Saturday, September 17, 2016

My thoughts on HB2 and Charlotte

Cary has been in the news a lot over the last week. Unfortunately it hasn’t been good news. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely heard about the NCAA’s decision to eliminate seven championship games from North Carolina in protest of HB2. The majority of these events were to be held in Cary.

Cary is – or was – an NCAA Championship City and has hosted 24 NCAA Championship tournaments since 2003 generating millions in economic impact to our town and the region. But truth be told, we’d probably host these events regardless of the economic impact – it’s what we do and who we are. Amateur sports has always been a big part of Cary.

I always looked forward to hearing from student athletes and their families regarding their experiences here in Cary. Win or lose, they always had wonderful things to say about their visit and Cary’s hospitality. Families of student athletes from many of our area universities also appreciated having the tournaments so close to home so that the whole family could participate.

At present, it appears that Cary’s chances of hosting any future NCAA tournament events is slim at best.

Student athletes, their families and our community is paying the price for something they had absolutely nothing to do with. This stinks.

So how did we get here?

House Bill 2 (HB2) was a direct response to the City of Charlotte’s “Bathroom Bill”. It is bad legislation in response to bad legislation.

Little has been reported about what exactly the City of Charlotte’s law actually did. In my opinion, Charlotte’s ordinance was a solution in search of a problem as I honestly have no idea what actual problem Charlotte was trying to solve.
Most people think that Charlotte’s ordinance simply allowed transgender people to use the restroom, locker and shower facilities of the gender they identify with.

Yes and no.

First off – and this is important if you believe in separation of powers – Charlotte knowingly exceeded their constitutional authority when they passed their ordinance. Cities are creatures of the state and only allowed to do that which the state allows them to do. The regulation of anti-discriminatory laws are a state and federal responsibility, not a municipal one. Charlotte ignored repeated warnings by the state and passed their ordinance anyway.

Charlotte’s ordinance allowed transgender folks to use the restroom, locker room and shower facilities of the gender they identify with and required that private businesses provide accommodations. But the manner in which the law was written allowed anyone who “identified” or “expressed” themselves as the opposite sex the “right” to use restroom, locker room and shower facilities of the opposite sex. The latter is what concerns people – including me.

Now no one is afraid of the legit transgender and why would they be? No transgender has ever raped, assaulted or spied on anyone in a restroom that I am aware of. I actually know a few – they are good people. And quite frankly nor do I think most guys would care if a woman came in the men’s room either. But unfortunately we do live in a world where evil exists and we have a lot of sick people out there who might feel empowered by this law to dress up like a woman and go hang out in the ladies room knowing they would have legally protected access.

Yes, we already have laws against assault, rape and voyeurism; and yes, people could disguise themselves and enter restroom facilities of the opposite sex regardless of Charlotte’s ordinance. But unless one could demonstrate illegal activity, they would have every right to be there under Charlotte’s ordinance.

The bottom line is that people have a right to privacy and security in bathroom, locker room and shower facilities.

Now the NCGA basically had two choices to respond to Charlotte’s ordinance. They could sue them which would take years and cost a fortune – especially considering we haven’t really had an Attorney General for quite some time - or they could convene a special session and handle the matter themselves… or so they thought.

Now I’m no lawyer, but what I still don’t understand is why the General Assembly couldn’t have simply legislated Charlotte’s ordinance out of existence, clarified any and all anti-discriminatory matters to be a state issue and gone home. Heck, they take away our municipal authority all of the time – why was this any different? But that would have been too simple I guess. I mean, these are politicians we’re talking about.

HB2 actually does allow transgender individuals to use the restroom facilities of the gender they identify with….. IF they changed their birth certificate to reflect their new gender. Ya, like that’s not difficult or anything. Driver’s licenses could have been a bit more reasonable but still….

And if a non-transgender is found in the wrong restroom for the wrong reasons, what exactly is the punishment? Why is there no penalty associated with HB2? Or are they leaving it up to the folks that caught the sick bastard(s) to drag him out and beat the crap out of him? I mean, if that’s the case I’m cool with that, just don’t punish the good guys when it happens.

One can make the argument that HB2 discriminates against the transgender community. But contrary to what many folks believe, nothing in HB2 specifically discriminates against the gay community. HB2 is actually all-inclusive in its discrimination as it eliminates every North Carolina citizen’s rights to sue for discrimination in state court. I have yet to hear one legitimate argument as to how this benefits North Carolina citizens.

