TCC "in the KNOW May 2018

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 candidate filing deadline.  The increase of candidates is noteworthy as just two years ago, 15 of the 50 Senate races and 58 of the 120 House district races 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.   
  • A majority on a three-judge panel dismissed portions of a lawsuit from Gov. Cooper by affirming one law that will reduce the number of Court of Appeals judges from 15 to 12 as retirements and other vacancies arise.  By the same 2-1 ruling, the panel also affirmed a law that told the governor he must mention increasing amounts of money for taxpayer-funded scholarships for private school tuition in future budget proposals.  Separately a Superior Court judge ruled lawmakers had the power to decide how more than $100 million in federal grants and the compensation Volkswagen paid for its emissions scandal were used.

Regional:

  • Home to UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State and Duke University, North Carolina’s Research Triangle region—including the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill—is best known for top-notch universities, but students would be wise to consider sticking around after graduation.  Reasonably priced apartments, coupled with strong population growth and ample employment opportunities, earn the area the top spot on Forbes  2018 list of the best places to be a renter this year.
  • Triangle Expressway: building N.C. 540 across southern Wake County would not threaten the existence of two endangered species of mussels that live in Swift Creek, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  That opinion, published last week, greatly reduces the chance that the Federal Highway Administration will seek to stop or alter construction of the final legs of the Triangle Expressway because of the endangered mussels — the dwarf wedge mussel and the yellow lance.  The two types of thumb-size mussels have for years threatened to alter or derail the $2.24 billion final leg of the 540 loop around Raleigh.  The endangered dwarf wedge mussel was the reason N.C. Department of Transportation considered an alternative path for the road known as the Red Route, which would have largely avoided the mussels while plowing through subdivisions, businesses and churches in Garner.
  • Amazon Headquarters: When the Triangle made the cut of 20 finalists for Amazon’s new headquarters, there was a lot of talk about what the region could offer the tech giant and what impact Amazon would have here.  However, a new business report suggests the local area has a very limited shot at being selected. 
  • Growth: The Raleigh metro area is expected to grow 72 percent in the next 25 years from 1.27 million residents to 2.2 million, making it the third-fastest growing metro in the country (behind Austin, Texas and Fort Myers, Florida) according to a study by American City Business Journals.  The Durham-Chapel Hill metro is expected to expand 36 percent (from 552,000 residents to 753,000).
  • AT&T continues to ramp up its efforts to deploy true wireless broadband (gigabit speeds) known as 5G with the Triangle and Charlotte slated to begin landing faster capabilities later this year.  The communications giant disclosed its latest 5G moves, including plans to launch what it calls 5G evolution in more than 100 markets.  AT&T’s latest moves are not true 5G since standards and technology are still under development as well as devices to utilize the new technology.
  • High-tech job openings in North Carolina grew in March to well above 20,000 with demand in Durham and Chapel Hill setting the pace.  Employers disclosed 20,614 positions in March, the highest in nearly a year and nearly 600 more than March 2017, reports the NC Technology Association in its Tech Talent Trends report.  It’s the first time the number of posted openings topped 20,000 since last May.  Durham-Chapel Hill jobs climbed to more than 2,500 – a jump of 24.2 percent.
  • Starting next year, Wake County residents could be paying more on their water bills.  Raleigh's city leaders are discussing a rate hike.  The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department provides water and sanitary sewer service to approximately 195,000 metered water and sewer customers and a service population of approximately 570,000 people in Raleigh, Garner, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon areas.  How much more will water customers have to pay?  Staff members are recommending a 3 percent increase in billing next year.  To the average residential customer, they say, that comes out to about $1.68 per month.

Chatham County:

·  The Chatham County Board of Commissioners will consider recommendations for revised water system development fees at an upcoming meeting and seek public input by June 2, 2018.  The fees are collected to help pay for system improvements needed for new development.  If approved, the fee for a basic residential meter would actually decrease a bit, but some fees for larger meters would increase.  Chatham County urges people to submit written comments no later than June 2, 2018You can submit comments online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ChathamWaterFees or by mail to: Chatham County Public Works, P.O. Box 910, Pittsboro, NC 27312.  Complete information on the proposed fee study and recommended fee structure can be found atwww.chathamnc.org in theIn the Spotlightfeature.  You also may call the Public Works Department at 919-545-8530 to obtain a copy by mail or email.

Wake County:

·        Construction crews will soon break ground on large recreation facilities in Wake County after commissioners approved funding for new projects.  Wake County commissioners agreed to fund four projects around the county, though a total of nine were proposed.  The possible projects include soccer parks, tennis courts and even museum expansions.  Commissioners ranked them during a meeting. The four highest-ranked projects include:

o   North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences- The project would remodel the existing Nature Research Center to accommodate a "Dueling Dinosaurs" exhibit, which would include fossils for a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops, and add more working laboratory space.

o   Triangle Aquatic Center- The project would expand the current facility to include a 50-meter outdoor pool.

o   An athletic park in Knightdale- The town proposed to build the park, which would include five full-size athletic fields to host soccer practices, games and tournaments.

o   WakeMed Soccer Park- The project would add improvements to the facility that would aim to attract more people and large events. 

