Responsible Growth

What does that mean? “Responsible growth” has been overused I am open to synonyms, but I believe it captures how our town needs to grow and has grown the past 4 years as I have sat on council. I have improved areas I saw needed corrected in our UDO (development code) such as driveway length, buffers around developments, required non-residential percentage in mixed use developments, etc. As I mentioned in my initial post, development is a minimum six-month process where the responsible part is implemented through meetings with me and staff is heavily involved making sure the plans meet our UDO before it is ever voted on in a meeting. This process is not perfect but there is a lot of time spent by me personally to make sure the projects are the best for Apex. It is unfortunate that some of my colleagues choose to not meet with the developer to suggest changes in order to gain their support yet decide to vote against projects again and again.

The more the town continues to require of new development the higher the prices of the houses will keep going. I have seen spreadsheet numbers from multiple developers that development cost is close to 100k per lot (yes even the tiny lots!) in Apex before even building a house! Requiring solar and other “add-on’s” to new construction adds to the end cost to the user and increases price even more. As I have suggested why don’t we require conduit installation and let the end user decide if a solar investment is best for them instead of the government requiring them to have solar on their house. I’m sure you know Apex is also and Electricity which means we own and run our own electric department. When your power goes out or there are other problems, have you seen how fast your power is restored or the problem is fixed compared to Duke Energy? How does solar power affect our town utility department? I believe this impact is currently being looked at and I’m happy to report the results when I have info. I’m all for having new developments pay the cost to develop and improve infrastructure but we need to keep our “ask” in mind as we talk about affordable housing.

Recent RCA changes require 30% in a new development. With buffer requirements on the edges they will have to find the remainder of the 30% somewhere in their project. If they have a stream or wetland on their property this might be easier than on an open piece of land. I would like to hear your thoughts on how you think this should look in developments.

I agree diversity of product is important and is appealing to me as well. Diversity in housing IMO means housing types including townhouses, single family, duplexes and apartments. I was speaking with a realtor today and she told me her firm is seeing houses in Apex stay on the market for an average of 22 days and getting multiple offers over asking price. She also told me home values have gone up 20+% in the past 3 years!!! What is the old saying…if the product is bad then it won’t sell?

I don’t like clear cutting as much as you don’t like it and we must continue to manage this with new developments. I remember when many of the neighborhoods were built and clear cut/mass graded in Apex that many of the people reading this post live in. Some of these neighborhoods are older than others and now have more mature trees that were very small trees when planted in buffers and throughout the neighborhood at the time.

Keeping taxes low is a must as we continue to grow. One of the things that has made Apex and even Wake county so attractive the past 20+ years is our low tax rate. Being mindful of what things cost and how necessary they are is the challenge we face. Did you know for the town of Apex to host an early voting location in November cost Apex taxpayers $50,000!! Looking at the history of early voter turnout in a municipal election and the very low numbers this was not a good decision in my opinion when early voting locations are in the next town over. Thank you again and I hope you have a great day.

2 thoughts on “Responsible Growth

  1. Wes, you are hardly for responsible growth. You’ve voted YES on every zoning change request. You’ve strongly supported development like Olive Chapel Professional Park which is ill conceived, ill placed and horribly executed. You’ve told long time residents of Apex they should sell property and take profits presumably to add more commercial development replacing old established neighborhoods. Your judgment is as questionable as your motives

    1. Doug, I do not know you personally so I’m not sure how you can judge my motives. I meet with every team on every development project in Apex and work through all the details and changes that make it best for Apex, that is why I vote Yes. I outlined what responsible growth means to me and OCPP might not be what you like but it is being leased faster than they can build the space. It is the most unique looking office space in Apex. Things change, why don’t we all work together to make change the best for our future and not complain the whole time change is happening and wind up like the residential island in Beaver Creek Commons. Please stay involved in our local politics but let’s have productive respectful dialogue. Apex is better than that.

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