TCC "in the KNOW" March 2018

What has TCC been up to??

· We're Over the Overlays - Opposing Durham's Neighborhood Protection Overlay (NPO) for Old West Durham

o TCC organized the opposition at the Durham Planning Commission's March 13th meeting. The NPO was voted down 5-4 by Planning Commission. Thank you to those who attended the meeting and contacted Planning Commission members!

o WHAT'S NEXT? - It will be discussed at City Council on May 7th at 7:00 PM. City Council will also discuss it at their Work Session on April 5th. A vote is expected at the May 7th meeting. Contact the Durham City Council to let them know overlays are not good for our growing neighborhoods! More information forthcoming!

o For more information, contact Jacob Rogers

· Where's Granny Going to Live? - Advocating for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) in Raleigh

o A draft proposal for ADU's is coming soon. It proposes to allow ADU's subject to an approval on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, requiring 50% + 1 of the affected property owners to agree.

o Contact the Raleigh City Council today to tell them ADU's should be allowed city-wide. 

  1. ADU's are built at NO cost to the taxpayers
  2. Increases housing affordability options in ALL neighborhoods

· Airbnb for Raleigh? - The Ongoing Struggle

o Raleigh City Council is expected to release a draft soon after studying the issue in Asheville. It is described as a "compromise". 

o After years of inaction and frustration, short term rental advocates are ready to see movement. A Task Force was created years ago, and recommendations were sent to Council. Nothing.

o Contact the Raleigh City Council to ask them to support the Task Force's findings and recommendations of allowing short term rentals throughout the City.

· Develop Relationships at the Development Services Survey Meetings

o We're scheduling meetings with each of the Triangle's municipalities to review the results of our annual Development Services Survey.

o Our first meeting is with Cary next week! Contact Jacob Rogers if you'd like to attend any of these meetings.

March 2018 Updates

State:

  • All but one of the 170 races for the North Carolina General Assembly will have candidates from both major parties.  A flurry of candidate filings took place before the filing deadline for the Statewide Primary Elections in May 2018.  The increase of candidates is noteworthy as just two years ago, 15 of the 50 Senate races and 58 of the 120 House districts lacked a Democrat or a Republican in the General Election.  Republicans hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the Legislature.  Democrats are trying to gain four seats in the House, or six seats in the Senate, to end that control.  That would in effect give the Governor a more relevant seat at the negotiation table.
  • 2018 Candidate Tracker – See the most up-to-date list of who has announced a run for what office.
    2018 NC General Assembly Retirement Tracker – Most up-to-date list of current NCGA members who have announced they are not seeking reelection in 2018. Courtesy of NCFEF.

·       Wake County remains one of the fastest growing in North Carolina, but population growth has sped up more in some of the Triangle's “collar” counties, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.  In the year ending last June 30, an estimated 1,072,203 people lived in Wake, the state's second most populous county after Mecklenburg.  Since 2010, Wake's population has grown by more than 170,000, making it the second fastest growing county in the state during that time after Brunswick County at the coast.  But in the most recent year, population growth in Chatham, Franklin and Johnston counties outpaced Wake.  Johnston was the third fastest growing county in the state, at 2.94 percent; Wake was ninth at 2.2 percent.

Regional:

  • The new, multi-phased development at N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus could begin to take shape soon, now that a developer has been pegged to oversee the buildout of the 32-acre site.  The university picked Wexford Science + Technology, the Maryland-based company behind the floor-to-ceiling renovation of the Chesterfield building in downtown Durham, now home to tech companies and office and lab space leased by Duke University.  Wexford also is responsible for developing 1.1 million square feet in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem.
  • The original Durham to Chapel Hill light-rail project was estimated at $1.8 billion, but now stands at approximately $2.6 billion.  Durham and Orange counties would have split $450 million in costs but the price grew when an extra stop was added at NCCU and for joint development projects around the light-rail stations.  Although a 19th station was added last year at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham County, it did not affect the cost.  The cost also increased when the governments agreed to use short- and long-term debt to cover a shortfall created when the state capped its share at 10 percent instead of 25 percent.  The debt also will bridge the gap between when construction starts and when federal money could be available.  The debt, which added roughly $830 million in interest to the system's cost, is payable through 2062.  The light-rail project is in the last phase engineering of the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts grant program.  GoTriangle, Orange and Durham officials are working with an FTA-appointed project management oversight contractor to complete the project’s design, schedule and costs, and confirm that state and local funding is available.  Half of the work has been completed, and a federal budget recommendation could be submitted to the FTA later this year. Local officials could learn whether the project gets federal funding by September 2019.

Wake County:

  • With the half-cent sales tax increase and other fees passed in the 2016 referendum, Wake County is raising more than $80 million for public transportation improvements and updates.  County-wide, there are plans to fund 55 bus stop improvements and introduce mobile payment.  By the end of the ten-year plan, the goal is to triple bus service, with bus stops within walking distance of 80 percent of Wake County employees and 54 percent of Wake County homes.  Additionally, there are plans to introduce Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the area, with the potential for dedicated lanes just for BRT.  Routes would run every 15 minutes.  There are plans in place to have Downtown Cary and Downtown Raleigh connected with a BRT route but they are still studying the full map of where BRT would go.

