The Tortoise, the Hare, and Demolition in Historic Districts

A few blocks from downtown in the town’s historic district sit two houses built [more…]
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…]

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 |

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: November 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:

    Will the North Carolina General Assembly relax rules that restrict cities from offering “critical” broadband service in rural areas? ‪http://bit.ly/2fVgjMx 

    Kings Mountain, NC approves redevelopment plan – now eligible for CDBG demolition grants for blighted buildings: ‪http://ow.ly/UQGJ20002J8 

    Report on North Carolina’s “booming” chemical and plastics manufacturing industry: http://bit.ly/2fDTxeM

    Princeville, NC residents, flooded by Hurricanes Floyd (1999) and then Matthew in 2016, are offered FEMA assistance and buyout options: http://bit.ly/2gKokmf

    New Market Tax Credit awards include two recipients based in North Carolina: Brownfield Revitalization LLC and CAHEC. ‪http://bit.ly/2fOfh6c 

    Center for Community Progress releases report on a strategic code enforcement program for High Point, NC – coauthored by SOG faculty Chris McLaughlin and Tyler Mulligan: https://t.co/PTZbX8QJlU Read more »

  • The Smart Growth Program in North Carolina

    In September, my colleague Glenn Barnes shared resources from EPA on “smart growth” economic development. This approach to economic develop helps protect human health and the natural environment, while making communities more attractive, economically stronger, and more socially diverse. Smart Growth can take many different forms, from planning and zoning ordinances, to green infrastructure plans, to farmland protection initiatives. While the Smart Growth Program has been successfully implemented in cities and towns throughout the country, it has also had an impact right here in North Carolina. What are our neighbors in NC doing to promote Smart Growth principles? Read on for two examples.

    Read more »

  • The Past, Present, and Future of Wood Construction

    Google Street View, New Construction 5 over 1, Village Plaza Apartments, Chapel Hill

    Did you know that the world’s oldest wooden structure is found in Japan, the Horyu Temple, and has managed to withstand rain, wind, and earthquakes for over 1,300 years? Although wood construction dates all the way back to Stone Age! For thousands of years’ humans have relied on wood to build structures because of its strength and durability.

    The benefits to wooden structures are plenty. One, they weigh about a quarter of the weight of equivalent concrete material thus requiring a smaller foundation. In downtowns with decreasing land and increasing land costs, this could be a major benefit. Plus, building with wood can be cheaper and wood structures act as CO2 sinks absorbing and storing carbon dioxide emissions. Although wood is costlier per cubic foot than steel-and-concrete, building with timber is faster potentially resulting in a cheaper construction cost overall and boosts the efficiency of the building. Read more »

  • The Tortoise, the Hare, and Demolition in Historic Districts

    216peytonA few blocks from downtown in the town’s historic district sit two houses built in the early twentieth century: the Hare House and the Tortoise House. The houses retain their historic elements and contribute to the architectural character of the neighborhood. While the houses have seen better days, they are not falling in.  At least not yet.  The houses are on the path toward demolition, just at different speeds. For the Hare House, the owner wants to tear the thing down. Now.  As for the Tortoise House, the years without maintenance are starting to show.  The slow process of demolition by neglect has begun, and without some maintenance soon it will be beyond repair.

    What, if anything, can the town do to avoid the demolition of these historic resources?  Can the town slow down the speedy demolition of the Hare House? And can the town speed up maintenance to avoid the slow-motion demolition of the Tortoise House?

    This blog explores two options under the authority for local historic preservation: (1) delayed certificates of appropriateness for demolition and (2) ordinances to address demolition by neglect.  Read more »

  • Historic Mill Redevelopment: Taylors Mill

    millIn this post, CED will continue to look at the impact that redevelopment of historic mills can have on local communities. In previous posts the CED blog examined how historic tax credits can help finance adaptive reuse projects like the Renfro Mill and Monroe Hardware Warehouse. This post will take a closer look at how these projects can act as a catalyst for local economic growth.

