Jamestown Town Council Members,

The current draft of the Development Agreement that you are voting on tonight ascribes the wrong density (3.2 units/acre) to the D.R. Horton project as proposed. The correct number is 4.71 units per acre and the built-upon percentage is 77%, a level that is prohibited in WS-IV Protected and Critical Watershed. This calculation is, at best, a minimum, since the current plan doesn’t specify what “TH or amenity” it plans to build in Area 10 nor does it specify the nature of the amenity planned for Area 2. 

The Developer recognizes that the definition of "multi-family" housing includes apartments and multi-unit cottages (4.3.2) - and includes the schematic for the 480 apartment units in exhibit B-2 of the Development Agreement - but failed to update section 4.5.2 with the apartment count included.  

The 3.2 units per acre number is based on an earlier version of the site specific plan dated 2/1/2022 in which the "Project Jamestown Development Program" chart acreage and units were presented by category.

The correct chart, updated with the current information, is shown below: 

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Because the property is in WS-IV Protected and Critical Watershed, the developer MUST apply the density calculations mandated in 2020 by the State of North Carolina in 15A NCAC 02B .0721 RANDLEMAN WATER SUPPLY WATERSHED STORMWATER REQUIREMENTS. 

I hope you will consider the enormity of an error such as this, particularly in the context of a Development Agreement as consequential as this one, and delay tonight’s vote until you have had time to review every single word of this entire agreement. 

Additionally, there are a disturbingly high number of places throughout the Development Agreement in which final determinations and decision-making authority are given to the Technical Review Committee (TRC). 

Considering that our TRC consists of Jamestown’s town manager - who lives in another county where he has spoken against a similar development in his own community in a formal public venue while promoting this one in Jamestown; Town Planner, who has been in her current role less than two years and is out on extended leave; and our public utilities director, who is already stressed to the limit as a one-man utilities department - surely you can understand why this is a bad idea. 

Susan Dickenson

608 Havershire Drive

Jamestown, NC 27282

(12) comments

susand

It is what it is. And it IS 4.7 units per acre: https://thejamestowner9.wordpress.com/2023/01/22/dr-hortons-density-debacle/

Robert Frederick

Unfortunately, with new comments, Mr. Capes is spreading misinformation.

Of course, the staff's and council's dedication to seeing this project through is commendable from the standpoint of D.R. Horton. Personal sacrifices are to be acknowledged, indeed. To the public, however, who also have made many personal sacrifices unbeknownst to others -- one can never know what another is going through -- the efforts of staff and council were rushed and did not follow the letter nor the spirit of the law.

Regarding that law, Mr. Terrell may have helped with 160D, but -- as he admitted himself -- Mr. Owens wrote it. I baited Mr. Terrell into his outraged speech, the purpose of which was to make for drama so that the council might actually listen to my reply -- quoting Mr. Owens.

But Council was deaf to my words and to those of Mr. Owens.

But it is very clear from the actual author of NCGS 160D, Mr. David Owens, that:

"The mandated published notice of the public hearing on a proposed development agreement is for two newspaper advertisements, with the first at least ten but not more than twenty-five days prior to the hearing and each notice being in separate calendar weeks. The notice must specify the location of the property involved and describe the land uses proposed. The draft agreement should be complete and available for inspection at the time of publication of the notice of the hearing."

https://www.sog.unc.edu/resources/legal-summaries/development-agreements

That original notice was back in January, 2022. A year ago. At that time, the "draft" had not even been reviewed by D.R. Horton or the town's staff.

By continuing the public hearing for a year without further advertisement, Council did not meet its legal duty to the law. Further, anyone who was attending every single public hearing would have heard at the November, 2022 meeting, Mr. Johnson say that the completed draft would be posted in mid-December so that the public would have plenty of time to view it.

One was posted then. But there was no public announcement of 3 more versions prior to the public hearing with substantial changes (including reduction of the reimbursement from D.R. Horton from 75% to 50% the cost of the garbage truck that Mr. Terrell seemed to be so proud about... so less money to the town).

Further, Mr. Terrell referenced 160D-1003 on the copy of the development agreement saying "PER NCGS 160D-1003, THIS AGREEMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AFTER PUBLIC POSTING AND MAY BE CHANGED UNTIL THE TIME OF THE DECISION BY THE GOVERNING BODY (TOWN COUNCIL)."

