Gov Brd Meeting

Notice and Hearing Requirements for Economic Development Appropriations

As discussed in a prior post, Session Law 2015-277 requires North Carolina local governments [more…]
Grading site

Local Government Economic Development Powers “Clarified”

On October 20, 2015, the Governor signed Session Law (S.L.) 2015-277, placing into effect [more…]
Kinston, NC

Development Finance Initiative: Rebuilding North Carolina one town at a time – Southern City

This article was originally published in the November/December edition of Southern City, as “Rebuilding [more…]
Aerial downtown

How a North Carolina Local Government Can Operate a Land Bank for Redevelopment

If America’s cities and towns are to realize their greatest potential as attractive and [more…]

The Community and Economic Development program at the School of Government provides public officials with training, research, and assistance that support local efforts to create jobs and wealth, expand the tax base, and maintain vibrant communities. We deploy the resources of the University to support the development goals of communities in North Carolina.

Recent Blog Posts |

  • Blow Horns, No More: Establishing Railroad Quiet Zones

    Railroad Crossing in Kinston, NC

    Many North Carolinians have fond memories of railroads and trains being a centerpiece of local downtown activity. Not only are trains effective transportation instruments, but also can be an identity for some communities. The railroad tracks are often located in the epicenter of cities, and history reveals that some towns were even built around the railroad’s path. Unfortunately, not all residents have a favorable view of railroads running through their cities and towns. For example, consider the number of families housed near railroad crossings that wake-up multiple times at night because train horns are blown at railroad crossings. Some municipalities have begun instituting “quiet zones” at railroad intersections. This blog post will explore the process of establishing these quiet zones and offer some useful past and on-going examples. Read more »

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: April 2016

    CED_Icon_for_TwitterThe following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates.

    Items of interest related to CED in North Carolina:

    New President of North Carolina Community College system named. ‪ 

    Western North Carolina economic development organization and incubator, Smoky Mountain Development Corporation, shuts down; slowdown in SBA 504 loan closings cited as cause.

    Randolph County-Greensboro-North Carolina Railroad industrial megasite faces challenges but is moving forward. ‪ 

    The CEO of North Carolina’s Economic Development Partnership describes business community’s reaction to HB2 from a recruitment perspective.

    MDC report finds that only about 1/3 of North Carolina children in households that make less than $25,000/year will climb out of poverty as adults. ‪ 

    News report on HB2’s impact on economic development recruitment in Wake County and Cary, North Carolina.

    Report by the North Carolina Rural Center on rural manufacturing clusters and key policy questions to consider. ‪ 

    Duke University’s partnership with Durham, North Carolina stakeholders held up as a model in a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) case study. ‪  Read more »

  • Good News, Bad News: Water in North Carolina

    There have been a lot of water issues in the news recently. Here’s a summary of a few of the stories we’ve been following that involve the important and often complicated role state government plays.

    Bad News. About a year ago, the NC Department of Health and Human Services advised hundreds of private well owners in Gaston and Rowan Counties that their well water was unsafe to drink due to levels of vanadium and hexavalent chromium that exceed state standards. This is about as bad as water news can get – throwing into question the safety of something as essential as water. This advisory was linked to continued concern over the impacts of improper coal ash storage and management. Later this advisory was lifted (see below), but not before the original advisory created a deep sense of concern.

    Good News. In March of this year, North Carolina voters approved a state bond infrastructure referendum that will eventually lead to over three hundred million dollars Read more »

  • Brownfields Programs as a Revitalization Tool: NC Case Studies

    Site Plan for the River Landing Park in Williamston, NC

    Site Plan for the River Landing Park in Williamston, NC

    Last month the CED blog published an overview of Federal and State Brownfields programs and how these programs can assist in remediating and revitalizing tough-to-develop sites that  are plagued by environmental contamination. This post will provide two case examples of how the US EPA and NC Brownfields Program have been employed in two North Carolina communities.

