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Jamie
Town Manager Jamie Justice

Manager's Report: January 24, 2017

All supporting documents for the January 24 board of commissioners’ meetings are available here: http://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/

If you are interested in watching a video of the meeting, please view it here:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/davidson-town-board-meetings. 

We live stream our board meetings 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 January 24 work session (4:00 p.m.):


Kim Fleming
Kim Fleming
Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming and Rose and Associates consultant Kathleen Rose discussed the Economic Development Strategic Plan 2017-2022. One of our core values states:  “Davidson’s economic health is essential to its remaining a sustainable community, so town government will judiciously encourage and guide the location of new business opportunities.” Some of the goals of this five-year plan are to balance commercial and residential revenues, guide growth, and employ business retention strategies.



Kathryn Spatz
Kathryn Spatz
Parks and Recreation Director Kathryn Spatz, Livability Board member Stephanie Shryock, and consultant and landscape designer Gary Fankhauser discussed the design for the Bailey Springs Community Park to be built on a parcel of town-owned land along Robert Walker Drive and Bartlette Creek Drive.We recognize the need for active recreation space in Davidson; this new park will provide tennis courts, a basketball court, greenway trails, a sand volleyball court, a playground, and potentially more options. Construction will be phased over time based on funding and will likely start this calendar year. The total projected cost for this park is $1.6 million. 

Parks and Recreation Director Kathryn Spatz also discussed the Davidson greenways and park priorities for Mecklenburg County. The project list is:
•    North Mecklenburg Recreation Center 
•    Greenway connections from Summers Walk to River Run 
•    Kincaid Trail greenway extension from South Street to Main Street
•    Charlotte to Mooresville greenway trail,
•    Greenway from town center to Fisher Farm/Abersham parks  
•    Nature Center near Summers Walk, and 
•    Bradford Regional Park.
Doug Wright
Doug Wright
Public Works and Project Director Doug Wright discussed the pros and cons of offering vacuum leaf collection to our citizens for a fee. We will continue to research contracting out this leaf collection work. 




A summary of the January 24 meeting (6:00 p.m.):


Commissioner Reports:

•    Commissioner Stacey Anderson shared that the Arts and Science Council (ASC) is hosting “Connect with Culture Day” on Saturday, January 28 when hundreds of free events in the greater Charlotte region will be offered. Check out all ASC events and programs at www.artsandscience.org.

•    Commissioner Beth Cashion announced that Visit Lake Norman just launched their new website at www.visitlakenorman.org.

All items on the consent agenda were approved:

•    Tax levy adjustment – the town received a small refund from the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office.

•    The board of commissioners directed the planning board to review and provide a recommendation on the proposed rezonings and text changes to the Davidson Planning Ordinance related to the Rural Area Plan at their January 30 meeting.

The Davidson Board of Commissioners approved a request from Davidson College for a noise ordinance variance to allow music and activities for Alumni Weekend on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The college will handle all communication to the citizens that reside in the vicinity.


town hall

Public Facilities

We have outgrown our existing town hall and need to renovate our current public works facility on West Walnut Street in order to keep pace with our service needs. When we built town hall in 1990, our population was 4,000. In 2017, we have approximately 13,000 people in Davidson. Space for our growing police and fire departments is particularly critical.

Based on decisions made at a mini-retreat of the Davidson Board of Commissioners in summer 2016, town staff is moving forward with a planning process for public facilities on the 3.5 acres of town-owned land downtown.  The option under consideration includes renovating and expanding the existing town hall building, constructing a new town facility along Main Street, and exploring solutions for expanded parking.

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued for a design team to undertake the process. We selected Creech & Associates, an architecture firm based in Charlotte, to help us with two major phases: Phase 1) creation of a space needs assessment, a parking/mobility assessment, a conceptual design and management of a public input process resulting in a site master plan; and Phase 2) upon a vote by the board of commissioners to move forward, creation of a schematic design, design development, and production of construction documents for the proposed buildings and site improvements.  

We have assembled a steering committee consisting of citizens, two commissioners, and staff to work collaboratively with the design team to guide the planning and design process. At the meeting on January 24, we asked the Davidson Board of Commissioners to create a capital project fund for the planning and construction of public facilities to cover the costs of Phase 1 of the study. The Davidson Board of Commissioners reviewed the proposed budget and asked staff to work with the architect to reduce costs. We will present a revised budget at a future meeting.

Public engagement is a big part of this project. We’ll announce a series of public workshops to take place in March and April that will focus on architectural character, town hall site planning options, parking, the Davidson Farmer’s Market, community space needs, and what makes Davidson great. At a later date, we’ll present site and building options, and request feedback on your visual preferences. Throughout the process, we’ll provide updates at board of commissioners’ meetings.

Rural Area Map amendments
Rural Area Plan


Planning Director Jason Burdette and Senior Planner and Rural Area Plan project manager Trey Akers gave a presentation on the Rural Area Plan. They provided answers to the questions citizens asked during the January 10 public hearings. In an effort to take a step back on the proposed rezonings and text changes to the Davidson Planning Ordinance, we continued the dialogue with our citizens at the Davidson Coffee Chat on Monday, January 23 at The Egg at Davidson, and have scheduled a “Q&A Forum” for Saturday, February 4 at 9:00 a.m. at Hopewell Baptist Church on Davidson-Concord Road. Please join us.

