Kudus to the Brunswick County commissioners for understanding that regulations HURT job creation. In a move that I’m still having trouble believing, the commissioners moved to strike numerous onerous conditions that hurt small businesses.
Proposals included relaxing some of the stringent requirements governing landscaping, lighting and parking that caused headaches for business owners trying to comply with them all.
“The main criteria was, how can we encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Jim Bradshaw, executive director of the county’s economic development commission and chairman of the committee that came up with the proposals.
“We want to make sure they can afford to start operations in our county.” One change approved at Monday’s board workshop bumps the number of parking spaces a lot must have before it needs a landscape island up from 10 to 20. Another decreases the number of trees needed as a buffer between a business and the road.
It is easy to criticize, but Brunswick County deserves praise for moving in the right direction here. One can always hope that surrounding counties (and cities) will join in!Read full article » No Comments »
The City of Wilmington is moving inexorably towards the annexation of nice additional areas using “forced annexation.” The staff has prepared a 26 page document outlining the new policy for approval by the council. Still mysterious is who is behind the desire to annex all this property. I personally spoke with city planner, Ron Satterfield. He was unable to answer that question and calls to city manager, Sterling Cheatham, have gone unanswered as have calls to Mayor Bill Saffo’s office.
Council will meet this evening at 6:30pm to consider adoption of the policy as they move forward with their proposal and soon to be annexees are understandably upset. On my show this morning, several called in with viewpoints ranging from “it doesn’t matter what we do” to “we need to get angry.” In the end it will be up to citizens to oppose this bad policy. You can read the entire proposal here.
A sample of the arrogance of the document which points out that citizen opposition is essentially ignorance:
Page 11 - For a number of reasons, many property owners frequently do not completely understand the complex issues of annexation.. . . Many residents may be less opposed to annexation if they are provided enough notice to prepare for its implications.
The city reveals a bit more of how it feels about representative government here:
One of the most important issues of many of the owners of property being considered for city initiated annexation is their perception that the process is undemocratic since the statemandated process does not include a referendum for them to vote on the proposal. Further, some property owners believe they have no representation regarding annexation. The process for annexation was adopted into law in 1959 by members of the North Carolina General Assembly, a group of decision makers that all registered voters in North Carolina elect regardless of jurisdiction or incorporation.
So, a group of folks that NONE of us voted for at a time when NC had virtually no planning and zoning in counties knew what was best for annexation now? And if you don’t get it by this point, then the following point is repeated verbatim on pages 16 and then 17:
The purpose of public input is not to facilitate local debate on the merits, morality, or legality of state annexation law since those topics are more appropriately addressed with lawmakers of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Now we kind of know how they really feel, but will citizens care?Read full article » No Comments »