Can SouthPark Retain Its Chill?

By David Mildenberg, Develop CLT

Despite its glitzy appearance and abundant construction, the SouthPark neighborhood faces significant challenges because of its  disconnected design and an inability to widen existing roads connecting it to downtown, says Craig Lewis, a principal in Charlotte with the Stantec consulting company.

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Charlotte NAIOP Members Advocate for Commercial Real Estate Issues on Capitol Hill

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Members of NAIOP North Carolina meet last month with Senator Thom Tillis on Capitol Hill.

Members of the Charlotte Chapter of NAIOP recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress about issues critical to North Carolina’s commercial real estate industry. The Capitol Hill visits were part of NAIOP’s annual Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat, and gave Charlotte developers a chance to advocate on a range of topics, including:

  • Preventing the taxation of Carried Interest compensation at ordinary income rates;
  • Advocating for increased federal investment in our national infrastructure, including roads, ports and bridges; and,
  • Voicing opposition to the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, which would increase development costs and reduce the value of private property; and,
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Members of Charlotte’s NAIOP Chapter meet last moth with Congressman Mick Mulvaney (S.C.) in his Capitol Hill office.

During the course of the day, NAIOP members met with Senators Thom Tillis  and Richard Burr, and congressmen Robert Pittenger and Mick Mulvaney. We also met with the Chief of Staff for Congressman Richard Hudson, who was regrettably under the weather on the day of our Hill visit.

Thanks to Charlotte NAIOP members Jim Gamble (Bohler Engineering), Jason Moore (Rodgers Builders), Chris Thomas (Childress-Klein), Barry Leasure (Greer Walker, LLP), Sherrie Chaffin (Trinity Development), Scott Harris (Choate Construction) and Brendan Pierce (Keith Corporation) for taking time out of their busy schedules to make the trip to Washington!

Charlotte City Council Approves Changes to PCCO Mitigation Fee Program

The Charlotte City Council last week voted unanimously to approve revisions to the Post-Construction Storm Water Ordinance (PCCO), making permanent the citywide Mitigation Fee program supported by REBIC and other real estate industry groups.

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York County Contemplates Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance

York County LogoEarlier this week, the York County Council discussed the potential for drafting an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), which would put a freeze on any new development in areas where public infrastructure capacity was deemed to be insufficient to accommodate new growth.

This week’s discussion follows a January 19th meeting of the Council’s Transportation Committee, where members raised concerns about how the County would prioritize and pay for badly needed transportation infrastructure. Planning Staff was asked to research the development of an APFO and provide a presentation to the full Council. The memo outlining their research was distributed at Monday night’s meeting.

The Council appeared divided this week on whether to move forward with an APFO, but all appeared to favor the development of a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), to identify an improvement schedule and potential funding sources.  But while the APFO appears to be stalled for now, but could come back at any time for further action.  Following the discussion, it was determined a CIP would be developed in conjunction with the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget.

The drafting of an APFO would likely be accompanied by a temporary residential building moratorium in parts of fast-growing York County, and both proposals were fiercely opposed Monday night by representatives from REBIC and the York County HBA, who spoke at the hearing.

REBIC will continue to track these issues and work with decision makers to find solutions to some of the challenges facing York County.

Huntersville Approves Changes to Residential Design Standards

The Huntersville Board of Commissioners last night voted 5-1 to approve a series of changes to the Town’s residential aesthetic requirements, bringing the zoning code toward full compliance with state law.

The Board approved a modified proposal agreed upon by REBIC and Town planners that eliminates a garage setback mandate and further reduces requirements for the construction of alleys in single-family neighborhoods. Dan Boone, the one dissenting commissioner, argued that the changes would negatively impact the town’s community aesthetics, and expressed disappointment with the law passed last year by the General Assembly.

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City Discussing Proposal to Eliminate Multifamily Trash Collection 

The City of Charlotte held a public forum last week to discuss a proposal to eliminate the provision of trash service for residents of multi-family communities starting later this year. City staff began considering this following the release of a  consultant’s report in March of 2013, and estimates that eliminating multifamily pickup will result in an annual savings of about $3.5 million. They also point out that many cities already fail to offer this service.

The apartment residents and condominium owners in attendance, however, voiced their opposition to this proposal, calling it discriminatory and patently unfair. Some pointed out that single-family homeowners are already seeing  already have the cost of their trash pickup highly subsidized. Currently, it costs the City about $186 annually to collect trash at each single-family residence, and owners pay an annual fee of $25.  For multi-family units (rented or owned) it costs the City about $55 per year, and the fee per unit is also $25.

At the February 1st meeting of City Council’s Environment Committee, the proposal seemed to garner support with committee members, who referred it to the Budget Committee for further consideration.  Since that time there has been increased grumbling from residents who would be affected by the measure.

Last week’s meeting was an opportunity for citizens to ask questions and air concerns.  During the course of the event, many questions were raised, but few were answered.  Members of the staff collected all inquiries and intends to provide a written response that should be posted by this Friday, March 4th.  After it becomes available, we will follow up with a link to the information.

A second community forum on this issue is scheduled for 11:00 am on Friday, March 11th, in Room 267 of the Government Center, 700 East 4th Street. 

York County Mulling Residential Development Moratorium

The York County Council is mulling an unspecified moratorium on new residential development, and could begin taking steps toward that end at its next regular meeting on Monday, March 7th. 

Members of the Council asked planning staff earlier this year to explore the development of an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO), as well as an ordinance to require developers to install private streets in all new neighborhoods. An APFO, which is legal in South Carolina under most circumstances, would prevent any new development from being approved before the necessary public infrastructure (roads, schools, public safety, etc.) was in place to support it. Continue reading