To find more information on the Rural Area Plan, including a “Frequently Asked Questions” document, and to watch a series of three videos explaining the details of the plan, at please visit our website at www.townofdavidson.org/RuralAreaPlan.


Announcements

On February 2, we will host our business networking group Davidson Connections at 9:00 a.m. at the Summit Outpost on Davidson College’s campus.

In an effort to share information about the Rural Area Plan and the proposed rezonings and text changes to the Davidson Planning Ordinance, we are hosting a “Q&A Forum” on Saturday, February 4 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Hopewell Baptist Church, in the rural part of our jurisdiction. Please join us to continue the dialogue.

Duke Energy is currently trimming trees in their easements on Depot Street, Watson Street, Concord Road close to town, Hillside Lane, Thompson Street, Woodland Street and Greenway Street. 


Metrolina Warehouse site
OTHER:

Metrolina Warehouse site update

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) announced that mitigation work to stabilize and cover the embankment where the erosion of the asbestos-containing material occurred at the Metrolina Warehouse site at 301 Depot Street is planned to begin on or about January 30, 2017.  This work is expected to take approximately four days.  Representatives from NCDEQ and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will provide guidance and oversight during these DEQ-directed activities. NCDEQ and NCDHHS will require precautions for any disturbance to asbestos-containing material during all phases of work at the property. 

The mitigation plan consists of:
•    Installing a closure system for the exposed asbestos-containing material at the property.
•    Stabilizing the slope and preventing further release of asbestos-containing material from the property.

We are pleased that the appropriate agencies are working to safely remediate this site.

Need more information? Contact Jamie Kritzer, public information officer with NCDEQ, at Jamie.Kritzer@ncdenr.gov, 919-707-8602 or 919-218-5935.  The local representative for the NC DEQ is Miguel Alvalle, who can be reached at 704-663-1699 ext. 2191. 



Beaty St parcels

Beaty Street Property

In spring 2016, the Town of Davidson was approached by a developer to purchase the approximately 18 acres of town-owned land along Beaty Street. The town acquired the largest parcel in 1987 and the two other parcels in 2009 with the hopes of developing them into a mixed-use neighborhood in the future. Over the years, this land has been included in many small area  plans as a mixed use (commercial and residential) development. We have considered this land for a variety of town facilities, but have ruled those uses out based on location or land value
.  
As a result of this interest, the Davidson Board of Commissioners asked staff to undertake a competitive, open process to see if there was any other interest in developing this land. A formal request for proposals (RFP) for the purchase and development of land was issued in August 2016. The town requested proposals from experienced developers to design and build a mixed-use neighborhood on the Beaty Street property. We received nine letters of interest in September and six proposals in January. A committee will review the proposals, determine whom to interview, and, based on the interviews, recommend two finalists. The town’s planning principles state that development should be based on traditional urban design, meaning compact, walkable development with community open space. We encourage neighborhoods and commercial areas to be integrated with the existing fabric of the town. The majority of the Beaty Street property is located in the Neighborhood Center I planning area, and several acres on the southern portion of the property are in the Village Infill planning area. The developer will be required to conform to the stringent regulations in the Davidson Planning Ordinance specific to each planning area.

The two finalists will be asked to present their development proposals at the Davidson Board of Commissioners’ February 28 meeting. We encourage citizens to attend to learn more about the proposals.

For more details, including the RFP, please visit our website at: www.townofdavidson.org/BeatyStreetRFP. 


exit 30
Exit 30 bridge and roundabouts installation update

I-77 Mobility Partners, Sugar Creek Construction, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation have informed us that over the next three weeks, construction will start on the north side of the Exit 30 bridge on Griffith Street. They will remove the four concrete medians in each quadrant and will replace them with asphalt, and add striping for traffic safety. The next phase will be to slide the traffic lanes toward the inside (toward the highway), so they can do work on the outer portions. They will also remove a few trees and low groundcover during this process.  Over the next month they will install barriers and we will see changes in the ramps. 

This work will take approximately 12 months, depending on the weather. When all of the work is complete, we will have a new bridge, two roundabouts to improve traffic flow, two pedestrian lanes, and two bicycle lanes. We appreciate your patience during this process and urge you to walk and drive safely in the area.

For more information, please sign up for I-77 Mobility Partners’ traffic notices and construction updates on their website at http://www.i77express.com/newsroom/newsletter-e-alerts/



Davidson Game Plan image

As you know, we have a strategic plan that we call the Davidson Game Plan, and many of the projects listed above are part of it: 

•    Economic Development Strategic Plan, 
•    Bailey Springs Park, 
•    Prioritization of county-funded parks and recreation projects,
•    Public Facilities,
•    Rural Area Plan, and 
•    Exit 30 Bridge and Roundabouts Project.

We’re pleased to be making progress on these key projects.




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