Allocation of funds is not yet a done deal.  Wake County Commissioners will make their final decision on May 21.

·        Wake County Economic Development Updates since October 2017:

o New & Expanding Company Announcements - 60

o New Jobs - 4,259

o New Investment - $38.3 million

Apex:

·        System Development Fee Analysis for Water and Sewer Systems: North Carolina Session Law 2017-138 has established procedures for the calculation and authorization of system development fees.  To view the Town’s Analysis of System Development Fees for its water and sewer systems please click here.  To submit written comments concerning the Analysis please click here.  Comments will be accepted for a 45 day period which began on April 19, 2018.  A public hearing will be conducted in June 2018 prior to adoption of the fee.

·        A convenience store with gas pumps and a car wash is the worst possible use of land across from a brand new school.  That's the assessment of people who live near Green Level High School, a new campus in western Wake County that's temporarily home to Apex High School students.  But chances are slim that residents can derail or even delay the convenience store.  Opponents of an Eagles store at Roberts Road and Green Level Church Road say the project would put students in danger, bring traffic, noise and crime, and create an environmental hazard.

Cary:

·        Construction at the intersection of Cary Parkway and High House Road started on April 16.  During Phase 1, new dedicated right turn lanes will be built at all four approaches.  Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2019.

·        By the end of 2019, greenways in Cary could link the American Tobacco Trail to Umstead State Park.

·        The new IKEA opening in Cary in the coming years will be big and blue just like the others, according to town officials.  Individuals with the Town of Cary confirmed that the 380,000-square-foot building, which will rest on 20 acres of land near Cary Towne Center, will feature its famous bright blue metal exterior and 3,600 square foot sign.  Demolition could begin in 2018, groundbreaking could begin in 2019 and the store could be open as early as summer 2020.

·        In order to replace water mains in Downtown Cary, two stretches of road will be closed starting April 12, 2018, with a completion goal date of September 7, 2018 according to the Town of Cary.  Those roads will be W Park Street between S West Street and W Chatham Street and S Dixon Avenue between W Park Street and Dry Avenue.

·        The Town is studying eliminating the option to have private streets in townhome communities. No guidelines have yet to be given but expect the town to have a report to share with the Town Council late summer/early fall on what has been studied so far.  In the interim, the staff has encouraged developers with projects in the pipeline to consider using public street standards.  It is assumed that prior to any ordinance changes, that there will be public hearings to take input from the development community.

Chapel Hill:

  • GoTriangle held two open houses in April to share elements of visual design for the new light rail system.  Share your thoughts at lightrailonline.com.  Provide input online through May 11.
  • The Council has established its intent to proceed with a referendum in November 2018 to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds for affordable housing projects not to exceed $10 million.  The Council will consider next steps in the referendum process -- to introduce the bond order, set the public hearing and authorize the filing of a debt statement.  A public hearing is proposed for May 9, 2018.
  • Chapel Hill
    • Future Land Use Map Refinement Project Open House: An open house will be held at 6:00 PM, on May 9th, in the first-floor conference room at Town Hall, to learn more about the Future Land Use Map Refinement Project and Land Use tools in general.

Durham (City):

  • Durham, North Carolina was named the best city for millennials in the United States by Growella using data from more than 70 public resources.
  • Growth: Apartments, condos and homes are springing up around downtown Durham, but it is still not enough to keep up with demand.  New numbers from the city show that 4,015 new housing units, including single-family homes, duplexes and apartments, were built in 2016 while 4,316 new units were built in 2017.

Fuquay-Varina:

  • The Town of Fuquay-Varina commissioned Rafatellis Financial Consultants, Inc. to analyze their Water and Sewer System Development Fees (SDF) in accordance with a new law, the Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act.  A copy of analysis can be found hereSubmit your comments online here or by mail to: Town of Fuquay-Varina, Attn: Jay Meyers, 401 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526.  Comments will be received through June 1, 2018.
  • The Town of Fuquay-Varina is pleased to announce that Ting will bring gigabit fiber Internet to Fuquay-Varina.  Click HERE for the press release.  If you need more information, please contact: Susan Weis at 919-552-1417

Garner:

  • Council hearing about possible intersection improvements at White Oak/Hebron Church/Ackerman. Could a roundabout be in that intersection’s future?  Learn more and offer feedback at the Intersection Improvements Public Open House on Tuesday, May 8th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Drop-in anytime). 
    Garner Town Hall, 2nd Floor Training Room at 900 Seventh Ave., Garner, NC 27529.  For more information and future project updates, please contact:  Het Patel, Senior Planner at hpatel@garnernc.gov
     

Holly Springs:

  • The town is building additional downtown parking, street improvements, a regional stormwater area and more as roughly 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office spaces are being constructed.  About 35 businesses (with an additional 60 businesses in expanded Coworking Station space) are expected to create about 500 jobs and have an annual $49.7 million economic impact following the first year of operations and construction. Click here for more information about this group of projects.
  • The council appointed Assistant Town Manager Daniel Weeks as interim town manager as current Town Manager Chuck Simmons retired on April 27.  The council is in the process of hiring his replacement.

