cary/Morrisville area:
- Realigning Morrisville-Carpenter Road from NC 55 to Louis Stephens Drive. Construction will start early next year.
- Widening Green Level Road from NC 55 to NC 540. Construction began last month.
- Extending O’Kelly Chapel Road from Parkside Town Commons to Little Drive. Construction is due to begin and end in 2018.
- Studying connecting McCrimmon Parkway from NC 55 to Louis Stephens Drive.
- Widening Carpenter Fire Station Road from the NC 540 bridge at Cameron Pond to NC 55. Construction is scheduled to start in fiscal year 2019.
- Widening Aviation Parkway and making improvements to the I-40 interchange. This work would occur west of NC54 to east of the interstate interchange. The project is funded by NCDOT. Construction is not expected to begin until 2023.
- After nearly 18 months of development with broad public input, Chatham County announces that the final draft of its Comprehensive Plan will be available for public comment until August 28, 2017.
The plan is designed to cover the next 25 years. Residents can view the final draft plan and provide public comment online at www.chathamnc.org/comprehensiveplan or submit written comments to the Planning Department at PO Box 54, Pittsboro NC 27312. A public hearing on the plan has also been scheduled for Monday, August 21, at 6 pm in the Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro.
- Wake County drivers are now paying more for their license plate and registration fees. The county is now charging a $7 vehicle registration tax, which started on July 1. Starting August 1, Wake County drivers also will pay an extra $3 registration fee. The fees, along with a half cent increase to the county sales tax rate approved by voters last fall, will help pay for the voter-approved Wake Transit Plan which includes expanded rail and bus service. Wake County leaders said the expanded transportation services are needed to help accommodate the growth in the county. Wake County adds about 450 people new residents each week.
- The county’s Affordable Housing Steering Committee is working to come up with short and long-term solutions to address a shortage of affordable housing options in the county. The committee will present its recommendations to the Wake County Board of Commissioners in September
- Council adopted a revised policy regarding Town Participation in Utility Projects which effectively replace Acreage Fees and Capacity Fees with a Capital Reimbursement Fee. Developers are now limited to reimbursement of the incremental cost difference for oversized water and sewer improvements not to exceed 20% of the Capital Reimbursement Fees owed by the Developer and future Third Party Developers for a period of 10 years
- The town introduced a bond order authorizing up to $48 million for Parks and Recreational Facilities
- Council approved the Rezoning of approx. 14 acres on Green Level West Road across from the new West Apex High School for Neighborhood Business
- Council approved the Annexation of approx. 185 acres and Rezoning of approx. 204 acres for the proposed Friendship Station PUD located at the south side of Humie Olive Road, east of Olive Farm Road, and west side of Richardson Road. The proposed development also amends the 2030 Land Use Map from Low to Medium and Medium to High Density Residential with Mixed Medium to High Density Residential and Commercial Services and added Office Employment
- Council considered the Rezoning to add approx. 12.35 acres to the Villages of Apex South PUD (formerly Trackside Development) for Mixed Use – Retail/Office/Public and Civic/Attached Residential
- Council considered the JPM South Development’s proposed West Village Master Subdivision Plan for up to 86 single family and 294 townhome units on approx. 163 acres at Old US1 Highway and Kelly Road
- Council approved Crescent Communities’ proposed Linden Master Subdivision for up to 200 single family lots on approx. 87 acres located on Pricewood Lane with access from Olive Chapel Road.
- During the month of June, the Town issued 194 single family permits. This is the most single family permits issued in a month since at least 2009. Historical permitting data can be found on the Town’s website.
- Over the past few years, two locations for Wegmans stores in Cary have been discussed: one by Cary Towne Center and one off of Davis Drive. On July 13, the Town Council unanimously approved the Davis Drive location. The current plan is for construction to begin in Spring 2018, with completion near the second half of 2019.
· On July 27, Town Council approved the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at permitted establishments at 10am on Sunday’s in line with the recently passed “Brunch Bill”.
· Council held a public hearing on a request to rezone 22 acres in South Cary for age restricted detached residential.
· Council approved appropriating $750,000 toward the Morrisville Pkwy and NC 540 interchange project to cover the utility extensions across 540.