And the NCGA couldn’t stop there. They also included legislation prohibiting municipalities from setting their own minimum wage levels - which isn’t really a bad idea as this should be a statewide standard, but they felt the need to include this in anti-discriminatory/discriminatory legislation? Really?

This is the kind of crap that happens when lawmakers craft complicated legislation in such a short period of time without citizen input and adequate study. Sadly Republicans and Democrats were actually working on a compromise a couple of months ago until a certain candidate for Governor killed that idea. Nice.

So what should be done?

“IF” Charlotte and the NCGA genuinely care about the impact that this is having on our state, BOTH Charlotte and the NCGA should agree to eliminate BOTH laws, start over and work together to come up with something that both sides can be satisfied with and works for our state.

Personally I’d like to see both laws eliminated and be done with it. Like I said earlier, I’m not sure what problem they are trying to solve, or if government should even be a part of the solution.

In the meantime I am sure that both sides will continue to use this issue as a political football further degrading our great state and reputation in the hopes of winning a political campaign or two and everyone else will continue to suffer for it. Oh how I long for the days when grown-ups were in charge…

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FY17 Town Budget

After three budget worksessions and two public hearings the council unanimously approved the Town of Cary’s FY17 Budget at our council meeting this past Monday. The budget totals $319 Million - the operating budget totals $227.8 Million and the capital budget is $91.4 million.

Some of the budget highlights include:
  •          Cary’s property tax rate will decrease 2 cents to 35 cents per $100 of valuation to remain revenue neutral after the Wake County property revaluation. Cary’s tax rate remains the lowest in Wake County by an even wider margin than before.
  •          No increase in fees for Cary garbage, recycling and yard waste fees
  •          Water and sewer rates will increase 3.8% to continue to cover the costs associated with the state mandated Western Wake Water Reclamation Facility and other utility capital requirements.
  •          Construction of Cary Fire Station #9 – Walnut Street
  •          Construction of restrooms at MacDonald Woods Park
  •          Master planning for phase 2 of the Downtown Park and Morris Branch Park
  •          25 new positions to include police, emergency communications, yard waste and recycling crews and technology services personnel. This will bring the total number of town employees to 1254 or roughly 8.1 staff members per 1000 residents – one of the lowest ratios in the state and southeast. Cary continues to do more with less.
  •          $3.25 Million for traffic and intersection improvements
  •          $5.9 Million in street resurfacing projects 
  •         Completion of the White Oak Greenway
  •          Downtown Parking Deck
  •          $5 million to upgrade aging water lines
  •          Thermal imaging cameras and a new pumper truck for the fire department

While I was generally pleased with this year’s budget, as always there simply wasn’t enough money to do everything our citizens would like us to do and we had to make some difficult decisions. One decision that was particularly difficult was having to choose between Morris Branch Park and Cameron Pond Park. The council selected Morris Branch due to staff analysis that it would serve more citizens at a lower cost. This of course did not go over well with supporters of Cameron Pond Park. Had we selected Cameron Pond Park instead, I am sure that supporters of Morris Branch Park would have been just as upset.

Morris Branch/Cameron Pond Park Locations
I don’t want to make any promises but the council has discussed a possible bond referendum in 2018 that could include Cameron Pond Park along with a host of other projects. Stay tuned.

We also discussed possible projects for the FY18 budget to help town staff better prepare as they begin planning for next year’s budget process….which pretty much started the day after we approved this year’s budget.

One in particular project that drew a lot of discussion was the proposed road widening and sidewalk construction along Reedy Creek Road. Sidewalks are desperately needed along Reedy Creek Road especially given the middle and elementary schools. Other council members however preferred prioritizing road improvements and sidewalks along Louis Stephens Road instead as that road also has an elementary school. At my suggestion we reached a compromise and agreed to forego the road widening on both roads and construct sidewalks on both Reedy Creek and Louis Stephens Roads. Neither road is in need of road widening yet but both need sidewalks now. I am very pleased with how well we work together as a council to work toward solutions that everyone can be satisfied with.

I want to thank Interim Town Manager Mike Bajorek, Budget Director Karl Knapp, Department Directors, and everyone in the budget office for all their hard work to craft a fiscally responsible and balanced budget. I also want to thank all of our citizens who reached out to us to let us know what was important to you. We received more citizen input regarding this year’s budget than ever before. Government works best when citizens are part of the process.
If you would like to learn more about the Town of Cary’s FY17 budget, you can do so by clicking here .

