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Jamie
Town Manager Jamie Justice

Manager’s Report: October 10, 2017


All supporting documents for the October 10 board of commissioners’ meeting are available here: https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=577&MinutesMeetingID=277&doctype=Agenda
 
If you are interested in watching the video of the meeting, please view here:
https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=577&MinutesMeetingID=277&doctype=Agenda
 
SPECIAL NOTE: We now live stream our board meetings and work sessions via Novus Agenda (https://davidson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/) and encourage you to tune in to the specific Novus Agenda meeting link on meeting days if you are unable to attend in person. To watch live, click the red circular camera icon to the left of the current meeting agenda to activate the video. You can also open up the online agenda to follow along with each presentation in another window.
After each meeting (by the close of business on Wednesday), the video is saved to the Novus Agenda meeting link so you can watch when convenient to keep abreast of projects and issues. Click the “online agenda” with the red video arrow to open up the agenda. To watch the entire meeting, click the top “video” link on the left. To watch a video of a particular agenda item, please click the “video” link to the left of that item. To watch from a mobile phone, please use this link: https://davidson.novusagenda.com/AgendaPublic/meetingsresponsive.aspx
 

There was no 4:00 p.m. work session.   
 
A summary of the 6:00 p.m. meeting:

Several citizens spoke during the public comments period.
Lynx Red Line

Charlotte Area Transit System Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence gave a presentation on the north corridor mobility study. They are conducting public engagement to reach consensus on the updated rapid transit vision, the definition of rapid transit service and alignments, and information to be considered in future system timing and implementation. The goal is to get to a point to re-engage the Metropolitan Transportation Organization to update the 2030 Transit System Plan, and define strategies to move forward. Citizens are invited to a public information session on Tuesday, October 17 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Cornelius Town Hall. Please share your thoughts.

Trey Akers
Davidson Senior Planner Trey Akers led a public hearing on the Narrow Passage Conditional amendment. The applicant requests a second amendment to the plan last approved by the Davidson Board of Commissioners on August 13, 2016 to permit the addition of 1.07 acres to the proposed development. Additionally, the request includes a proposed modification to two conditions as well as a new condition: A reduction in the previously approved payment-in-lieu amount for the multi-use path bridge on the southern parcel; increase in the amount of non-conforming garages permitted within the development; and, an increase in the amount of allowed construction signs from one to two (one for each road frontage). A couple of citizens spoke during the hearing. Next steps will be for the planning board to discuss the amendments on October 30 and for the Davidson Board of Commissioners to consider a vote at the November 14 meeting.

All items on the consent agenda were approved, including:

-budget amendment to transfer funds from our fund balance to the public facilities capital project fund.
-financing contract for police and fire department radios
-minutes from the September meetings
-an ordinance on procedures for the disposal of town-owned personal property valued at less than $30,000
-a resolution relinquishing street maintenance responsibilities from North Carolina Department of Transportation to the Town of Davidson for a portion of Robert Walker Drive
-revised regular meeting schedule
-amendment to the Davidson Village Inn’s encroachment agreement
-set a public hearing date for the annexation of the Narrow Passage development

Old Business:

I provided an update on the Beaty Street project:
 
The board and town staff have undertaken a process over the past 18 months to consider the sale and development of 19 acres of town-owned land on Beaty Street. Back in July, the board of commissioners voted to move forward with contract negotiations with the Luminous Plan developer. The board of commissioners and the Luminous Plan developer were unable to agree to contract terms, so the project was terminated. This current board of commissioners will not pursue development of this land, but options could be considered for the property in the future.
 
Here are the draft contract terms that were under consideration. The verbiage in black was the original term sheet provided by the developer. The tracked changes in red were the responses from the town through the use of a contract committee. The contract committee had citizen representation as well as commissioners and staff.  We appreciate everyone who volunteered their time to help with that step in the process. 
 
The purpose of the term document was to specify the intentions from the request for proposals, as well as clarify the expectations.  Examples included expectations on the public park, ownership and maintenance of the dam and pond, and roadway and pedestrian improvements in addition to the recommended enhancements from the transportation impact analysis (TIA).
 