- Residents who want to know more about the South Ellerbe stormwater restoration project should visit the South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Web page or contact SandraWilbur at (919) 560-4326, extension 30286 or by email email@example.com
- The North Carolina Department of Transportation wants input from the public about its expansion plans for a ten-mile stretch of Highway 55 in Angier. The department intends to either introduce a bypass to the highway on the east or west side of the town or to widen the existing road in order to reduce congestion and futureproof the two-lane highway. The department will hold a corridor study for the length of the road between the south of Oak Grove Church Road near Angier and Highway 42 in Fuquay-Varina. The span of the highway being expanded crosses the line between Harnett County and Wake County. Members of the public can request more information or submit comments by contacting the NCDOT Project Developmental Engineer, Kim Gillespie, by phone at 919-707-6023, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at 1548 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699. All comments on the project should be submitted by August 21.
- The Town has four property owners on board with turning 3.7 acres of land into a multi-story building with retail, office space and apartments. The Town will also contribute $1.9 million from their Capital Improvement Plan fund to build a parking structure for the project. Now they just need a developer.
- On July 10th, the 2035 Community Transportation Plan (CTP) was adopted by the Town Board after a year of outreach and visioning with the community. The staff worked in concert with transportation consultant Kimley-Horn to prepare the plan, incorporating feedback from stakeholders and citizens during numerous public meetings and efforts. The adopted plan replaces the 2006 Community Transportation Plan and defines future transportation goals, funding strategies, and designs to prepare for future road needs. The Plan also identifies near, mid-term and long-term projects. View the presentation on the 2035 Community Transportation Plan.
- Garner opened its new Town Hall for business on July 21. The two-story, 26,000-square-foot municipal building is located at 900 7th Ave.--the location of the old Town Hall, which was torn down to make way for the larger, more modern structure. The building will enable Town staff to meet the needs of citizens, businesses and the development community for the foreseeable future. The new building houses most of the Development Services team (Planning, Inspections and Engineering) in one area on the first floor and features a one-stop customer service intake area. Both the Economic Development and the Town Manager’s offices are located on the second floor. The Town will hold an official ribbon cutting at a later date. The project was made possible by bond funds approved by Garner voters in 2013.
- Improved Nature, a start-up company that manufactures soy-based meat-substitute products, began production in July at its new 30,000-square-foot facility in Garner. For more information, contact Garner Economic Development Director Joe Stallings at email@example.com
- Town Council member TJ Cawley announced that he would challenge incumbent Mark Stohlman in November’s mayoral race. Cawley, a registered Democrat, was first elected to the Morrisville council in 2013. He has publicly disagreed with Stohlman, who was elected mayor the same year, about a variety of issues, including town spending, council district maps and rezoning cases.
· On July 25, Town Council approved the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at permitted establishments at 10am on Sunday’s in line with the recently passed “Brunch Bill”.
- Raleigh city council members voted to approve a new goal of adding more affordable housing to the city. Numbers provided by the city show 32,000 households are considered “cost burdened.” That means more than 30 percent of their income goes to rent and utilities. The city’s goal is to add 5,700 affordable housing units to the city over the next 10 years – which equals about 570 a year. That includes both rental and homeownership units, with an emphasis on rental.
- Dozens of residents argue that proposed plans for new townhomes will not fit in their neighborhood. The application for a new subdivision under review by the Town of Wake Forest is for at least 40 townhomes in a 4.5 acre lot at 1047 North Main St. The application, submitted in June, could be debated by the town's planning board as early as September. Wake Forest has experienced a growth spurt in the last several years. A review of town plans shows 39 approved subdivisions since 2010, which account for 6,766 new homes.
- The Wendell Town Manager hinted at the need for a bond referendum to pay for capital projects, but that poll won’t take place this year. For the fiscal year that starts July 1, staff is recommending a $7.3 million budget that includes improved yard waste collection and a more permanent police station. It also calls for several improvements at Wendell Park.
Welcome to new members Dwight Bassett, Economic Dev. Director, Town of Chapel Hill!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Luncheon Learn Programs in 2017:
October (TBD) Completion of 540
November (TBD) Dix Master Plan
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!
To register for this Event visit our website at http://www.tricc.org/political/
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.”