Friday, May 27, 2016

Town Manager, Publix and Downtown

Town Manager

After a nearly nine month long process that included over 80 applicants from all over the country we finally have a new Town Manager. The council unanimously selected Mr. Sean Stegall who comes to us from Elgin Illinois where he has served as their city manager since 2009.

Mr. Stegall’s first official day on the job will be August 4th, but he will visit a few times prior to that to better familiarize himself with the town organization, staff as well as our community….and probably try and find a new place to live ;-) His experience and success in local government, upbeat and energetic personality, and a fresh set of eyes will serve Cary well.

While this process took a lot longer than we had hoped, I believe it was worth the time and effort. Selecting a town manager is one of the most – if not the most - important decisions a council can make for their community. Get this one wrong and we will face the consequences for years to come. I am confident we made the right decision.

I want to thank Deputy and Interim Town Manager, Mike Bajorek and his staff for their hard work to keep Cary moving forward during this process. Mike is a good man and I have the utmost respect for him personally and professionally. He will play a key role in helping Mr. Stegall transition into his new position and I am confident both he and all of our town staff will do an excellent job just like they always do. Cary town staff are an amazing and dedicated group of public servants and it is an honor to work with them.

You can learn more about Mr. Sean Stegall here and here.


At our council meeting this past Thursday we approved the Lewter property rezoning (Publix) at the corner of Green Level Church Road and Carpenter Firestation Road by a vote of 6-1….oops, I mean 5-2. A second “no” vote came in a little late and caught most of us by surprise….especially since the majority of that person’s comments were positive. But I digress….

When this project first came to council I didn’t believe it would garner majority support without some significant changes. I applaud the applicant and area residents for working together to do just that. Sure, the residents didn’t get everything they wanted. Neither did the applicant. But at the end of the day they worked to craft a project that the majority of the surrounding community could support and is worlds better than the high density apartments that could have been built today.

The overwhelming majority of complaints the council receives from west Cary residents includes traffic, lack of shopping/services and school capacity. Eliminating residential development at this location helps in regards to school capacity and lack of shopping/services. And while traffic in the immediate area will increase, the number of vehicle miles traveled will decrease as area residents will not have to travel as far for goods and services as they do today.

I realize not everyone is pleased with our decision. Quite frankly I don’t think some ever would be no matter what the applicant offered. But when so many who were originally opposed to the project now support it, I am inclined to do the same.


Much of the public investment in downtown Cary over the last 8+ years has been done with the goal of incenting private investment. We are beginning to achieve that goal.

The Mid-town project along Chatham St. near Walker St. is currently under construction. Jordan Lake Brewing Company is also under construction. Bond Brothers Brewery recently finished construction and is open for business (I highly recommend their Cary Gold. Yumm…..). Crosstown Pub and Kababish CafĂ© are doing very well and a number of other businesses are either on the way or looking for sites – a few of which I really wish I could talk about but can’t….yet – sorry!

We are also experiencing record numbers in regards to home improvements/remodel permits and new home construction in and around the downtown area. Residents are now comfortable investing in their own properties since that the town has demonstrated our commitment downtown. The residential market in an around downtown is better than ever!

But “the big one”; that one development project that will really put downtown Cary on the map may soon become a reality.

Northwoods Associates has proposed a $50 million project at the corner of Chatham St and Harrison Ave that would include high density residential, office and restaurant/retail along with structured parking adjacent our downtown core. This would be a joint partnership with Northwoods Associates, The First Baptist Church and the town. The town would be a partner in the public parking component and assist with road construction and/or improvements to the tune of $5 million.

As with everything, I have heard from folks that are concerned with the proposal; some solely due to the impact on the historic Ivey Ellington House. The overwhelming majority of folks that I have spoken with however enthusiastically support it because at the end of the day they realize that we aren’t going to get the number and types of restaurants, businesses or employment centers we are looking for without an increase in density. They also understand that we aren’t going to see property values increase to a point that incents owner occupied housing vs rental in our surrounding neighborhoods unless downtown continues to redevelop and becomes a destination.

In regards to the Ivey Ellington House, I support relocating the home to another site where it can be restored and utilized either as a private business, home or possible town amenity. Academy Street, Park Street or maybe even the downtown park are some places that come to my mind.

