State regulators have approved a private developer's survey that significantly re-draws the boundaries of Jordan Lake, and the protected areas that surround the drinking-water supply reservoir. In a letter to the Durham City-County Planning Department (PDF, 580 KB) dated Feb. 4, 2009, the N.C. Division of Water Quality announced that it "accepts and approves your proposed revisions to the critical and protected area boundaries around Jordan Lake."
Julie Ventaloro, the state watershed program coordinator at DWQ, told the Indy that changing the maps is now "in Durham's hands." The County must conduct a public hearing, and vote to adopt the state-approved survey, which was commissioned by a private developer who owned land within the affected area. Adopting the change would effectively move a 164-acre tract that was owned by the developer--and now slated for dense, mixed-use development--out of Jordan Lake's critical watershed area, which severely limits development within one mile of major water supplies.
Neal Hunter, a minority partner in the company that currently owns the property, was the principle owner when he commissioned the survey and submitted it to the Durham Planning Department for approval. He also is listed as an owner of the property in a pending request to re-zone the property from low-density residential and rural-residential, to mixed-use development. (The proposed development, known as the "751 Assemblage," calls for 1,300 residential units, and 600,000 square feet of mixed commercial and office space.
Following a November 2008 decision by the Board of County Commissioners, Durham requested state approval to re-draw the boundaries of Jordan Lake, based on Hunter's survey. In 2006, former planning director Frank Duke accepted the changes without informing the board, or state regulators.
We all know the real estate market is in bad shape, but this is a pretty serious indicator of how bad: MacGregor Development, which built the quintessential Cary golf-course communities of MacGregor Downs and Lochmere, is in bankruptcy, Triangle Business Journal reports. The company was founded in the 1960s and has survived one bankruptcy in the early 1990s.
The Triangle’s growing farm-to-table movement may sprout two new local markets next spring. Organizers for two new potential sites in Cary and Pittsboro will hold public discussions about the possibilities over the next two weeks.
Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m., residents of the Amberly subdivision will host a meeting about establishing a farmers’ market in their neighborhood, which is on the border of Wake and Chatham counties. A survey of 300 residents resoundingly supported a new market there, organizers say.
The Western Wake Farmers' Market at Amberly meeting will take place at the Residents' Club, 1075 Residents' Club Drive in Cary. RSVP to Mia South at firstname.lastname@example.org or 380-4035.
In Pittsboro, Robert Poitras, the owner of Carolina Brewery, will host an informational meeting at his restaurant Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. Poitras is pitching the idea of a Saturday morning market starting in spring 2009. Pittsboro currently has a farmers’ markets only on Thursday afternoons during the growing season, which is held at the Chatham County Fairgrounds.
Light food and refreshments will be served at the meeting. The Carolina Brewery & Grill is located at 120 Lowes Drive, in the Bellemont Station shopping center along U.S. 15-501 just north of downtown. Poitras is requesting RSVPs at email@example.com or 545-2330.
Bob Young, founder and CEO of Lulu, the Triangle-based online self-publishing company, has emerged as a white knight for the Carolina RailHawks USL-1 soccer club in Cary.
Tim Candon of WRAL.com has the scoop, by way of Triangle Offense.
We're not sure what to make of this, but give Ric Richards some credit: He's tearing down his traditional McDonald's location on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, the one that wasn't particularly good for the earth or for the human body. In its place, he's erecting a $2 million Mickey D that may attain the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of eco-friendliness.
Kenn Gardner finally answered questions yesterday about his work as architect-designer for the Triangle Aquatics Center in Cary and his opposition (but now he says it wasn't really opposition) to a rival Cary Aquatic Center. He talked to the N&O's Michael Biesecker; doesn't sound like Biesecker was persuaded that Gardner had no conflict of interest when he pursued public grants for the TAC. And why did Gardner mislead the public about his deal with TAC? He said in public he had "not beeen paid a dime" and was "donating" his services while knocking the Cary project. Turned out he expected to be paid, and was paid $244,355 by TAC. Not a lot of money, actually, given the scope of the TAC project. But not nothing either, Commissioner.
Note to N&O: Ask Gardner for a new photo, eh?
Kenn Gardner would like you to know that he did not "misuse his office." But for those who have fallen prey to the "mistaken perception" that he did, the Wake County Commissioner would like to "offer an apology," reports the N&O.
"I love Wake County too much to even think about doing something like that," said Gardner before yesterday's meeting of the Wake County board.
The above statements mark the first time Gardner has publicly addressed allegations that he used his office to advocate for a Triangle Aquatic pool project that, as it turns out, he benefited from financially.
But while Gardner isn't admitting guilt, it seems that he's been chastened:
Later in the meeting Monday, when an item on $10 million in funding for a pool project in Cary that would compete with Triangle Aquatic came up on the agenda, Gardner recused himself from the discussion and abstained from the vote.
Remember Michael Milken, of junk-bond fame -- or infamy? Well, he's got an Institute these days (he got to keep most of his money) and they're out with a rating of which "metros" are gettin' it done in terms of job creation and economic growth. No. 1: Provo-Orem. (Orem?) No. 2: Raleigh-Cary.
That's right, Raleigh-Cary is a Census Bureau metro, and it treats Durham and environs as a separate metro; the Durham metro came in 21st, two behind the Myrtle Beach-Conway area. Wilmington, NC, was No. 6.
Between his now-public legal battle with the Triangle Aquatic Center and The N&O's clip files, Wake County Commissioner Kenn Gardner's got some 'splaining to do about why his work for the TAC -- for "donated" architectural services that turn out to have been quite well paid-for (but not as well as Gardner wanted them to be) -- did not constitute a serious conflict of interest.