Anyone can see that 160D-1003 makes no such reference.

https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_160D/GS_160D-1003.pdf

Nor does 160D-1005, which 160D-1003 refers to:

https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_160D/GS_160D-1005.pdf

Nor does 160D-602, which 160D-1005 refers to. https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_160D/GS_160D-602.pdf

Mr. Capes and Mr. Terrell would have you believe that 160D is sacred text only to be viewed or interpreted by legal priests. But it is everyone's law and it is easy to read. After all, it was written by Mr. David Owens -- as Mr. Terrell freely admitted -- whose job it was/is (he is semi-retired from the UNC School of Government) to make the law clear.

JCapes

Contrary to misinformation that's been spread on social media and in public hearings, the proposed density of the project is 3.2 units per acre or less. There is only one method for calculating density that every jurisdiction in the state of North Carolina uses and that is where the 3.2 units per acre comes from. There are no alternative methods that can dispute this. Density is calculated using gross acreage. So at its highest calculated density 1500 units on 467 acres............................................ (1500 divided by 467 equals 3.21 units or 3.2 units per acre). Now that being said, it is entirely possible there will be LESS than 1500 units. So, any other rationale to measure this is inaccurate. Again, this calculation is how jurisdictions in the state of North Carolina calculate density. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Derogatory statements have been made regarding the town staff and Council. One condescending comment in this thread implies that that people are being forced to work nights weekends or holidays as if it was a mandate by the Council/Mayor. That is not true. It's called a work ethic and a desire to see the work through and that it’s done well. It's a personal choice. Everyone that has been involved in this process including the Mayor and Council have made personal sacrifices and put in extraordinary hours to see that we have addressed everything possible. The Mayor’s father passed away 24 hours before Tuesday night’s meeting. She showed up early and knew every aspect of the meeting that night. She did not make it widely known and more importantly she did her job quite admirably. There are ten more stories of personal sacrifices made by town staff, council, and the mayor that I could share. None of it was forced. It all came from a sense of duty and responsibility. These are good people doing their level best every single day. So don’t think that you can proselytize about the council needing “to treat our town's staff well and take resident concerns seriously” Mr. Frederick. You simply have no idea to what you are referring to. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… This process has taken three years. Nothing has been rushed and if there were members of the public that were not on the same page Tuesday night it's because of misinformation that is being stated as fact. One example of this was during a public hearing this past Tuesday. It was stated as fact by Mr. Frederick that Tom Terrell was not as familiar with the Chapter 160D - Local Planning and Development Regulation because it was such a recent change. Mr. Frederick was in fact incorrect. Tom Terrell helped to WRITE 160D. There have been many “facts” made just like that one over the past three years that were only suppositions. That is the root cause of people possibly not being on the same page.

Robert Frederick

Thank you for your thoughtful and well-researched letter, Ms. Dickenson.

Your letter along with multiple comments posted here by a Council member in reply — which appears to be a form of gaslighting — show both:

1) a lack of care by Council to address citizen concerns and

2) a lack of Council care toward town staff, who appear to be overworked and under-resourced.

Regarding 1), that you asked in advance for a delay certainly seems well warranted given the issues you raised.

Unfortunately, as we all saw in the meeting itself, council members did not even appear to have the same version of the development agreement that they then went on to approve that same night! Here’s the moment when it was clear that’s what was happening: https://youtu.be/jfaQ4sb43ps?t=11036

That should have made it absolutely clear to everyone that council and the mayor — and the public! — were literally “not on the same page,” and so council should have listened to your request in advance of the meeting and the many citizen requests during the public hearing to delay the proceedings so there was time for all of us -- Council included! -- to consider the development agreement and anticipate the consequences of the development itself.

So why didn't Council — or the Mayor herself, who presides over the meeting and could have moved the vote to another meeting — even consider the public’s requests to have time to read and understand and comment on… what our tax dollars paid for?

I wish I knew, particularly after granting the repeated requests made by the town's land-use attorney and D.R. Horton's representatives for more time to complete the agreement (going back as far as June, 2022). It was absurd, particularly because the Council packet from that same night (January 17) show that since July 1, Council has paid Mr. Terrell over $90,000 in our tax money.

Regarding 2), after all, as Town Manager, Mr. Johnson is the only member of staff who is hired/fired by the Council/Mayor, and they grant the Town Manager the budget to employ the rest of the staff and to oversee their work. If he has to work 60+ hour weeks, which both the Council member writing here and Mr. Terrell also seemed to laud during the public hearing (mentioning staff work on nights/weekends/holidays), that is because of decisions made by the Mayor/Council in not granting the Town Manager the time/resources he needs to do his job.

Council/Mayor may see themselves as volunteers because they're not paid. But they chose to run for office in order to be our representatives, and they need to treat our town's staff well and take our concerns seriously, as if our concerns were their own.

