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Town Manager Jamie Justice

April 12, 2016 Manager’s Report

All supporting documents for the April 12 board of commissioners’ pre-meeting and regular meeting are available here: http://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/

If you are interested in watching a video of our meetings, please visit: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/davidson-town-board-meetings. We now live stream our board meetings and work sessions, and encourage you to tune in to this link on meeting days if you are unable to attend in person. After each meeting, a video is saved to this link so you can watch when convenient to keep abreast of projects and issues.


A summary of the 4:00 p.m. pre-meeting:

  • The leaders of the Davidson Farmer’s Market (DFM) discussed their new dog policy (they prohibited dogs effective April 2016 for health and sanitation reasons) with the mayor and commissioners. The DFM will analyze the effect of their dog policy on their sales over the next six months and will discuss with the Davidson Board of Commissioners at a future meeting. Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming will be the town’s liaison to the DFM.
  • Public Works and Projects Director Doug Wright discussed the Walks & Rolls Plan, including sidepaths, greenways, and intersection improvements. Since the plan was adopted in 2013, we have completed sidewalks on Lorimer Road (from South Thompson to Pine Road), Concord Road (from Baker Drive to Grey Road), Watson Street (from Griffith Street to Delburg Street), and Jackson Street (from Main Street to Griffith Street).  This fiscal year, we will put sidewalks on Spring Street between Walnut and South Street, Armour Street (two sides), Mock Road, and Apollinaire Drive; these projects were strategically selected to benefit several neighborhoods across town. Doug will present his recommendation to fund $75K for flashing beacons at five crosswalks during the FY2016-2017 budget conversation at the April 26 meeting. NCDOT is installing flashing beacons and a pedestrian refuge area at the intersection of Apollinaire Drive and Davidson-Concord Road at no cost to the town.
  • Planning Director Jason Burdette previewed the Mecklenburg County plan review process.


photo of Civics 101 class
Our Civics 101 participants

A summary of the 6:00 p.m. board meeting:

•    The mayor read a proclamation to name May as National Bike Month. The town encourages children to walk/bike to school on May 4, and citizens are encouraged to ride bicycles to Town Day on May 7 and ride bikes to work the week of May 16-20.
•    The mayor recognized our Civics 101 course graduates and thanked them for taking the time to learn about our town government. Civics 101 will be offered again in February 2017 – look for registration information in November.
•    Members of H.O.H.T. (Helping Others Help Themselves) invited citizens and businesses to their job networking event on April 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 9820 Northcross Center Court in Huntersville.
•    Charlotte Water Director Barry Gullet gave an update on the safety of Charlotte’s water supply and reassured us that we will not have a lead issue similar to the situation in Flint, MI.

The consent agenda was approved. It included:

  • minutes from past meetings,
  • an amendment to the Davidson College noise ordinance variance, which stated that the concert originally scheduled for April 1 was moved to April 28,
  • the annexation certificate of sufficiency for Narrow Passage,
  • Resolution 2016-07: Setting a Public Hearing for Narrow Passage Annexation,
  • Directing the planning board to consider and provide a recommendation within 30 days regarding the proposed text amendments to the Davidson Planning Ordinance,
  • A budget ordinance amendment of $45,000 to pay for the addition of sleeping and living space for fire station #1,
  • Ordinance 2016-04: correcting misidentified parcels on the Planning Areas Map; these areas should be listed as “Village Infill Planning Area,”
  • The amendment to White Oak Affordable Housing Plan located in the Bradford neighborhood, and
  • Tax levy adjustments for the Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor’s Office

The commissioners voted to approve the 2016 state legislative agenda. The state’s short session starts April 25, so we felt this was a good opportunity to emphasize issues in support of Davidson and the rights of municipalities in general. 

The mayor opened up our discussion on pedestrian safety by saying:
“Pedestrian safety is an enormous priority for the Town of Davidson – we’ve been working on making infrastructure, enforcement, and education improvements for many years and continue to prioritize pedestrian safety each budget season. 
Our core values state:
- Citizens need to move easily throughout the town and region, so government will provide a variety of options, such as sidewalks, bike paths, greenways, connected streets, and transit.
- Davidson must be a safe place to live, work, and raise a family, so the town will work in partnership with the community to protect lives.
 
We experienced a terrible tragedy on Friday, April 1, when we lost one of our citizens. Janet McFadden was known to many in town, in fact the Town of Davidson employed her to care for the pets we find until we can re-home them. We should receive the results of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s crash investigation this week. Town staff have been working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the agency that controls Main Street (Hwy 115) and Concord Road (and several other roads in town), to review our options for the crossing signals at each intersection and advocate for what we think is best for our citizens’ safety.”