A few others – to include a council member - have expressed some concern with the “look” of the proposal. I would caution against judging the appearance at this time as what has been illustrated thus far is purely conceptual in nature and will likely change as this moves through the process. I remember a number of folks who were also critical of the first sketch of The Mayton Inn and look at it now – gorgeous. Ya, the road is still a mess. As someone who drives through it multiple times a day I am as sick of it as most of you. Thank you again for your patience.

We have a number of beautiful and established single family neighborhoods in and around downtown. We have no intention of changing that; in fact it is just the opposite, we intend to protect those neighborhoods. But those neighborhoods alone are not enough to support increased business development and growth we hope to achieve downtown. So again, we need some density where appropriate.

Exciting things are happening in downtown Cary, and if all goes as planned, this project will be the first of many significant investments to come.

Well that's about all for now. As always thanks for reading!

Friday, February 26, 2016

February 2016 Worksession, Council Meeting and Town Clerk

On Tuesday the council held a worksession to discuss a number of items - half of which we never even got to as time ran out. It never ceases to amaze me how some things that seem so simple become so complex and vice-versa.

On the agenda was a review of quasi-judicial proceedings, consideration and discussion on a number of Imagine Cary chapters, and the impact of House Bill 44 on development adjacent to stream buffers.

House Bill 44 is entitled “AN ACT TO REFORM VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF THE LAW RELATED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT” was approved and became law on September 23, 2015.

This law sucks.

Some of the “reforms” in this law include:

§ 143-214-23A.  Limitations on local government riparian buffer requirements.
(e)     Cities and counties shall not treat the land within a riparian buffer area as if the land is the property of the State or any of its subdivisions unless the land or an interest therein has been acquired by the State or its subdivisions by a conveyance or by eminent domain.  Land within a riparian buffer area in which neither the State nor its subdivisions holds any property interest may be used by the property owner to satisfy any other development-related regulatory requirements based on property size, including, but not limited to, residential density and nonresidential intensity calculations and yields, tree conservation purposes, open space or conservation area requirements, setbacks, perimeter buffers, and lot area requirements.

(f)      When riparian buffer requirements are included within a lot, cities and counties shall require that riparian buffer area be shown on the recorded plat.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require that the riparian buffer area be surveyed.  When riparian buffer requirements are placed outside of lots in portions of a subdivision that are designed as common areas or open space and neither the State nor its subdivisions holds any property interest in that riparian buffer area, the local governments shall attribute to each lot abutting the riparian buffer area a proportionate share based on the area of all lots abutting the riparian buffer area for purposes of development-related regulatory requirements based on property size, including, but not limited to, residential density and nonresidential density calculations and nonresidential intensity calculations and yields, tree conservation purposes, open space or conservation area requirements, setbacks, perimeter buffers, and lot area requirements.

What all of that gobbledegook means is that for individual lots platted adjacent to a stream buffer, the area within the stream buffer must be treated as part of the lot for the purpose of determining compliance with lot size, setback and perimeter buffer requirements, and there isn’t anything Cary or any other municipality in North Carolina can do about it.

So if you’re a fan of development occurring closer to buffers, smaller lot sizes, increased storm water runoff and reduced environmental protections, you’ll love this new law. I don’t.

The council also had a refresher course on quasi-judicial hearings with Town Attorneys. The Council holds quasi-judicial hearings primarily for special use permits and certain subdivision and site plan applications – typically when minor modifications to town code is requested. In a quasi-judicial hearing, the council acts as judge and jury during deliberations. The council can only consider factual testimony from “experts” in our decision making process. Applicants and attorneys present their case and both sides can be cross-examined much like in a court of law. I believe the refresher was helpful both for existing council members and especially our newest council member, Ken George who hasn’t had much experience with the quasi-judicial process.

The council also discussed the proposed Green Level Special Planning Area and the types of development and uses we would like to see occur this area. We unfortunately did not have time to discuss the Carpenter Special Planning Area or the Shape Downtown Chapter – that will occur at a future worksession.

Town Clerk

I am pleased to announce that after a nation-wide search - of which there was 119 applicants, the council unanimously selected Virginia Johnson to serve as Cary’s Town Clerk.