Thank you again for your letter.

susand

Thank you, Robert, for your wise and always-insightful commentary. The fact that this town council member thinks density is calculated by dividing total units by total acreage in the parcel 😳 … speaks volumes about how and why the town is in this “predicament.”

JCapes

I do want to apologize for my post appearing four times. I don't know what caused that.

Myra_Krebs

Mr. Capes, what are you saying is incorrect with her statement? Are you referring to the requirements by the NCAC Randleman stormwater watershed or are you saying the development agreement has the updated density to include the 480 apartments projected? Those can both be easily proven.

My other question for you is... Why are you so in Favor of this massive development? Please give your constituents some clarification on how this project will enhance our small town and not just someone's pocketbook.

susand

JCapes,

Read much? All my sources are cited in my letter. Try again.

Susan Dickenson

JCapes

Ms Dickenson is mistaken.

As a member of the Jamestown Town Council I have personally seen all of the data and read the development agreement more than once. It's extensive in detail and with good reason...to protect the town. I am not certain where Ms Dickenson gets her data. She fails to cite her sources or the individuals that gave her this information. Additionally I fail to understand why the address of the town manager is relevant when it is the Council (All of whom have lived in Jamestown for decades) who votes and decides on this matter. It is also irrelevant that he takes an active interest in where he lives in addition to working a 60+ hours a week as our town manager. He is highly qualified and the town is lucky to have him. It is also in poor taste that Ms. Dickenson felt the need to share the personal status of one of the Town's employees.

The grid looks nice and official but that being said, the data Ms. Dickenson is citing is in error in places and is supposition in others. I appreciate her passion. But to cite this as fact is simply wrong.

Thank you,

John Capes

Councilman

Town of Jamestown

JCapes

Ms Dickenson is mistaken.

The grid looks nice and official but that being said, the data Ms. Dickenson is citing is in error in places and is supposition in others. I appreciate her passion. But to cite this as fact is simply wrong.

Thank you,

John Capes

Councilman

Town of Jamestown

As a member of the Jamestown Town Council I have personally seen all of the data and read the development agreement more than once. It's extensive in detail and with good reason...to protect the town. I am not certain where Ms Dickenson gets her data. She fails to cite her sources or the individuals that gave her this information. Additionally I fail to understand why the address of the town manager is relevant when it is the Council (All of whom have lived in Jamestown for decades) who votes and decides on this matter. It is also irrelevant that he takes an active interest in where he lives in addition to working a 60+ hours a week as our town manager. He is highly qualified and the town is lucky to have him. It is also in poor taste that Ms. Dickenson felt the need to share the personal status of one of the Town's employees.

JCapes

Ms Dickenson is mistaken.

As a member of the Jamestown Town Council I have personally seen all of the data and read the development agreement more than once. It's extensive in detail and with good reason...to protect the town. I am not certain where Ms Dickenson gets her data. She fails to cite her sources or the individuals that gave her this information. Additionally I fail to understand why the address of the town manager is relevant when it is the Council (All of whom have lived in Jamestown for decades) who votes and decides on this matter. It is also irrelevant that he takes an active interest in where he lives in addition to working a 60+ hours a week as our town manager. He is highly qualified and the town is lucky to have him. It is also in poor taste that Ms. Dickenson felt the need to share the personal status of one of the Town's employees. Frankly speaking, that is a reflection of the character of the individual who made the statement in the first place.

The grid looks nice and official but that being said, the data Ms. Dickenson is citing is in error in places and is supposition in others. I appreciate her passion. But to cite this as fact is simply wrong.

Thank you,

John Capes

Councilman

Town of Jamestown

JCapes

Ms Dickenson is mistaken.

As a member of the Jamestown Town Council I have personally seen all of the data and read the development agreement more than once. It's extensive in detail and with good reason...to protect the town. I am not certain where Ms Dickenson gets her data. She fails to cite her sources or the individuals. Additionally I fail to understand why the address of the town manager is relevant when it is the Council (All of whom have lived in Jamestown for decades) who votes and decides on this matter. It is also irrelevant that he takes an active interest in where he lives in addition to working a 60+ hours a week as our town manager. He is highly qualified and the town is lucky to have him. It is also in poor taste that Ms. Dickenson felt the need to share the personal status of one of the Town's employees. Frankly speaking, that is a reflection of the character of the individual who made the statement in the first place.

The grid looks nice and official but that being said, the data Ms. Dickenson is citing is in error in places and is supposition in others. I appreciate her passion. But to cite this as fact is simply wrong.

Thank you,

John Capes

Councilman

Town of Jamestown

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