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Government Affairs


Local News Update MO MONEY, MO PROBLEMS…


TRIANGLE – This is the time of the year that municipalities, and counties, announce their proposed budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. This is also the time of year when the public learns


what, if any, tax and fee increases are in store for the upcoming year; tax increases usually come in the form of property taxes, but not exclusively so. As the Beatles sang many years ago (in “Taxman”), “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street/ If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat/ If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat/ If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”


Below are some of the local municipalities and their proposals: • Raleigh – Property tax increase of $.0212 (per $100 assessed), which includes the voter-approved $.0112 increase in the 2013 transportation bond referendum. Additionally, there is a $1/month increase for solid waste services accompanied by a 4.4 percent increase in sewer rates. • Durham – Property tax increase of $.0129 (per $100 assessed), along with an additional tax increase of $0.060 (per $100 assessed) to replace eliminating the Solid Waste Fee. • Chapel Hill – A $0.01 increase in the Debt Management Fund tax (included in the property tax rate); $0.75 increase in storm water fees. • Cary – No property tax increase; 3.5 percent increase in water and sewer utilities (for customers using 4500 gallons) and a 5 percent increase in building permits and fees. • Hillsborough – No property tax increase or change to water rates; 8.8 percent increase in sewer rates (or, $0.90 per 1000 gallons in-town and $1.75 out-of-town). Keep in mind, in most cases these are the initial


proposals. If you do not like the proposals, there is still time to contact your elected councilman or council- woman and voice your opinion. In closing, the Beatles said it best: “Should five per- cent appear too small/ Be thankful I don’t take it all/ Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman.”


POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE RALEIGH – If your property or business is in


Raleigh, you may have recently received a postcard from the City with the words “DON’T PANIC” printed on them.


Are you panicking yet? No, they weren’t sending greetings from a vacation destination or from the hospital; rather, they were announcing the City’s proposed rezoning. Over 30 percent of the City’s area is affected by the rezoning. This is part of the City’s implementation of its new UDO (unified development ordinance).


8 the ApartMentor | July/August


From the City’s website: As of Monday, May 19, the City of Raleigh is ac- cepting comments from citizens on the City’s Zoning District Remapping Project. Approximately 30 percent of Raleigh’s land area is proposed to be rezoned. The public comment period on the initial draft map ends on September 30.


A website and hotline number on the remapping project go live on Monday. The website, www.Ralei- ghUDO.us, offers a comparison between existing and proposed zoning, describes the new zoning districts, includes information about zoning fundamentals and highlights various methods for feedback. The hotline number established for property owners to call to ask questions and comment on the project is 919-996- 6363. All inquiries, no matter how they are submitted, will be logged and responded to in a timely manner. City of Raleigh staff members will be available to answer questions throughout the process. They also will review and respond to every submitted comment and may make further refinements to the zoning map. The City’s Planning and Development section is anticipating a large volume of inquiries and comments about the proposed remapping. Those receiving a postcard have until September 30 to comment.


If you have any questions or concerns, please con- tact Burwell Stark, TAA Government Affairs Director.


HOW SWEET IT IS…


From Chapel Hill News: CHAPEL HILL – The Town Council voted 8-1 Monday night to apply a “form-based code” to future projects in the Ephesus-Fordham district and voted 6-3 to rezone most parcels to allow taller, denser development. In a unanimous vote, the council also rezoned 10 acres of town-owned land beside Chapel Hill Memo- rial Cemetery for a public-private affordable housing project. The town will sell the land to Raleigh-based DHIC, Inc., which plans to build about 150 affordable apartments for seniors and families. With the council’s decision in hand, DHIC, Inc, will be able to meet their deadline for seeking state grant money. The changes to the 190-acre Ephesus-Fordham district on the eastern entrance to Chapel Hill take effect July 1. The code gives developers an outline for designing future projects. Town staff will approve most projects, and the Community Design Commission, a town advisory board, will review architectural details. The council could preview project applications and meet to talk about them if needed… One of the pillars of the project was the require- ment that 30 percent, or about 300 units, of the plan be dedicated to affordable housing. Please join me in congratulating TAA member DHIC, Inc., in partnering with the Town to develop the affordable housing.


State News Update CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL…


The 2014 AANC Education and Legislative Day Conference has come and gone! To those of you who participated, thank you! To those of you who couldn’t, please consider doing so next year. For a recap of the event, please see the “After- Thoughts” column on page 10 of this issue.


Notable Legislation from the Conference H773 – LOCAL GOVTS/BLDGS/STRUCTURES/ INSPECTIONS. Anti-PROP/PRIP and rental registra- tion, this legislation would prohibit jurisdictions from adopting inspection ordinances that discriminate between owner-occupied and rental-occupied build- ings. Jurisdictions will also be prohibited from levying a special fee or tax on residential rental property that is not also levied against 47 other commercial and residential properties. Passed the House, currently in the Senate Commerce Committee.


H150 – ZONING/DESIGN & AESTHETIC CON- TROLS. This bill would specifically forbid local governments from requiring building design elements as part of a development regulation ordinance in One and Two-Family dwellings. The phrase “building design elements” means exterior building color; type or style of exterior cladding material; style or materials of roof structures or porches; exterior nonstructural architec- tural ornamentation; location or architectural styling of windows and doors, including garage doors; the number and types of rooms; and the interior layout of rooms. Passed the House, currently in the Committee on the Rules and Operations of the Senate.


H201 – REINSTATE 2009 ENERGY CONSERVA- TION CODES. There are unintended consequences of the 2012 Energy Code. For example, thicker wall insulation may force a structural design change from the typical 2x4 construction to 2x6 wall construction. In multifamily, that difference in wall design and cor- responding loss of interior space can trigger numerous other design changes necessary to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. Thicker walls also translate into the additional waste associated with larger buildings and more mate- rials. With Association members having designed and developed new apartment buildings using both the 2012 Commercial and Residential requirements, AANC disfavors the changes from 2009 to 2012. AANC does not believe the additional compliance costs translate into equivalent benefits to multi-family rental housing residents. Passed the House, currently in the Committee on the Rules and Operations of the Senate.


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