The Power of Plants: Enriching Lives, Creating Jobs, Building Wealth, Saving Money

Author: Debbie Hamrick, Director Specialty Crops North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 27766 Raleigh, NC 27611-7766 (919) 334-2977 Cell: (919) 302-9538 debbie.hamrick@ncfb.org Horticulture positively affects people’s lives where they live, work, shop and play, according to a new report from the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) (www.ConsumerHort.org). The benefits of consumer horticulture are spotlighted in “#PlantsDoThat, Horticulture: The Art, Science, & Business of Plants.” The infographic illustrates how consumer horticulture contributes $196 billion to the U.S. economy and creates more than 2 million jobs. “The story doesn’t just stop at direct economic impact,” said Casey Sclar, NICH Chair. “Consumer and society engagement through plants permeates all aspects of our lives, from providing the aesthetic backdrop to directly enriching our health and well-being.” According to the NICH report, plants benefit society in many ways: Plants in the workplace reduce employee sick time by 14% Well-landscaped homes are more valuable; since homes represent 25% of personal wealth, outdoor plants pack a powerful personal finance punch American’s are growing more of their own food—25% of all Americans grow berries, veggies or fruit trees Shaded roadways save 60% of repaving costs America’s public gardens generate $2.3 billion in tourism spending The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is a consortium of industry leaders who are promoting the benefits and value of horticulture. NICH brings together academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to cultivate the growth and development of a healthy world through landscapes, gardens and plants – indoors and out. The Mission of NICH is to grow a healthy world through plants, gardens, and landscapes. #PlantsDoThat—Horticulture: The Art, Science & Business of Plants is...

Durham Launches New Development Services Center

Author: Pete Sullivan, AICP, Development Coordination Supervisor, Durham Development Services Center The Durham City-County Development Services Center (DSC) opened on April 3, 2017, with a mission of streamlining Durham’s development review process and enhancing customer service. A joint initiative of the Planning, Inspections, and Public Works Department, the DSC is both a new physical space and reorganization of program activities and staff. The DSC is intended to be a “one-stop-shop,” providing 1) application intake for Planning, Inspections, and Public Works, 2) in-person customer service, and 3) quick turn-around for minor planning and building projects. Collectively, Durham’s development review process includes over seventy different permit and/or review types, spanning more than twenty City and County Departments. The rate and complexity of development in Durham has increased over time, giving rise to the concept of a more integrated service delivery model. While all City and County Departments do outstanding work in their program areas, the need to obtain approvals from multiple City and/or County Departments can lead to permitting delays and a frustrating customer experience. To address these compartmentalization issues, the DSC emphasizes customer service and procedural streamlining, better positioning the City and County to improve the predictability, timeliness, and quality of the development review process. Creation of the DSC was led by Patrick O. Young, AICP, who was recently named Director of the Durham City-County Planning Department. Mr. Young joined the department in 2008 as Assistant Director, and has helped advance the creation of affordable housing in Durham. He succeeds Steven L. Medlin, who retired after 30 years of service to the department. The DSC is located in the former lobby...

Candidates Wanted for 2017 APA-NC Election!

It’s time for the 2017 APA North Carolina election. As a result, the APA-NC Nominating Committee is seeking candidates with the leadership, energy, and commitment to serve as officers for APA-NC. There are five positions that are up for election. These include: President-Elect/President/Past President  (4-year term) Vice President for Chapter Development  (2-year term) Vice President for Professional Development  (2-year term) Treasurer (2-year term) Secretary  (2-year term) To be considered for nomination by the Nominating Committee, prospective candidates must: Have been members of APA in good standing for at least 12 months by the time they take office (Jan. 1st, 2018) The Vice President for Professional Development shall be a member in good standing with APA and AICP Be committed to accepting nomination and running for the position requested If elected, agree to devote the necessary time and energy to carry out the duties of their position Agree to work in service to the organization and avoid any conflicts of interest To be considered, prospective candidates must submit a Position Statement of up to 600 words to Chapter Administrator, Bonnie Estes, at estes.bonnie@gmail.com by 5 PM on Friday May 5th. The Nominating Committee will then review the qualifications of the prospective candidates and nominate two candidates for each officer position. Prospective candidates who are not slated may seek listing on the ballot through a member petition process. Additional information on the Nominating Committee, Election Schedule, and Officer Responsibilities is provided below. If you have questions or comments about the election and/or your potential candidacy, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jmorck@nc.rr.com. We hope you’ll consider serving the Chapter! Sincerely, John Morck, AICP Immediate Past President APA North...

