Monday, March 23, 2009

Week in Review 3/16/09 - 3/22/09

This week I had the pleasure of serving on the artist selection panel for the proposed Walker Street Extension Project. The panel reviewed artwork from nearly twenty different artists before narrowing the field to three finalists and two alternates. The panel will now conduct interviews before making it’s final decision. While I am ok with the artists selected, and really glad that few weren’t, my favorites unfortunately didn’t make the cut. I know, you’re surprised. ;-)

Thursday evening was our Planning and Development Committee meeting. Notable items of discussion included consideration of a request to amend the Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Habitat for Humanity funding, and consideration of a resolution supporting the Jordan Lake Nutrient Strategy Rules.

Citizens in the Silver Oaks community petitioned the town to change Winfair Drive’s Roadway designation from collector to residential over concerns pertaining to a proposed development in their community. The committee unanimously voted to deny the request because a residential designation would in no way impact the proposed development as some residents have been led to believe, and could even have some unintended consequences. For example, residential streets allow for more curb cuts and driveways than a collector. Townhomes could be constructed on Winfair with driveways every 30 feet – something the majority of residents have made clear they do not want. We also had concerns over setting a precedent throughout town, and giving residents false hopes.

Habitat for Humanity has experienced cost overruns on their Waldo St. and Falcone Pointe projects. They claim part of the reason is due to NCDOT and Town of Cary development requirements and fees and requested a reallocation of previously approved funds to cover these overruns. Habitat also discovered that their proposed Chatham Pointe project is not financially feasible either….after the town awarded them $261,265.00 for it back in November. Habitat instead requested approval to use those funds to buy six lots on Brandywine instead.

Now most folks who build in Cary – on their own dime anyways – are able to calculate the cost of their development – including fees – pretty accurately. When you are using taxpayer money you better get it right. 0 for the last 3 is unacceptable to me. I reluctantly supported the reallocation of funds for the two projects already under construction, but did not support their request to use $261, 265.00 previously approved for the Chatham Pointe project to buy the lots on Brandywine, and I instead voted to return that money back to the town’s general fund.

We also approved a resolution in support of the Jordan Lake Nutrient Strategy Rules. Council received concerns from citizens regarding the retrofit language in the resolution. They preferred a resolution that simply states the Town of Cary supports the rules in their entirety. I can’t say I disagree. The town’s concern however is that should the legislature struggle with the retrofit portion of the rules (as we believe they will), the legislature might not accept any of the rules. We all agree that the Jordan Lake Nutrient Strategy Rules are critical to protecting our water supply. If the legislature won’t pass all of the rules, then let’s get as many protections in place as we can now and work to educate the general assembly in the meantime.

Sunday (today) I met with a citizen regarding a drainage/flooding issue to better understand their concerns before discussing the matter with our town staff, and afterwards I attended the Cary Cup Table Tennis Championships at Bond Park. The Cary Cup has grown to become one of the nation’s three largest table tennis tournaments featuring athletes from around the globe. Having never seen a table tennis tournament before I didn’t really know what to expect. I have to say it was one of the most intense and entertaining sporting events I have witnessed in quite some time – very impressive. Thanks to Mike Babuin and everyone at the Cary Table Tennis Association for all their hard work and dedication, and congratulations on such a successful tournament.

That's my week in review - thanks for reading!