While on the planning Board I voted NO to the following projects (2020 through 2022).
They consist of:
Averette Rd (Rosedale)
Wake Prep (School)
Kitchens Farms (additional units)
Traditions Grande Care Facility
Ligon Mill Apartment Rezoning
Wake Union Church Rd
South White St Townhome
Reserve at Dunn Creek
By my count over 3,000 units voted no to.
We should expect better.
Well, through discussions with Town Manager Kip Padgett, it appears the Town will be taking on themselves some critical intersection improvements in and along Capital Boulevard as a direct result of the elected officials growth decisions and DOT’s lack of funding.
That cost burden will fall directly into the laps of property owners in the Town in one form or another.
How, specifically, the extent of these improvements will be paid is to be determined, let alone the costs which are being put together currently. Voters did approve Question #1 of the 2022 Bond referendum last year to the tune of $23.7 million. You can see that potential ‘opportunity’ to be flexible with this course of action, here. https://shorturl.at/lxKS6I
To say the Town has been left no choice, is an understatement.
Providing the fundamental government duty of protecting and serving is at stake.
Longer queuing lanes for vehicular stacking, and longer deceleration lanes for turns at intersections, are Band-Aid remedies that will improve safety as traffic volumes explode due to the influx of muti-family developments. I believe less alternative lanes (think straight and right turns) is also an opportunity. One such example is the Burlington Mills Road at Capital intersection.
There you have two dedicated left turn lanes to Capital southbound, and one straight/right lane. The straight option from Burlington Mills Road is to enter into the Ford dealership. Just one vehicle at that very long light can dramatically affect functionality of northbound Capital travelers for instance.
The observations and suggestions noted here involve right-of-way acquisition, even at some newly created intersections (like 98/S Franklin St) and quite frankly if this involves the use of eminent domain to acquire, at this point, so be it. Planning matters, and this type of action today is in the public interest for serving and protecting our community.
Probably the most asked question, and the simple answer is that I feel 'called to service'. Working for the Town that my family resides in is a dream opportunity for me as a planner.
My particular work experience in Land and Town Planning certainly has reinforced that notion over time and the adage of 'Good, Better, Best' is near and dear to my heart.
With my specific experiences on the Planning Board (2020 through 2022) & love of community, I feel well prepared for this next step, no matter what turns that step takes.
A threshold moment in the decision to run stemmed from the current elected officials decisions to approve three multi-family (for rent) developments adjacent to three of the worst intersections in the Town. Most notably SP-22-36, Burlington Mills Road Residential.
I hear this question, and cringe at times myself.
Ewww comes to mind, and I guess the polarization and divisiveness now seen in politics really has awoken me to the challenges political idealization has become.
I hope to slice through that for the betterment of our Town.
I'd like to challenge those premonitions, and preconceived notions of polarization in a way where wisdom (through experience) and pragmatism (through practice) can overcome whatever inherent differences political ideologies each of evolve to.
We are talking about a diverse community that seeks a quality of life to be envied and that goes for all. How to get there is not through the lens of polarization, but rather, constructive action to maintain and possibly enhance the community together for future generations.
WE HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAN MEETS THE EYE WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS. THIS I SEE QUITE OFTEN AS I HAVE GONE DOOR TO DOOR FOR THIS ELECTION.
I believe now more than ever; context matters when it comes to evaluating development proposals.
I believe alot of the decision making processes when it comes to re-zoning properties (and oftentimes an increase in density as a result) comes down to this context.
Context with the impacts to the existing community, context with the integration (or lack thereof), and context with regards to the Town's visions.
There seems to be a relative sense of urgency that the Town's vision for the future is in the NOW, and that's not necessarily the best possible product or outcome for a Town that has grown so rapidly.
We as a Town, should expect more from the development community and ingenuity is one such option.
Growth at all costs, is well, COSTLY.
Simply put, these cases involve asking for the existing zoning to change to suit the developers ideal proposed land use and the goal during the approval process is to JUDGE the merits of what the proposal is asking for.
The key construct is asking, and more times than not this asking process is doing its fair best to account for the specific visions that the Town may have for this geographic area in the future.
The most pertinent document these days is the TOWF's recently adopted Community Plan.
The dilemma that seems to have cropped up over time is the sense of urgency these development proposals have had with fitting into these visions of the future, while telling the story that that future is NOW.
I believe this is where there seems to be a disconnect at times with the public at large (quality of life being most pertinent) and the elected officials.
What is good for the Town isn't always good for its constituents in the NOW and those considerations can become very critical to the nature of a community to be proud of. Judging these projects in the context of time would go a long way towards what has appeared to be an endless stream of approved rezoning cases.
QJ cases are a different animal altogether. They are re-zoning cases too, with a whole other set of criteria. In legislative cases the approval process is through judging, the merits.
In these, the onus lies in proving (applicant) or disproving (challenging party) a predetermined set of criteria (4) that essentially involve the adequacy of services available to support the proposed development. The burden of proof of adequacy falls on the development team, and the challengers in these particular cases bear the burden to disprove these findings.
The challenging party(ies) would need to work solely within the predetermined criteria (4) and provide evidence (from experts) to disprove. This is very similar to prosecution and defense trial cases, where the prosecution is the development team and the challenging parties are the defense.
Think of it in a way that the development plan in these cases, are naturally meant to be approved, and the ONLY way, by law, for these projects to be turned down, is if the challenging party (typically the public at-large) organizes and prepares in the same meaningful way as the development team, albeit for a different outcome. That requires significant organization, planning, coordination, and time, not to mention expense.
Protecting and serving. These are the basic functions of local government. I realize that the motto of the police is to protect and serve as, this was coined back in the 1950s. In the context I am attempting to explain, the rapid growth of the Town produces many foreseen and unforeseen challenges.
For instance, the Town has spent the last four years unsuccessfully attempting to find land for future Fire Station #6, to serve the eastern growth area.
EMS (ambulatory services) also comes to mind right away as an aspect of service that has had trouble meeting the growing service needs of the community. From what I understand, this is run at the County level, and may fall outside of the Town's direct responsibilities, but has a priority all to its own to meet the substantial growth of dwelling units in the Town.
From a recreational standpoint, the steep growth in population will require an increasingly steady growth of recreational outlets for the Town, as observed by the rapid popularity of Pickleball, for instance. A growing sport that is accessible to all age groups, as you can observe at Flaherty Park any afternoon or evening or at Joyner Community Center for that matter.