Photo of Doug Wright
Public Works and Projects Director Doug Wright

Public Works and Projects Director Doug Wright discussed pedestrian safety at the three intersections on Main Street: Griffith Street, Concord Road, and Chairman Blake Lane/South Street. NCDOT is going to change the signals on the three intersections that are controlled by them to be “leading pedestrian interval,” where a pedestrian would press the crosswalk signal button and traffic lights would be red for 3-10 seconds, giving the pedestrian time to “claim” the crosswalk before the traffic light changes to green. This option does not eliminate the potential for a conflict. The Davidson Board of Commissioners would like town staff to advocate for safer signal interval timing where a push of the button enables pedestrians to cross at all crosswalks simultaneously while all traffic lights for vehicles remain red. We will provide an update at a future meeting.

Davidson Public Art Commission (DPAC) member Matt Churchill presented the DPAC’s plan for public art in Davidson and their updated rules and procedures. Citizens’ priorities for art locations are: Roosevelt Wilson Park, post office plaza, Knox Court, East Rocky River Road roundabout landscaping, town green, and the Kincaid greenway. 

Planning Director Jason Burdette presented the West Branch planning map amendment and indicated that the staff analysis recommended the change to the map amendment. Planning board member Mike Minette represented their view (the planning board does not agree). The Davidson Board of Commissioners voted to approve the map amendment (with the exception of Brian Jenest who asked to be recused) and a consistency statement.

photo of Kim Fleming
Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming

Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming discussed the recommendations for the downtown catalyst study and presented five potential options to help guide the conversation, based on feedback from the past 20 months:

Option 1: 
•    Keep current town hall building (Knox building), refurbish for police 
and fire departments
•    Add a three-story building in front of current town hall (new town hall 
administration building) 
•    The first floor of the new building would contain a multi-purpose room 
(seating 250-300 people) that could be used for board meetings and 
as a theater for the Davidson Community Players 
•    The lobby of the first floor could be used as an art gallery/museum 
and as retail or a restaurant for the museum 
•    Add street parking along Jackson Street 
•    Add podium parking in the Jackson Street lots 

Option 2: 
•    Option 1 plus the following: 
•    Add a 3-story building on the corner of Jackson and Main Street 
•    The first floor would be retail 
•    The second and third floors would house an existing Davidson 
business that wants to relocate to this site 
•    Add podium parking where the current police department/town hall lot is located 

Option 3: 
•    Tear down current town hall 
•    Add Market Street 
•    Build wrapped parking deck in the hole 
•    Deck would include first floor retail and residential above (100 units) 
•    Town hall located off-site (fire, police, and administration) 

Option 4: 
•    Option 3 plus the following: 
•    Add 3-story building on Main Street next to Mooney’s Corner 
•    The first floor would contain a multi-purpose room that could be used 
for board meetings and as a theater for the Davidson Community 
Players 
•    The lobby of the first floor could be used as a gallery for an art 
museum and as retail or a restaurant for the museum 
•    The second and third stories would be office space 

Option 5: 
•    Move Police/Fire off-site 
•    Use existing Town Hall for administration 
•    Develop Catalyst plan for future development (10 years +), not the 
right time to implement now 

The Davidson Board of Commissioners directed town staff to gather more data on options 2, 4, and 5 (and 5 would include a parking solution). Once this data is ready, we will present it at a future board meeting and seek citizen input.

photo of ELF at the Earth Day Fair
ELF at the Earth Day Fair

Announcements:

The Earth Day Fair is April 23 from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Davidson Farmer’s Market. I’ll be there to meet and greet citizens -- please stop by to say hello.

Please join us at our pre-meeting (4:00 p.m.) and work session (6:00 p.m.) on Tuesday, April 26 in the Davidson Town Hall board room where Finance Director Pieter Swart and I will discuss the budget for FY2016-2017. We invite all citizens to attend.
 
We met with I-77 Mobility Partners and Sugar Creek Construction last week and they informed us that they will begin work on the portion of I-77 related to exit 30 starting mid-May. We encourage citizens to visit their website at http://www.i77express.com/ and sign up for their email updates at http://www.i77express.com/newsroom/newsletter-e-alerts/

On Town Day, May 7, the Davidson Police and Parks & Recreation Departments will host a Lake Davidson Clean-up from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0a45a8ae23a1fa7-lake/

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