Friday, December 3, 2010

Greensboro Taxpayers Could and Probably Will Pay The Bill on Industrial Park Developers Sidewalks if Ordinance is Passed

Ordinance amending Chapter 30, Section 30-9-10 of the Land Development Ordinance (LDO) related to the sidewalk installation regulations for Industrial Parks. (Council District: all) (roll call vote) (Attachment #11 to Councilmembers) THIS ITEM WAS CONTINUED FROM THE NOVEMBER 9TH MEETING OF COUNCIL WITHOUT FURTHER ADVERTISING
This agenda item above was postponed from November 9th Greensboro City Council meeting to come back up in front of council the next week to also be tabled till their briefing session on November 23, 2010 to probably be in front of council next week for their regular meeting.

Let's take a look at what this exemption is all about with a explanation from Greensboro City Manager Rashad Young talking with Greensboro City Council Member Danny Thompson  on this issue. Here is the embedded video below.

As you can see from the above video this ordinance was brought in front of council driven in part by the development community and  developer Richard Beard with him wanting to exempt his new tenant for his property out in Rock Creek Center in American Express. Now, does anyone believe that it is a undo burden for a multi billion dollar company to spend some extra dollars on sidewalks for your employees or tenants in your industrial park who would like to take a safe stroll on a sidewalk instead of a roadway. We also have Rock Creek Center web site with this to say:

Rock Creek Center was originally developed in 1982 by the City Pension Fund for Firefighters and Police Officers of Tampa Florida. In October 2005, Rock Creek was purchased by an investment group located in Greensboro, NC and underwent a revised comprehensive master plan to develop the remaining 680 acres in the park. The development will continue offering residential, retail, office and industrial/ warehouse opportunities as it has over its 20 year existence. Rock Creek Center is a high quality corporate community that has attracted high quality companies while maintaining an environment that compliments its natural surroundings

So they state on their web site that they would like to offer all sorts of opportunities for this land in eastern guilford county from residential to industrial parks but it isn't for them to offer a walkability area for people to live and work near their employer or to take a stroll while on their lunchbreak on a sidewalk in Rock Creek Center because we have RIchard Beard wanting to exempt companies from this.

But wait there is more. This exemption of sidewalks in industrial parks was aided in part from our local non regulated lobbyist group headed by Marlene Sanford in the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition(TREBIC). This exemption of sidewalks in industrial parks was only going to be a part of  Guilford County that got water and sewer from the City of Greensboro. But here comes  TREBIC who wants to argue that why don't we exempt all industrial parks both outside the city limits and also all over the City of Greensboro as well.As you can see from the above video all of this was brought to you from the development community as the city manager said but why is this a bad idea.

First and foremost is that in another exchange between Adam Fischer and Greensboro City Council Member Trudy Wade was this exchange on who will be responsible to provide sidewalks in future.

As you can see from this video that the local developers which is aided by TREBIC want to put the burden on the local taxpayers to pay for sidewalks in the future. Adam Fischer from Greensboro Department of Transportation was taking a question from Trudy Wade who asked about the responsibility on who in future will pay for sidewalks if they pass the exemption for industrial parks and in certain circumstances it would be the responsibility of the greensboro taxpayers instead of the developers to build sidewalks on their property.

We will see what happens next week in front of the Greensboro City Council but will they say to the development community and the lobbyist group TREBIC to build sidewalks on your property  or will you make the Greensboro taxpayers pay for sidewalks in the future under certain circumstances as Adam Fischer stated.

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