The town presented these terms to the developer. Since the developer did not agree to the terms, the town terminated the project.
 
When the contract committee finalized these terms, the appraised value of the land was still in question (indicated as TBD).
 
 
Appraised value of Beaty Street property
During this process, the town sought appraisals from two appraisers:
TB Harris (July 26, 2017) – Results: $1.91 million
Carol Fortenberry (August 4, 2017) – Results: $1.765 million
 
A local group sought a third appraisal:
Valbridge/Bosworth (August 7, 2017) – Results: $4.6 million
 
Because there was such a big discrepancy in the numbers, the town hired an independent appraisal reviewer (a typical practice when appraisals do not match) from the Hanes Group to analyze all three appraisals. The Hanes Group concluded that the value range of $1,765,000 to $1,910,000 is appropriate and supported by the data. For more information, including the appraisal review, please visit www.townofdavidson.org/BeatyStRFP.
 
Because appraisal information can be complex, I’d like to mention a few points:

  • The reviewer reviewed all three appraisals.  She noted corrections that needed to be made with the Harris and Fortenberry appraisals. These were minor edits and corrections that did not change the appraised values.  

  • For the Valbridge appraisal, in my view, there were four areas noted in the appraisal review that were based on substantively incorrect information that affected the appraisal.

  • One, the Valbridge appraisal assumed the property “as is” but with an approved development plan (or master plan). I believe this is referring to the concept plan of the Luminous proposal. Since the developer had not yet gone through the master plan process, there wasn’t an approved plan, and the property did not have the entitlements that are given to approved master plans. 

  • Two, the Valbridge appraisal stated incorrect zoning on the property. They assumed the entire property was zoned “Neighborhood Center 1” but approximately four acres of the property is zoned “Village Infill,” which is purely residential.  Additionally, Valbridge stated that there was no maximum building height in the Neighborhood Center 1 zoning category, which is incorrect.

  • Third, Valbridge did not consider the Lake Norman critical watershed which limits development to 50% of the site, nor did they factor in the post-construction buffers in their appraisal.

  • Fourth, several of the real estate comparable sales (comps) used were small commercial sites which is not an apples-to-apples comparison when selling a large property. Typically, smaller sites carry a larger per acre value. In addition, five of the six comps used were sites that were 100% usable acres as opposed to the actual 50% usable acres on the Beaty Street property.


I think the Valbridge appraisal was based on a hypothetical situation which does not consider where the town was in the process. The way it’s been explained to me is the hypothetical that they used would have been appropriate in the scenario where a developer goes through the process to get a master plan entitled on the property, gets an appraisal based on that, and then goes to a bank to get a loan to do the development. This is not the situation that the town was in when we were considering selling this property.
 
The appraisal reviewer outlined seven areas where the Valbridge appraisal is not compliant with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice 2016-2017. The appraisal reviewer does not believe the appraisal techniques used within the Valbridge/Bosworth report yielded a reasonable or supported value conclusion.
 
The bottom line is that I agree with the appraisal reviewer who stated “based on an analysis of the reports, it is the opinion of the reviewer that the market value range indicated in the Fortenberry and Harris appraisals is more reasonable and supported at $1.765M to $1.9M.”
 
For more information, including the appraisal review, please visit www.townofdavidson.org/BeatyStRFP.

Public Facilities Project
We discussed the benefits of using a construction manager at risk (CMAR) for our public facilities project to renovate our existing town hall to house our growing police and fire departments and build a new town hall with community space in front. The Davidson Board of Commissioners approved a resolution approving the use of a CMAR and their prequalification policy.  One benefit of using a CMAR for our public facilities project is that they will deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price.
 
Landscaping Buffer
The board of commissioners approved a budget amendment of $20,000 for a landscaping buffer adjacent to Woodie’s Auto Service to protect homes along Westside Terrace from light pollution. While the developer complied with the ordinance and installed the requisite plantings, commissioners felt the neighborhood would be better served by an enhanced landscaping.