Apex:

  • The state Department of Transportation plans to widen a 3-mile stretch of Ten Ten Road near Apex and has come up with two possible options.  Both options entail widening Ten Ten to four or six lanes, separated by a median, from the Apex Peakway to Kildaire Farm Road.  Both would also reconfigure the interchange with U.S. 1.  Construction isn’t expected to begin until the spring of 2023, but the NCDOT plans to begin buying property it needs to widen the road in 2020.  For more information, including diagrams of the two options, go to www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings/ and look for project No. U-5825, or go to www.publicinput.com/tenten_apexcary, where you can also leave comments or questions.
  • One of the most active luxury homebuilders in the Triangle is breaking ground on a residential development in Apex.  Toll Brothers at Weddington will be comprised of 90 single-family houses once it opens later this summer.  The project is near the intersection of White Oak Church Road and Green Level West Road.
  • On March 6, 2018, the Town Council approved the Site Plan for Pleasant Park located between Old US 1 and US 1 west of I-540.  For more info visit https://www.apexnc.org/1163/Pleasant-Park

Cary:

  • Council voted unanimously to amend the Twin Lakes Planned Development District off of Davis Drive.  This is the development where the Davis Drive Wegmans is planned.  The development is broken up into five parts and this would create a new subcategory that would only have residential units. The plan is for 200 multi-family, age-restricted homes. Here, “age-restricted” means 80 percent of the homes must have at least one resident aged 55 or older.
  • At a recent Cary Town Council meeting, only one issue drew comments from local residents.  However, this one hearing more than made up for it with 19 speakers on both sides of the issue.  The hearing in question was about a rezoning for a 7.2 acre property off of North Harrison Avenue, adjacent to the Arboretum, to become a Mixed Use District.  While the property is currently zoned Residential (R-40), it is inside of a mixed-use activity center and the Cary Community Plan calls for this to be a commercial area instead of residential.  The plan is to rezone the property for hotels.  The original plan called for three hotel buildings with 350 rooms.  After meetings with residents, the plan has been changed to two hotel buildings with 252 rooms and a maximum height of seven floors.  There is an 80 foot Type A buffer on the side of the site parallel to North Harrison.  Two traffic mitigations are proposed by the applicant: one at the entrance and one farther down on North Harrison.  The Cary Town Council said they wanted to see more information about traffic flow in the area but reiterated that this spot is planned for commercial development and not residential.  The plan was then sent to the Planning and Zoning Board for their recommendation.

Chapel Hill:

  • The Chapel Hill Town Council voted to move forward with a bond referendum for affordable housing.  Council members passed a preliminary resolution to pursue a $10 million bond referendum for affordable housing on the November ballot.  $10 million represents a penny on the property tax rate, and Council members said they worried that borrowing $15 million might lead to higher interest rates down the road – particularly with other expensive projects looming.

Durham (City):

  • Durham Planning Commission voted against the Neighborhood Protection Overlay (NPO) for Old West Durham.  The TCC participated in this hearing, opposing the NPO due to its potential negative impact on affordability, property rights, the ability to construct Affordable Dwelling Units (which are legal in Durham), and needed density in a location near downtown.  It is expected to go to the Durham City Council in May.

·       On March 1, 2018, Durham’s Development Services Center (DSC) implemented a web-based ticketing system to track and respond to general development questions not related to an active project. The system, supported by software called Mojo Helpdesk, provides better record-keeping and consistent organization of inquiries, helping the DSC to improve customer service quality and timeliness.

The DSC can be reached at 919.560.4137 or by submitting a help request here:
https://dsc.mojohelpdesk.com/mytickets/create#/ticket-form/32468

Please note, effective April 1, 2018, the following two email addresses—previously used for general
inquiries— will no longer be monitored: dsc@durhamnc.gov  and planning@durhamnc.gov  

More information about the DSC’s customer request tracker is available here: https://dsc.durhamnc.gov/204/DSC-customer-request-tracker

Fuquay-Varina:

  • Find out why 2017 was a great year for the Town of Fuquay-Varina and what’s ahead for 2018.  This video is fun, informative and gives a year’s worth of highlights in a few minutes.
  • Govt. Facilities Project – Since Jan. 2018, the town has hired design firm Cline Design & BNK to provide professional architectural & engineering services for the project. Town staff is currently working on design layouts and plan to bid construction for both new facilities in July 2018.

