Posted by Chatham News + Record | Dec 25, 2022 | Chatham N+R, Town Square
Ben Rappaport, Chatham News + Record
With $4 billion in investment and 7,500 jobs, VinFast is bringing more than just electric vehicles to Chatham County. It’ll also bring a population boom, and those new families will need other places in and around Moncure to live, work and play.
That expected growth is why the Chatham County Board of Commissioners called on the services of consulting group White & Smith LLC to create a Small Area Plan for Moncure — the future home of VinFast, the Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer.
The SAP calls for focused planning in areas of economic development in and around Triangle Innovation Point, the megasite which will house VinFast. The first phase of the SAP was delivered by White & Smith during the work session of Monday night’s board meeting at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center.
According to the plan, key goals of SAP stakeholders include:
Phase one of the plan included preliminary findings of the report, additional firms added to the planning process and laying out a timeline for final rollout. After hearing phase one, commissioners voted unanimously to renew the contract of White & Smith, which means phase two will begin in January.
“What the county does in response to this kind of change, and the pace at which the change is occurring, is crucial,” Ben Hitchings, a consultant with White & Smith, told commissioners Monday. “And that’s part of what this plan is intended to do — to inform decisions, to keep pace with this kind of change.”
The preliminary findings also showed areas of Moncure that would benefit from specific zoning modifications, such as creating an activity district, neighborhood districts and other accessory uses such as health centers or places of worship.
“We had this big idea and broadly knew we wanted a small area plan for Moncure,” Karen Howard, chairperson of the board of commissioners said. “So getting the right people in the room means we end up with all the right ingredients and then some extra flavor on top of that.”
The next phase of the SAP includes outlining watershed protections for Moncure and finding leaders within Moncure for community input sessions, which White & Smith would be completed by the end of February.
Following the renewal of contract for the SAP, the board also moved to exercise its legislative discretion to pause taking legislative action on new rezoning requests for the Moncure area as outlined in the plan. This means rezoning requests previously heard by the board will continue through the county’s planning board, but no new rezonings in this area will receive final approval by commissioners until Aug. 1, 2023, when the final SAP is expected to be completed.
The study area in Moncure designated by White & Smith LLC for the Plan Moncure Small Area Plan
Courtesy of White & Smith LLC
(See previous News + Record stories for full analysis of the CIP.)
Daniels, who served 21 years in the US Army, has been Chatham County’s Veteran Services Officer since June 2021.
“Michael is an incredibly valuable asset to Chatham County veterans and their families, and routinely goes above and beyond to assist them,” said Carolyn Miller, assistant county manager. “Michael often travels great distances across the county, including to the hospital, to meet with veterans and their families to complete forms, ensuring they receive the benefits they deserve.”
Stewart is an Application Solutions Engineer with Management Information Services (MIS) after joining the GIS Department in September 2020.
“Lucian provides excellent customer service, he works continuously to improve himself and others around him, he is a team player, and he has a positive attitude every day he comes to work,” said Chatham County MIS and GIS Director Nick Haffele. “Lucian’s contributions to various county application deployments have improved efficiency across multiple departments by extending functionality of already existing county business systems.”
“My sense is that the risk of losing all of that institutional knowledge over and over again on our Planning Board in particular is significant,” said Howard, in support of eliminating term limits.
The motion was unanimously passed to eliminate term limits for the members of the Planning Board. Commissioners would still have power to appoint and remove Planning Board members under the new motion.
Commissioners will meet again at 2 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, at the Chatham Agriculture & Conference Center. For more information visit www.chathamcountync.gov/government/board-of-commissioners.
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