economic development

Transit Equity: A Platform for Growth and Economic Prosperity

As counties in the Triangle move forward with plans to expand transit options and enhance mobility, please join us for a discussion about the importance of incorporating equity components into transit planning. By prioritizing and committing to equitable development, lawmakers can ensure that the benefits of transit investments are broadly shared so low- and moderate-income residents will not be left behind as new opportunities enter the Triangle.  Transit investments can be a powerful force for social and economic equity if lawmakers choose to protect residents from displacement and enhance connectivity by coordinating transit, housing, and jobs policies. The result: strong, affordable, and accessible communities. 


Friday, July 25, 2014 -
8:00am to 9:30am


Junior League of Raleigh, 711 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh

Ephesus Fordham Work Session

There was another well attended meeting  at lunch about Ephesus Fordham today. I asked questions about the projected differences in available Affordable Housing from Form Based Code vs. current Special Use Permit system for the area (they will respond later). I also asked if the property owners would have to pay a new stormwater fee (yes) and if the project could be developed to reduce the amount of stormwater run off. Currently the stated goals are to improve the water quality (reduce nutrients and dissolved solids) and maintain OR reduce the current amount of runoff.

'Luxury' Changes Coming to University Mall

It was just announced this morning that big changes are coming to the University Mall (no more Dillards sadly - where will I buy my ladies underpinnings...) and a 13-screen, $16/movie ticket high-end movie theater instead. More details are here. So, what do you think? Do we need another movie theater when we already have 4 first-run movie theaters within a 15-minute drive? How about a high-end one with dining featuring a $9.75 mini-cheeseburger?

Eno Economic Development District Land Use

Is anyone/group working to oppose this?  I would like to participate.  I attended the Town Meeting hosted by Durham last night (no OC representation).  Can this be stopped??? 

Keep Fleet Feet in Carrboro

Fleet Feet has been reluctantly considering moving their corporate headquarters and retail store out of Carrboro. This Tuesday, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen will consider an Economic Development Agreement under which Fleet Feet would stay in Carrboro and move into a new building at 300 E Main Street—putting their (greatly-expanded) national flagship store on the ground floor and their national headquarters above.

Understanding Development Agreements

Chapel Hill hosted another lunchtime presentation Tuesday, this time to discuss development agreements. UNC School of Government professor David Owens broke down development agreements as they exist under North Carolina state law while Chapel Hill Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives Mary Jane Nirdlinger provided a presentation on Chapel Hill's development process specifically.

I attended the presentation, and you can read my livetweets below. I found the presentation useful to better understand how the development process has changed and now operates in our town, particularly given the ongoing development processes for Glen Lennox and Obey Creek.

Development agreements are authorized under North Carolina state law (specifically, NC General Statutes §160A‑400.20 through §160A‑400.32). As written, state law gives much autonomy to municipalities to determine their own development processes and how to go about entering into development agreements. It's also worth noting that development agreements are designed for large-scale projects only (defined under state law as 25 or more developable acres).

A few other takeaways from the presentation:

  • Municipalities in North Carolina have the ability to alter zoning codes as they see fit. There is no "threshold" requirement for rezoning. However, rezoning cannot be included in a development agreement, but must be carried out before approving a development agreement that necessitates a zoning change.
  • Development agreements are useful because they're all-encompassing and outline very specifically the details of a proposed development. Once approved, an agreement cannot be altered without the mutual approval of both the municipality and developer.
  • Beginning a development agreement process does not guarantee approval of any development agreement.



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This Week in Orange Politics

It'll be a busy week across Orange County this week. The Carrboro Alderfolks will discuss bicycle-friendliness and the Lloyd Farm propery mediation process, while the Chapel Hill Town Council will get an update on UNC-related development. Both school boards will review the student performance data recently released by the state, while the Hillsborough Town Board will get an update on the Colonial Inn. The county commmissioners will meet with the Mebane City Council on public transportation and the Buckhorn EDD, and will get an update on Southern Branch Library in a serperate meeting.

CHALT and the Sierra Club/Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce/WCHL will hold candidate forums for Chapel Hill candidates.

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