June 11 – Idols Industrial Park

 PROJECT UPDATE

Mike Combest and I asked our fellow council members this past Monday for their approval to move from a position of learning and potential supporting of the Idols Industrial Park to one of actively advocating and working for a more profitable, productive use of that area. This recommendation came after a series of meetings with County staff, Village staff and multiple county commissioners.

Council directed staff to craft a resolution that would represent to the County Commissioners that we do not support an industrial park at that location.  Mike and I also hope to present on information we have uncovered and the timeline of events so that our community fully understands what has led us to this conclusion and course of action. Look for that on the June 25th agenda.

In the meantime, we are scheduling time with county commissioners who were not previously approached regarding this issue to make sure they have a full understanding of our position.

May 29, 2018 – Citizen Boards

The Village of Clemmons has a number of Citizen Boards that were created to gain insight from the population that the Village staff and officials serve.

In the past, a few newspaper advertisements in the Courier were placed to recruit volunteers. This year, ads went out via Facebook and Email blasts resulting in a HUGE number of applicants! I’m thrilled about this change in our marketing strategy for these boards because the interest in them had always been a little on the lighter side due primarily to a lack of familiarity with them. Council members have always contacted people to apply for these roles and that piece of it won’t change. Sometimes you meet or know of someone that you just know will be a great fit and you ask them to apply.  Regardless, any applicant must be voted in by a majority of the council so there aren’t any “handpicked” members.

Having more people participate in the process will give our boards grater diversity of age, gender, and experience.  Here’s some information on each board and how many applicants there have been

Planning Board

The planning board is focused on land use and future development.  There are just three board positions whose terms expire June 30, 2021 and we have received over 20 applicants! It’s great news for the Village, but makes making a decision about who to choose very difficult.  For more information about the planning board, click here. 

Zoning Board of Adjustments

The zoning board sets the tone for the Village and how areas are zoned (commercial, residential, general use, industrial, etc.). This board receives very few applicants but is really a very fascinating piece of the municipal puzzle as once areas are zoned that determination stays with the property regardless of it changing hands or business closing, etc.  so one must really think through it’s applications and how that will impact the community.  There are two regular seats and one alternate seat available for applicants. We have received over 15 applicants. Learn more about ZBoA here.

Stormwater Advisory Board

This board only meets once a quarter, but it’s very important. It focuses on water quality and protecting the natural resources for our neighborhoods.  There are just two seats available for appointment and we received about ten applicants. I see this board playing a huge role over the next couple of years and have some exciting ideas for them to explore. Read more about stormwater here. 

Ad-hoc Transportation Committee

This group will be updating the Village transportation plan, which includes greenways, sidewalks and roadways. More information is available here.  The deadline for this group has been extended until Monday June 4th because to it’s belated completion. You can apply online here.

There will be 5-10 spots available. Most likely the number will settle around 9.

Terms and Voting

The Council will vote on and announce applicants at the June 11th meeting.  Anyone who will no longer be serving will be recognized on June 25th for their hard work and commitment to the Village.  Terms are three years and will be effective July 1st. The exception is the Transportation Committee, which was created to be a temporary committee with an 18-24 month window of time. If the need is there the Council can vote to extend that committee or even to make it a permanent addition to the citizen boards.

All applicants must live within the corporate boundaries of the Village ofClemmons. Applications are available at the Village Hall, 3715 Clemmons Road and on our website at http://www.clemmons.org/citizenboards.  For more information, call 336-766-7511 and ask for our Village Clerk, Lisa Shortt. Applicants that are not appointed to these positions will be maintained on file for consideration in future openings on boards so please don’t feel discouraged if you are not chosen.

 

May 29, 2018 – 158 Sidewalk Update

The sidewalk connecting Middlebrook to Tanglewood Park to run along 158 is moving in the right direction.

There have had to be a number environmental studies for this project because of floodways and a creek crossing at Asbury Place. Those studies were recently received and they are approved.  This is great news!

Mike Gunnell and Megan Ledbetter have already gone out to the sites and itemized all of the necessary easement and right of way (ROW) needed.  Now those (ROW), temporary easements and permanent drainage easement dedications are being drafted by the Village attorney.  The goal is to receive those drafts some time next week. Once those are complete the Village will meet with property owners along 158 to receive their signatures, which should take one to two weeks.

After those signatures are obtained all of the agreements will be sent to NCDOT for ROW certification. Once the ROW certification is complete the plans will be reviewed again by NCDOT for concurrence, which will then allow construction authorization. The goal to receive construction authorization is by the end of June.

After the Village receives construction authorization advertisements will go out for a CEI firm and construction firm. The Village will pick the lowest responsible bidders and then submit those selections to NCDOT for approval. Once that approval is complete mobilization on the project can begin.

If everything goes as planned (as it always does – ha!) the construction should begin by the end of July and finish before the cold season.

 

 

 

May 14, 2017 – Special Session

Last night, prior to the regular meeting, there was a presentation by Pat Ivey, NCDOT Division 9 Engineer and Kimley-Horn Planning and Design Engineer Consultants focused on the solution for Lewisville-Clemmons Road. The majority of the presentation was done by Teresa Gresham, PE Project Manager with Kimely-Horn.

