Harold’s Blog: Thanksgiving Week

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Cary, NC — This week was the Thanksgiving holiday week, so there was very little going on in the mayor’s office.

Monday

Monday I met with the town manager. We spent most of our time looking at sketches of a proposed business development on Chatham Street. Slowly but surely interest continues to grow in downtown. This is just one of several proposals that may be coming forward in this coming year.

Tuesday

Tuesday I met with a staff member of the Public Information Office and a person in charge of overhauling the town’s website. They were interested in my opinions on how to improve the website. My biggest concern was the ability to search for items. I also suggested several ways to change the landing page to be more citizen friendly including allowing citizen dashboards.

Our town has a wealth of information. It is important that we continue to look for ways to get that information to the people that need it.

Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving, I was blessed to be surrounded by all my immediate family and friends. Included at my dinner table were my wife, my daughters and their boyfriends, my brother, my aunt (the wife of the late Mayor Bond), my cousins, my mother-in-law, and a friend from work. It was a great time filled with laughter and joy. I hope your Thanksgiving brought you happiness and joy.

Rezoning Issues

In the newspaper last week there was a story about the tabling of rezonings west of 55. The story only focused on schools as our reason for not approving. It also implied that we are preventing the property owners from developing their property.

Schools were only one of the reasons considered by council in their decision to table these rezonings. It is important to understand that council has a list of criteria to consider for every rezoning. That criterion includes:

  • The proposed rezoning corrects an error or meets the challenge of some changing condition, trend or fact;
  • The proposed rezoning is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and the purposes set forth in Section 1.3 of the Land Development Ordinance;
  • The Town and other service providers will be able to provide sufficient public safety, educational, recreational, transportation and utility facilities and services to the subject property while maintaining sufficient levels of service to existing development;
  • The proposed rezoning is unlikely to have significant adverse impacts on the natural environment, including air, water, noise, stormwater management, wildlife and vegetation;
  • The proposed rezoning will not have significant adverse impacts on other property in the vicinity of the subject tract; and
  • The proposed zoning classification is suitable for the subject property.

Notice that schools/education is listed as part of the criteria in #3. It is also important to point out that any property owner can build at any time with their current zoning.

A rezoning is a consideration to change the zoning which is how the town regulates the kinds of allowed uses or the way development is configured on the land. It does NOT prevent development.

Emails from Citizens

Emails from citizens were very light this week. There was a complaint from a property owner that our tabling of their rezoning was not fair. I also received a complaint about building practices by Standard Pacific Homes.

Get in Touch

Next week will be back to being busy. In addition to meetings there will be the groundbreaking of Fire Station #2, the Ole Time Winter Festival, and the town’s tree lighting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 7th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

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From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. 

2 replies
  1. William Earnhardt
    William Earnhardt says:

    I would disagree strongly with the concept of adding “citizen dashboards” to the town website. The front-facing website dashboard was an interesting user interface experiment of the early 2000’s, but it ultimately proved to be a failure. iGoogle is the perfect example of this.

    Users don’t need every bit of data available at one time. They need easily actionable items presented in proper context.

    Here is a great post from Ben Balter of GitHub about why dashboards don’t work. It’s from over 2 years ago.

    I hope we’re not designing a website from 2005 in 2015.

  2. Len Nieman
    Len Nieman says:

    Except I would put the “I want to…” dropdown info directly on the home page, I find the WakeGOV.com website toolbar very useful for getting around the County’s site.

    Once you get to a particular activities page on the other hand, navigating to what you want to do can be tricky.

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