Other:


Potts/Sloan/Beaty Corridor Project
On October 5, residents had an opportunity to comment on the Potts/Sloan/Beaty corridor project, searchable as “U-5907” on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s website. 
NCDOT’s project consists of three main pieces:

  • A 10-foot wide multi-use path along Beaty Street, Sloan Street, and Potts Street to the town’s south limit:  Multi-use paths, or MUPs, provide a safe and comfortable space for pedestrians, as well as the 60% of residents who typically fall into the “interested but concerned” category of cyclists. This MUP is an effective way to serve our Beaty Street/Armour Street neighborhoods, as well as the Ingersoll Rand campus. The MUP is part of the greater Mooresville to Charlotte trail, a regional MUP. We have secured funding for the MUP along Potts and Sloan Streets and await funding for the Beaty Street portion.

  • A roundabout at the intersection of Beaty Street and Griffith Street:  Roundabouts can manage more traffic with lower congestion than traditional signalized intersections.  They also tend to have fewer, and less severe, crashes than traditional intersections.  This is due to the roundabout radius, which forces cars to travel slower than they would through a straight intersection.  Also, the most dangerous “t-bone” crashes are eliminated.  For pedestrians, any high-volume intersection can be challenging.  Roundabout crosswalks have several advantages over traditional intersection crosswalks:  there are fewer conflicting streams of traffic to deal with, and the crossing distance is reduced by the presence of the “pedestrian refuge” splitter that divides the crosswalk.  The drawing presented by NCDOT at its meeting is not necessarily the final configuration, as that is still in the design phase.

  • A new road connecting Sloan Street to the north end of Potts Street:  The town has been considering this connector for over ten years with the hope of providing some relief to the Main Street-Concord Road intersection.  On the east side of Main Street, two connector streets serve a similar function:  Eugenia Street and Chairman Blake Lane.  There are three alignments that will be considered for the connector, each with advantages and disadvantages. 

 
If you were unable to attend the meeting on October 5, please visit NCDOT’s website: https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings/ (type in “U-5873” or “U-5907” in the Search bar) and contact Sean Epperson, NCDOT Division Design Team Lead at 704-983-4400 or smepperson@ncdot.gov, or consultant Teresa Gresham at 919-677-2194 or teresa.gresham@kimleyhorn.com to provide input. There will be additional opportunities to learn about these projects and provide input.

United for PR

Announcements:

The Lake Norman Chapter of United for Puerto Rico is hosting a collection drive to help the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. There’s a collection box in our lobby. Please consider donating water, health and hygiene kits, over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen, diapers, etc. – there’s more information in the lobby. They are hosting a cultural event and donation drive on October 22 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Grand Oak Elementary School. Food trucks and Whit’s Frozen Custard will be available for purchase and they’ll have live music and a raffle.
 
The next Davidson Coffee Chat is scheduled for Monday, October 16 at 9:00 a.m. at The Egg at Davidson.

Charlotte Area Transit System is taking a fresh look at the transit vision for the north corridor of Mecklenburg County. CATS will visit the Lake Norman area over the next 18 months; they are hosting a meeting on Tuesday, October 17 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Cornelius Town Hall. Please share your thoughts on the Red Line and other rapid transit modes, and alignments.

citizens speaking to commissioners

The mayor and commissioners will be at a table along Main Street between Summit and Ben & Jerry’s on Saturday, October 21 to inform voters about the general obligation bonds on the November 7th ballot. Please stop by to get information and ask questions.

Halloween

Our annual Halloween March is Friday, October 27 at 5:00 p.m. – line-up starts at the town hall steps.
 
The Davidson Parks & Recreation Livability Board will host a public input session on Saturday, October 28 between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at Roosevelt Wilson Park to seek input on potential active play features for the park. They will also celebrate the opening of the children’s amphitheater constructed in partnership with the Westside Safety Committee. There will be a performance for youth and fall harvest activities for all.

Cookie Crumb Trail

The Second Annual Cookie Crumb Trail event to kick off the holiday shopping season is Saturday, November 4. Collect cookies at participating venues along Main Street and South Main Street. Please sign up on our website at www.townofdavidson.org/CookieCrumb

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