The Town Clerk is responsible for giving notice of Council meetings; preparing the Council agenda; recording Council proceedings; serving as custodian of permanent Town records; keeping the Town Seal, attesting all Town documents; maintaining the Town Code; managing the citizen advisory boards and commissions; administering Hillcrest Cemetery; and providing support services to the Town Council. Staff includes the town clerk, the deputy town clerk and two administrative assistants. This position is only one of three that the council is directly responsible for hiring - the others being the Town Manager and the Town Attorney.

Virginia – or Ginny as she is known to most everyone – has served as our interim town clerk for the past couple of months as we went through the selection process and has done a phenomenal job. We are all confident that she will do Cary proud!
Ginny and her family with council members after her swearing in.
On Wednesday I taped the March edition of CaryMatters with Councilmember Jennifer Robinson. The topics of discussion were infill and redevelopment and the Eastern Cary Gateway Plan which is the area around Cary Town Center Mall to I-40. You’ll have to watch the episode if you want to know more!

Council Meeting

Notable items from our council meeting this past Thursday include consideration of the comprehensive plan amendment for the Lewter property (the intersection of Carpenter Firestation Road and Green Level Church Road) and a rezoning on High House Road for 10 single family homes.

The Lewter property is where an applicant has proposed a Publix grocery store on land that is currently designated as medium/high density residential.

There has been a lot of confusion on what exactly the council was voting on. The only thing before us was consideration of a request to amend the comprehensive plan from medium/high density residential to medium density residential and/or commercial and to include the property in the Cary Park Mixed-Use Community Activity Center. The council was not considering the rezoning or approving any specific site plan. That will be considered at a future meeting.

Also note that the council does not consider the specific business(s) proposed during the comprehensive plan amendment process – only the type of use. Businesses come and go and plans can fall through. Sometimes applicants obtain entitlements and then flip the property to another buyer.

In its simplest form, the question before council was, “do we believe that medium density residential and/or commercial uses to be a better use for this site than medium/high density residential?”

Given the amount and intensity of residential development in the area versus commercial, the answer for me – and 5 of my council colleagues – was “yes”.

That does not however mean that we support the current site plan that has been presented to area residents thus far. I think we all are looking for something better than your typical shopping center - we are looking for something that creates a sense of place, promotes walkability and better protects adjacent residents.

Adding the property into the activity center is also a huge benefit to area residents as the required zoning would now be MXD (mixed use). MXD zoning requires the applicant to include a preliminary development plan (general site plan layout) which also becomes a zoning condition. It raises the bar in regards to gaining council approval as we get to see their site layout prior to approving or denying their request. If we don’t like what we see, we can simply say “no”. It also gives area residents a greater voice in the process.

Without the requirement of a preliminary development plan – as exists today – and as long as the applicant met Cary’s land development ordinance, the applicant could build high density apartments and there is absolutely nothing that area residents or the council could do to stop it.

There is still a lot of work to be done on this and I am optimistic that the applicant and citizens can work together to craft something both sides can be satisfied with.

The High House Road rezoning in itself wasn’t that controversial as it is only ten homes. The rub however is that a few other properties along High House have been approved for development – none of which met the threshold to trigger a traffic study. Had they all been considered at the same time however, it would have triggered a traffic study and possible transportation improvements.

The town is limited in what we can and cannot do by state law and NCDOT. Please know that council members are already meeting with area representatives and town staff, and will be meeting soon with NCDOT to see what solutions might be available to resolve resident concerns and improve traffic safety and movement.

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, February 1, 2016


This past weekend the council and town staff traveled to Greensboro, North Cackalacky for our annual council/staff retreat. The main focus of the retreat was on infill development and redevelopment.

Redevelopment is exactly what it says – the redevelopment of existing development to include the demolition of old buildings to make way for new construction, or the repurposing of older structures into new uses.

Infill development is the development of vacant land that is surrounded by existing development.

Infill and redevelopment is, and will continue to become more of an issue in Cary as there isn’t much undeveloped land left available for new development (roughly 15%) and as older development ages out (Cary Town Center Mall for example).

While Greensboro and Cary are very different cities, Greensboro has experience dealing with many of the challenges of redevelopment and infill development, and provided a good example for us to learn from. What did they do right? What went wrong? What would they do differently if given the opportunity?

We began the retreat with a session to better familiarize ourselves with planning updates in the Triangle region. We first heard from Mr. Lee Worsley, Executive Director of the Triangle J Council of Governments about how communities can better work together to achieve their goals. Mr. Bob Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation spoke about Research Triangle Park’s plans for a mixed use development project at the park. And after that we reviewed the land use plans of other Triangle communities and adjoining jurisdictions to not only better understand their plans are, but also how that might impact what we do here in Cary.