PHOTOS: Town Hall Day for the 2017 Winners of the Great Places in North Carolina

On March 29th, APA-NC celebrated Town Hall Day in Raleigh by joining with legislators to recognize the 2017 winners of the Great Places in North Carolina initiative. Representatives Stephen Ross and David Rogers welcomed all to the Legislative Building to celebrate the dynamic partnerships that bring together local and state governments. Program Chair Kelly Bennett provided an overview of the Great Places in North Carolina program, describing this year’s categories, including the new Great Transformation category. APA-NC Chapter President Ken Bowers introduced all of the winning communities—Morehead City, Mebane, Lewisville, Winston-Salem, and Mooresville. Representatives from each community shared with those attendance a few words about what makes their respective place great. Behind every great place is North Carolinians working together to improve their community. APA-NC was pleased to join with legislators to celebrate these collaborative planning efforts. Legislators in attendance included Senator Paul Lowe, Jr, Senator Joyce Krawiec, and Senator David Curtis.        ...

Managing Community Engagement in Hickory, NC

Author: Charles Archer, Account Director, Freese and Nichols Every year, City Planners across North Carolina ask their citizens to reinvest in their communities by approving bond referendums for projects that will spur economic growth or enhance infrastructure to accommodate rapid population increases. This article spotlights the various tactics that the City of Hickory used to generate support for a bond election to fund projects that would attract millennials and revitalize the community. In the midst of economic decline, Hickory took a unique approach by engaging and accepting feedback from the community at the beginning of the process. By giving Hickory citizens a platform to be heard – coupled with educational and technology programs about the bond referendum and its related projects – the City demonstrated how public consensus can be leveraged when working to prioritize bond projects. One challenge many city planners face is achieving public consensus on the prioritization of bond or capital projects, given the varied interests, backgrounds and demographics across communities. In 2010, Freese and Nichols worked with the City of Hickory to identify community priorities with the goal of prioritizing capital projects to be financed by two bond referendums totaling $40 million. The economic context for this project provided an additional challenge. In 2010, Hickory was in economic decline. The City had lost 45,407 jobs and was rapidly losing residents in the key age group of 20-44. Between 2000 and 2010, the City lost approximately 25 percent of its residents in this age range. City leaders knew they had to make Hickory competitive with other midsize southeast cities by attracting private job creators and young adults....

Great Places 2017 Winners

Professional’s Category: Great Main Street Evans Street, Morehead City Evans Street and its adjoining waterfront, is the historic and cultural center for Morehead City and an important economic driver for the community. It has, in six short years, seen a transformation through a collaboration of private, public, and non-profit entities. The waterfront has gone from being a place with many empty storefronts and no pedestrian traffic to a destination known for festivals, entertainment, fine dining, unique shops, and world class fishing and diving. Professional’s Category: Great Main Street in the Making Clay Street, Mebane A Great Main Street in the Making is a street that is still being planned or developed, but has great potential for success. Clay Street in Mebane is just such a street. The street has shops, restaurants, and businesses that maintain the character and charm of the city.  The White Furniture Factory, at the end of Clay Street, was until recently, vacant and becoming an eye sore.  The City of Mebane, working with developers transformed the dilapidated building into 156 high end, unique, historic lofts in a $25 million renovation.  The complex is a key piece is helping with a vitality of downtown. The building will now have an estimated 250 people living, shopping, and eating right in downtown Mebane. Professional’s Category: Great Transformation Mooresville Mill, Mooresville Throughout much of the twentieth century, the Mooresville mill complex produced a variety of finished goods and was the largest single employer and tax payer in Iredell County. But, in 1999, due to profound changes in the domestic economy, the mill closed. Through fits and starts, different owners tried to...