Garner:

  • According to the 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report by Bankrate.com, Garner has been ranked top 5 in the country for cities great for millennials to purchase a home.  Using information that offers some combination of affordable housing, economic growth, job opportunities, proximity to major metro areas and recreational activities.  For more info visit https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/great-cities-for-millennial-homebuyers/
  • On March 7 the TCC held a Coffee Chat with the Town of Garner, sponsored by Kimley-Horn. The Chat was one of our most attended ever.  The TCC recognized Jonathan Ham the Garner Employee of the Year and also commended the Town for making changes to its ordinances that have resulted in almost 2,000 new homes being proposed.
  • The Town of Garner Economic Development Department is pleased to announce that Baker Roofing, the third-largest roofing company in the United States, plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Garner. Baker intends to locate its new offices in a 170,000-square-foot, former big-box retail space on U.S. 401 (Fayetteville Road). The renovations of its new corporate campus are estimated to be completed over the next two years if approved. About 250 jobs would be moved to Garner.

Holly Springs:

  • At a March 13 work session on transportation, Town Council members agreed that the time has come for Holly Springs’ first-ever transportation bond referendum.  Scheduling a referendum is a months-long process with many steps.  Moving forward now preserves the possibility for having it during the Nov. 6 general election.  The next opportunity would be the primary election in May 2019.  The next step is the initial meeting with representatives of the state’s Local Government Commission, whose approval is required to hold a bond referendum.
  • The town will receive a $2 million federal grant to finish fully widening Holly Springs Road to four lanes from Main Street to Fire Station 1, just east of Bass Lake Road.  The federal money will provide 80 percent of the estimated $2.5 million cost to widen between Main Street and Flint Point Lane.  The grant will be used to acquire right-of-way and for construction.

Morrisville:

  • Morrisville first approved a Town Center concept in 2007 and in a Town Council meeting in late January, Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc. was selected as the developer for the Demonstration Area, which will be the first stage in the Town Center’s construction.  Assistant Morrisville Town Manager Todd Wright said Morrisville is currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding with Armada Hoffler, with plans for construction to start in May.  “The Demonstration Area is a four-acre project, along Town Hall Drive and Jeremiah Street,” Wright said. “It will have 172 residential units, more than 20,000 square feet of commercial space and a 350-space parking deck.”  If all goes according to plan, the Demonstration Area should be complete in Summer 2020.

Raleigh:

  • On April 5, the City of Raleigh will host an open house where the public can provide input relative to accessibility as it pertains to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The open house will be in Room 306 of the Raleigh Convention Center, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.  This event will allow the City to gather accessibility input from the public and to discuss the process involved in developing an updated Transition Plan for the City of Raleigh.
  • The City of Raleigh has approved a six-month pilot program that will provide complimentary parking vouchers for citizens attending meetings of City boards and commissions, including the City Council.  The purpose of the program is to increase citizen participation in public meetings.  Complimentary parking is for people attending a public meeting held at either the Raleigh Municipal Building, with parking located at 201 West Morgan Street and at One Exchange Plaza, with parking located at 233 South Wilmington Street in the Moore Square Station parking deck.
  • The City of Raleigh's Fair Housing Hearing Board and the Fair Housing Project of Legal Aid of North Carolina announce registration is now open for the Fair Housing Conference.
  • Upcoming Public Hearings:
    • April 3, 7 p.m.
      • FY 2018-19 Community Development Annual Action Plan
      • New Hope Church Road Improvement
      • New Bern Avenue Sidewalk and Transit Improvements
      • Petition Annexations
        - 5320 Forestville Road
        - 6925 Old Wake Forest Road
      • Sidewalk Improvements
        - Plainview Avenue/Vale Street
        - Barksdale Drive
      • STC-08-2017 - Former Tryon Road Right-of-Way
      • CP-4-17 - RCRX Recommendations
      • Z-17-17 - 615 West Peace Street
    • April 17, 2 p.m.
      • Z-27-17 - 1317 E. Lenoir Street (Continued from 3/6/18)
      • Z-29-17 - 152 Jones Franklin Road

TCC Updates:

Upcoming Coffee Chats:  Save the Dates and All Member Invites will be sent one month prior to the chat!

2018 Coffee Chats:  April 11, 2018  Town of Cary      May 2, 2018  Town of Clayton

Sponsorships are available for all programs and events in 2018!  Check our website at www.tricc.org for more information!

 Upcoming Programs and Events in 2018: Dates and Speakers TBD

April 27, 2018:
  Luncheon Learn – "What Makes Commercial & Office Development Successful in the Suburban Market?"

May 4, 2018:  NEW in 2018 - TCC Sporting Clay Tournament at Drake Landing
Check out the Sponsorship Opportunities!

May:  Luncheon Learn – Yes In My Back Yard!  Bringing Accessory Dwelling Units to Raleigh
June:
  Luncheon Learn – “Downtown Durham; Why is Downtown Booming?”

September: TCC Political Pig Pickin’ September 20, 2018 at Angus Barn

October: Luncheon Learn – “When is the Next Downturn? 2008 - Déjà Vu all Over Again?”

November: Luncheon Learn -540 Update