    Taylors Mill, Taylors, South Carolina (pop. 21,617[1])

    Taylors is a small community located in upstate South Carolina eight miles northeast of Greenville. The origin of Taylors dates back to the mid-19th century when the Southern Railway expanded its service from Charlotte to Greenville. Located adjacent to the Enoree River, the Southern Bleachery was built in Taylors in 1924 to service the booming textile industry prevalent in the area at that time. While the bleachery didn’t actually produce textiles, it did convert them through bleaching and dyeing prior to sending them off to be incorporated into finished goods. During World War II, the Southern Bleachery produced cloth for uniforms, bedding and tents, and at its peak employed over 1,000 workers. The mill remained operational until 1965, when it was purchased by the Burlington Company. Read more »

  • Upfront Charges for Local Government Water and Sewer Capital

    In the wake of a recent North Carolina Supreme Court decision invalidating certain water and sewer fees (Quality Built Homes, Inc. v. Town of Carthage), counties and municipalities across the state have been taking a closer look at their own fee schedules. (A summary of the case and its holding is here.) Through Quality Built Homes, and other relevant case law, the North Carolina courts have set out the basic outlines of the types of fees that are lawful and unlawful. Unfortunately, there is still quite a bit of grey area (or as I refer to it below, yellow light area) as to the full contours of a county’s or municipality’s authority. Each local unit must work with its attorney and, if applicable, rate-setting consultant, to determine if changes are needed to its fee schedule. The following sets out a framework to aid in that analysis.

    There are two primary fee statutes that authorize counties and municipalities to assess charges associated with their water and sewer systems—the general utility fee statute and the availability fee statute. This post focuses on the general utility fee statute. (Previous posts have discussed the availability fee authority for both municipalities and counties in detail. See here, here, here.) Note also that this post only looks at county and municipality authority. It does not address the fee authority of other local government entities that provide water and sewer services. Read more »

  • North Carolina Education and Workforce Development: Work Ready Communities

    heiwa_elementary_school_18A powerful common denominator between economic development and human capital development is education. Communities with well-regarded schools incentivize businesses to be recruited to an area to make use of local talent. It is a cycle in which the economic vitality of an area is contingent upon the strength of local schools, using indicators such as standardized test scores, graduation rates, educational attainment, school report cards, and school performance grades. This puts a heavy emphasis on the presentation of those metrics. But contextually, what is missed by these traditional indicators? What other educational measures can be leveraged to emphasize the preparedness of the workforce in an area? Additional considerations may come into play. Read more »

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: October 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 economic development plan proposed for the City of Charlotte emphasizes support for entrepreneurship and innovation. http://bit.ly/2f8c4jx

    News & Observer’s analysis of of the North Carolina economy finds a skills gap in urban and rural areas and proposes possible economic development solutions. ‪http://bit.ly/2dT7y6A 

    Triangle population is expected to double by 2050 – will East Wake / Zebulon be next Triangle boom area? http://bit.ly/2eH8dWo

    Record flooding in Fair Bluff and other North Carolina river towns. Will the recovery be similar to post-Floyd? ‪http://nyti.ms/2erfg8I 

    State estimates that Hurricane Matthew caused $1.5 billion in damage to 100,000 homes, businesses, and government buildings in North Carolina: ‪http://bit.ly/2e0K9Qx 

    Fayetteville might repurpose up to $900,000 in Community Development Block Grants from other programs to disaster relief. ‪http://bit.ly/2dPZ8d1 

    Research Triangle Regional Partnership board chair discusses new approach to ‪economic development services after leadership change. http://bit.ly/2dLmCix

    Politico covers the rise of Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, a tech-based downtown hub: http://politi.co/2dTiHQR

    Other CED items:

    New York Times report on Portland’s small house and accessory dwelling regulations – is this a density solution for cities? ‪http://nyti.ms/2dStXl9  Read more »

  • Brewery Incubators On the Rise

    unknown-2The CED Blog has previously covered the economic development power of breweries to revitalize downtown Main Streets. And the blog recently detailed the utility and potential of retail incubators in helping aspiring entrepreneurs launch a business and establish a physical store location. And now, something new is brewing that combines these strategies: the emergence of brewery incubators. Read more »

  • Solar Schools and Environmental Finance

    North Carolina is one of the leading states in the country when it comes to installing solar energy. The growth of solar in North Carolina has been a fascinating opportunity to study the impact of different environmental finance systems. While the financial incentives and environmental finance systems available to solar developers across the state have been critical to supporting the growth of solar; not all property owners have had equal access to these incentives. Given the importance of income tax incentives to solar developers, it’s not surprising that Read more »

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