Knightdale:

  • The Town of Knightdale is excited to announce that Knightdale Station Park Phase III construction began Monday, March 12.  Portions of Whistle Post Way will remain closed throughout the construction process.  The park will remain open throughout this phase of construction, and all events planned will still be held.  Phase III completion will bring the Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater, The Knightdale Veteran’s Memorial, a pedestrian promenade, and more than 130 new parking spaces.  Construction should be completed by November 2018.

Raleigh:

  • Piles of dirt and construction equipment that sit along Wake Forest Road just south of I-440 in Raleigh will soon be known as Midtown East.  "The Gateway to Raleigh" is how developer Regency Centers is marketing Midtown East, anchored by a 120,000 square foot Wegmans.
  • Water and Sewer System Development Fees please comment before June 1.
  • Raleigh Stormwater is completing stream stabilization/repair projects this summer to help improve streams at Millbrook Exchange Park and in the Brentwood Today neighborhood.
  • The City of Raleigh Fair Housing Board recently announced a significant update to the Tenants’ Rights and Obligation Handbook.  Copy of handbook.
  • Upcoming Public Hearings:
    • May 15, 2 p.m.
      • Petitioned Annexations
        - 4110 and 4200 Trinity Road (Continued from 4/17/18)
    • June 5, 7 p.m.
      • CP-5-17 - Six Forks Road Corridor Study
      • Utility System Development Fees
      • Z-29-16 (MP-2-16) - 5401 North Planned Development
      • Proposed FY 2018-19 Budget
    • The Raleigh Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) has been updated to supplement 5 by adding the following text changes:
    • Water and Sewer System Development Fees are referred to as Water and Sewer Capital Facilities Fees in the area served by the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department. Water and Sewer Capital Facilities Fees for the City of Raleigh service area are proposed to be updated for Fiscal Year 2019. The Fee Analysis Report is now available for public review and the City is seeking comments from the public on the following water and sewer development fee analysis prior to adoption, pursuant to N.C.G.S. 162A, Article 8. Click here to view the report.
      • Public comments will be received for 45 days, until 5:00 p.m. on June 1, 2018. All comments will be submitted to Robert Massengill, Public Utilities Director, by accessing the following link: Click here to submit your comments.  

Wendell:

  • Commissioners will consider a Zoning Text Amendment to Chapters 11 and 17 of the UDO as they relate to Street Lights.  Continued to the Monday, July 23, 2018 Board Meeting. 
  • The largest master-planned community in the Triangle is taking shape in eastern Wake County, where 4,000 homes are being spread across 1,100 acres and groundbreaking has begun on 2 million square feet of retail space.  Wendell Falls is positioned for an eastward shift in housing patterns at a time when much of the building activity has been to the west, and by offering commercial space that is less expensive than downtown Raleigh or North Hills.

TCC Upcoming Events:

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

·        June 2018  Raleigh Date TBD

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

  • June 4th:  Luncheon Learn – “Yes In Our Backyards: ADU’s Throughout Raleigh”
    Join us to hear from expert  panelists from across the nation to learn how Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) have added a new housing option,  helped affordability, and how they've been implemented in Portland, Oregon, and  other cities.
  • Eli Spevak, Orange Splot, LLC - Eli  served on the board of Portland’s community land trust for its first 5 years, advocated for regulatory changes to support accessory dwellings, and co-founded the www.accessorydwellings.org website.  He was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies  at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, participated in Portland’s Residential Infill Project to reform zoning in single dwelling areas, co-founded the advocacy organization Portland for Everyone to support diverse, abundant and affordable housing, and now serves on Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission.  Learn more about Eli at http://www.orangesplot.net/elis-bio/}
     
  • Jonathan lives in Washington DC and is a visiting senior fellow with the R Street Institute, where he researches urbanism and the built environment, especially the ways in which government regulations distort and inhibit the building of flourishing communities and civil-society institutions.  He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University and also studied in the Fundamentals program at the University of Chicago. He was a 2016 Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and a 2012 Hertog Political Studies Fellow. Learn more about Jonathan at  http://www.rstreet.org/team/jonathan-coppage/}
  • NEW in June:  Downtown Durham Walking Tour – “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

To Sponsor an event in 2018 check out our website at www.tricc.org for more information or contact Charlene Logan at charlenel@tricc.org