We then visited Center Pointe, a redevelopment project in downtown Greensboro that used to be the home of Wachovia Bank. It is a 17 story building that had sat vacant for a number of years and was falling into disrepair. The building was ultimately redeveloped into luxury condos and has become a huge success story for downtown Greensboro. The first floor of the building also includes a restaurant. This was a very impressive project, and while Cary thankfully does not have any abandoned 17 story buildings, we do have a number of empty shopping centers and buildings that we are concerned about. Center Point was a good example of how a city and a developer working together could achieve something remarkable.

The building also provided a great look at Greensboro’s new downtown library which has a parking deck adjacent to their new Downtown Park and arts center. Sound familiar? ;-)

After our visit to Center Pointe we heard from Greensboro’s Planning Director, Mrs. Sue Schwartz, about their efforts to amend their development ordinances, policies and procedures to better incent redevelopment and infill development in and around Greensboro’s downtown area, and how they worked to manage a number of challenges to include inadequate infrastructure, community opposition/cultural tension and the economic viability of such projects.
Some of the key takeaways include:

·         Growing inward is harder than growing outward as the development of greenfield sites is much easier than redevelopment of existing properties. Ordinances and policies must be different for redevelopment vs new development.
·         Change can be very uncomfortable for folks.
·         Public/Private partnerships are an important part of redevelopment.
·         Historic preservation is also important – you don’t have to knock every building down to accomplish something great.

The following day began with a bus/walking tour of downtown Greensboro to see firsthand and learn more about many of their redevelopment and infill projects. I was impressed at how well they blended into their surrounding communities – you wouldn’t have guessed it was new development.

Now the fun part, right Ed? ;-)

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel for a hands-on exercise with our staff. Each council member was teamed up with a few staff members and were given a large aerial photo of an actual 18 acre site in Cary that we would like to see redevelop one day….. and Legos…..yes, Legos.

The Legos represented different types of development, and each Lego block represented 2500 sq ft. Red blocks were commercial, blue was office, orange was multi-family and so on… Each council member then redeveloped their site by placing the different color Legos where they thought they were best suited on the site. We also had to account for things like road access, parking requirements, buffers etc…

Here is my development.

The orange is multi-family very similar to what we have at the Arboretum to include structured parking wrapped with residential. The yellow is townhomes with garages underneath. The red and blue blocks are commercial on the first floor with office above. The tall blue building represents a hotel or office building and the dark gray around it represents structured parking. The green is a small park and/or gathering space, and last but certainly not least, the single red buildings are a Chili’s and a Red Robin. Hey, this is my development remember? ;-)

So, ya, it needs work. I only had an hour to work with ok? And trust me, nobody’s Lego development was perfect. But the jist of this exercise wasn’t to design a perfect development – it was to better identify what is important to us, and more importantly our community, when it comes redevelopment or infill. What types of uses do we want and where? How dense are we willing to allow those uses to be? Structured parking or surface – or maybe both? Things like that.

Each council member then presented their development to the group and explained why they developed it the way they did, and then we talked about it.

It was a good discussion with few surprises - it’s not like we haven’t had similar discussions before. We prefer a mix of uses and development that creates a sense of place. We value protecting the character and charm of adjacent communities but could support increased densities where appropriate. We support transit friendly development yet understand that the car is and will continue to be the predominant means of transportation for folks. We love structured parking. We would consider public/private partnerships. We expect public gathering spaces – stuff like that.

We also understand economics. We get that in order for redevelopment to occur, it has to be economically viable. Like it or not, the reality is that if the developer can’t make a buck, he aint gonna build it; and while market forces might be beyond our control, regulatory reform isn’t.

Cary’s land development ordinance has historically applied to new, green-field development – and the overwhelming majority of Cary’s development over the last few decades has been exactly that. But if we want to encourage the redevelopment of older, underperforming sites in Cary – and we do – it will require changes to Cary’s land development ordinances to make it happen.

With the ongoing Imagine Cary process to include our recent worksession to discuss the Eastern Cary Gateway Plan, it was a very timely discussion and I look forward to seeing the work that comes of it.

Thanks so much to our town staff for all their efforts to make this year’s retreat a success and to the city of Greensboro for their hospitality. It is greatly appreciated.

2016 Town of Cary Council/Staff Retreat