    Case #1: Conover Station, Conover, NC

    In the town of Conover, an abandoned Broyhill Furniture manufacturing plant has been turned into a revitalizing, mixed-use development. Conover (population 8,165) is located in Catawba County, just east of Hickory along Interstate 40. When the Broyhill plant closed its doors in 2005, it quickly became an eyesore in the heart of the community. Petroleum and volatile organic contamination from years of underground and aboveground storage tank use was present in the soil and groundwater, with problematic product lines existing underground and throughout the buildings. Despite the challenges, the town saw potential to redevelop the site into a mixed-use development that would preserve the historic Warlong Glove building as its centerpiece.  Read more »

  • Live Long and Prosper: Does CED Impact How Long We Live?

    I often think about ways in which local government matters in the daily lives of citizens. This month, a major study was released showing how local conditions, and community and economic development, infrastructure, and planning in particular, may have a direct impact on the most basic quality of life indicator Read more »

  • Local Food Systems and Economic Development: What’s the Measurable Link?

    There is growing interest in cultivating and supporting local food systems in North Carolina.  In previous posts, School of Government faculty member Rick Morse has addressed “Why Local Governments Should be Thinking About Local Food Systems” and examined the role of local food policy councils.  Most recently, Professor Morse has discussed the network of organizations that are expanding the state’s capacity to promote local foods.   Local food systems are purported to be a promising way to promote better outcomes in communities related to public health, well-being, environmental sustainability, vitality, and economic development. Read more »

  • Community Food Strategies: Food System Network Building in NC

    CFS_WebsiteAs I have written about before, I see local food organizing as a powerful community building enterprise. Because everyone eats, local food efforts literally can have an impact on entire communities. And because local food organizing touches upon all aspects of community capital (social, environmental, financial, and so on), focusing community development energies on local food seems like an effective strategy to achieve at least some broader community development goals. Perhaps no state in the U.S. has a better infrastructure for local food organizing than North Carolina. In this brief post, I’d like to draw attention to the supportive infrastructure that is helping make NC a national leader in local food efforts.

    Read more »

  • Report: The Unintended Consequences of Housing Finance

    Housing in a Community Land TrustThe Unintended Consequences of Housing Finance is a recent report by the Regional Plan Association that addresses the negative externalities of certain federal housing finance rules, and myriad methods to address these externalities through rule changes and amendments. Perhaps it is not immediately apparent how financing rules can have dramatic impacts on the physical form of our cities, but this report demonstrates the way in which these rules encourage certain types of development (single-family housing and large multifamily projects) and discourage others (mid-rise, mixed-use multifamily projects). Read more »

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: March 2016

    CED_Icon_for_TwitterThe following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates.

    Items of interest related to CED in North Carolina:

    Business reaction and economic development fallout from new North Carolina law preventing local governments from enacting anti-discrimination ordinances: ‪ 

    High Point, North Carolina to receive technical assistance from the Center for Community Progress on comprehensive code enforcement strategies: ‪ 

    In depth interview with the Economic Development Director of Stanly County, North Carolina provides good insight on rural economic development efforts. ‪ 

    Kingdom CDC in Spring Lake, North Carolina, a community development nonprofit, recognized as Business of the Year by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce: ‪ 

    Surry County, North Carolina’s Economic Development Director’s annual update reveals that 77% of inquiring businesses want an existing building, 57% of industries want 100,000 square feet or more: ‪  Read more »

  • How to Use Federal and State Brownfields Programs to Accomplish a Community Revitalization Project

    technical_assistanceLearning that a site for redevelopment is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination can be one of the biggest barriers to community revitalization. Brownfield sites, which are defined by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality as “abandoned, idled or underused properties where the threat of environmental contamination has hindered its redevelopment,” pose legal and financial challenges to prospective developers. Lenders are typically wary of providing financing to projects with substantial risk for litigation around environmental contamination. Remediating pollutants can also be a costly endeavor for developers.

    Despite the challenges, remediating brownfield sites has many benefits for a community. Environmentally, redeveloping on a brownfield site saves greenspace, utilizes existing infrastructure, cleans the air and water, and preserves natural habitats. Additionally, since many brownfield properties are neglected eyesores, remediation can have a positive impact on adjacent property values and crime rates while contributing to a sense of community pride. Read more »

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