BOC says NO to Kost appointment of George Lucier to Environmental Review Advisory Committee; affordable housing set-aside in Briar Chapel in jeopardy; Chatham-Cary Joint Land Use Plan adopted. Summary notes June 18, 2012, Work Session and Regular Session. All present.
Click here to open the CCDP 2011 Chatham County Board of Commissioners Voting Scorecard.
Public input focused on the Chatham-Cary land use plan, some pro, others opposed because of increases in allowable density per acre close to Lake Jordan, septic problems in the soils, potential for sediment plumes washing into Lake Jordan (Amberly construction recent bad example), and the potential for Cary's weaker buffer rules to be used when a developer receives voluntary annexation into Cary.
(1) Chatham-Cary Joint Land Use Plan. Adopted, 3 to 2 (Cross and Kost voted no). This document and 18th map version has one mixed-use residential/commercial node on Lewter Shop, and increases residential densities. The very low density sections will now allow one dwelling per acre, instead of one dwelling per two-to-three acres. The land use plan allows 4 dwellings per acre in the medium density areas, across from Amberly. Kost pointed out several problems with the plan, including topographical problems with the mixed use node not being close to a transportation corridor, non-specification of stream buffers, and the fact that Chatham did not provide design guidelines in the plan for implementation. Petty said vague was good since Cary might have different definitions. Kost asked (again) that the two Commissioners most affected by this plan, Cross and Kost, to be appointed as members of this Chatham-Cary committee. Bock did not respond. Kost commented this is a 5-year Interlocal Agreement and her preference would be special legislation. Staff reported the County's attorney said the County has the authority to create the Interlocal Agreement.
(2) Contraction of Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. BOC discussion about the committee mission and the BOC role. Bock asked if the County should provide single-family housing "to everyone in their neighborhood of choice" or should the County be focused on homelessness. Cross said Chatham got into Affordable Housing because of the Briar Chapel development and also received an Oak Trust Foundation grant of $750,000. The grant money was spent out with Habitat for Humanity and helped build 214 homes throughout the county. The housing market has changed since Briar Chapel made the lots available and few developers want to build any units. Bock said that he wants to change the Compact Communities Ordinance to take the $1.1 million offered from Briar Chapel in lieu of the set-aside lots. Cross suggested the new director of Habitat for Humanity speak to the BOC and perhaps work out a new model. Bock said he would like to invest the money in root causes of homelessness rather than owner-occupied housing. Bock lives in Briar Chapel.
Public input focused on hurrahs for the BOC and protection of land owners; comments in support of George Lucier's nomination for appointment to Environmental Review Advisory Committee, and one against.
(1) FY2012-2013 Budget. Adopted 4 to 1 (Kost voted no). Staff made all final changes and added $133,000 from fund balance. Kost mentioned the provisions she objected to in this budget: no raise for non-teaching school staff (janitors, bus drivers, lunchroom, etc.) when $10,000 more could have accommodated everyone in the school system; not providing $34,000 to Arts Incubator in Siler City to help bridge the lost rental revenues when the Community College's pottery course was discontinued the problem with placing arts with other non-profits in the funding competition instead of retaining a place for arts funding under the Economic Development Corporation; delaying construction of the Northeast High School another year; and her suggestion that the Budget office's approach tends to overestimate expenses. Property tax rate remains the same.
(2) Appointment of Dr. George Lucier to Environmental Review Committee. Denied, 3 to 2 (Kost, Cross). Bock's reason: On the "principle that he (Lucier) did not want to protect property rights," which is why Bock ran for office. Further, Bock can't put someone in a "position" to take land, such as the buffers on the American Tobacco Trail [found out later than Bock totally misrepresented this item]. He said a major corridor ordinance could have "thousands of acres that would move to government control from individual property rights" if Lucier were in this position! George Lucier was not his guy. The other two echoed same. Kost had provided Lucier's qualifications, 34-page curriculum vitae, 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles, toxicologist, person who can work with others, a scientist, and ended by reminding Bock this is an Advisory Committee only. For the second time this year, the Republican majority has DENIED a Commissioner's nomination for appointment to a committee.
Reported by Diana Hales
Quote this article on your site
To create link towards this article on your website,
copy and paste the text below in your page.