The proposed solution for Lewisville-Clemmons Road south of I-40 shows there will be NO MEDIAN south of Stadium Drive. The proposal was a great beginning.  Here is their presentation: U-6004 Council Presentation 5-14-18.2  *Please note that one item not taken into account yet is the I-40 bridge/interchange. 

Once it was known that a full median wouldn’t be accepted the work began on a more inclusive option. However, this proposal still leaves a lot to be desired. We need to explore more access roads, parallel streets and what type of realistic possibility we have at securing the necessary easements in a timely manner to make any of this happen.

This proposals’ primary focus was safety.  However, I’m concerned not just with safety, but with access to businesses and improving the level of service to the road.

Teresa specifically mentioned that more “ins and outs” at intersections will help to keep a high level of access to busineses where the median crosses in front of them. She provided for that in her proposal. What is also vital is the interconnectivity within the business parks and that still needs to be worked through.  I feel confident that throughout the next couple of months and working together we can fine-tune the plan to make it something that everyone is excited about.

I hope that by creating a safer driving experience there will be a higher likelihood of drivers stopping to conduct business and if the flow is improved (thus drive time is reduced) then there will be more available time for drivers to stop and conduct business. Again, proper access is still key.  Difficult access or time-consuming access may also deter drivers from becoming shoppers.

Kimley-Horn also proposed an added righthand turn lane along L-C Road in front of the Baptist Health center heading North and an additional lefthand turn lane at 158 and Middlebrook.

There are future widening plans for 158 West of L-C Road and this project takes that into account and would take into account a Kinnamon ramp (if that project were to be prioritized).

There was discussion about adding multi-modal opportunities such as bike lanes and sidewalks, but I have a hard time envisioning bike lanes with so many curb cuts. I worry for the safety of bikers.  I believe even walkers/runners will have a difficult time on the sidewalks along L-C Road, but also believe that, that type of access must be made available.

Council must commit to the prioritization of this project (or not) by September, but we will not be making this decision in a vacuum.  If the decision is to move forward then right-of-way acquisition will begin in 2023 and construction would begin in 2025.

We will be seeking both citizen and business input on this proposal over the next couple of months. Please, stay tuned for those public input session dates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14, 2018 – Tanglewood Business Park

I hate this new name…it’s misleading. It is not a proposed business park, but rather still a proposed industrial park…I digress 😉

Councilman Mike Combest and I now have regularly scheduled meetings with County staff and a core group of Village staff to help shape the future of the land use off of Idols Road in Forsyth County, but adjacent to Clemmons limits.  Essentially, we have decided to follow the same playbook that strengthened communication and partnership between the Village and County as was done for the library.

What we have learned thus far is that the project is not one that any specific Commissioner is passionate about – it’s a staff-driven project.

Unfortunately, we have also learned that the county scope of “economic development” measures only two things – job creation and tax revenue. Economic development is a more comprehensive term that should have more comprehensive research placed behind it.  It should take into consideration logistics, home values, quality of life, environment, and more.  Economic development isn’t just about jobs – it should be about the overall impact on the economic climate of an area.

I am positive about our next steps and how the conversation has been received by a few county commissioners thus far. I believe that even if this goes the route of industrial or business park that Clemmons will have a voice in the execution of it.

May 14, 2018 – Library Update

As many of you have already read the County approved our need for additional funding. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money to raise the site the desired 2-7 feet. It was priced out at $18/sq foot. The most we could have raised it with that amount of additional money was 2 feet.

We have been assured that there will be no money spent toward a pump station and that gravity flow sewage will work just fine at the current level. We have been assured that raising the site was purely for aesthetic reasons and the county feels the dollars allocated for landscaping will help to negate that difference between the library site and the sidewalk. That said, the pricing has all be quotes up until now and if there is additional money left in the budget we will have influence over where that goes.

We are looking for partners who wish to donate and deliver suitable soils in exchange for naming and sponsorship opportunities. Please contact the village and we can put you in touch with the right contact at the county to make that happen.

We are also looking for community partners who wish to contribute money in exchange for naming and sponsorship opportunities. The Village will be adding to the what the county offers to further promote any business or family that donates. Money that is received sooner can be put toward elevating the site.

ATTENTION: The Planning Board will review the site plans for the library at 7pm tomorrow at Village Hall.

Library Update – April 26, 2018

Well, it’s officially, official. The Clemmons Branch of the Forsyth County Library has received an additional $200,000 from the county. The money comes from savings gained on the Central Library and was packaged with more money for the other library’s, but with Clemmons leading the way and receiving $200,000.  These dollars will go a VERY long way and bring back the aesthetic and useful design elements of front columns (for a covered porch-like area), courtyard pergolas (that make an outside courtyard inviting and more useable on hot days) and fencing (that will help to define the space and keep kids safe).

The conversations with the County started because of the Clemmons community reaction to such design elements being value engineered out to come in under budget.  The Village Council entrusted Mike Combest and I to represent the community and together we met with Commissioner Don Martin. Thanks to Don Martin the Village and County staff reconnected. The County Deputy Manager (Damon-Sanders Pratt) myself, Mike Combest, David Byington (a Clemmons-based architect) and Village staff began meeting on a regular basis.

After many meetings, emails and phone calls it became clear there wasn’t much ability to reallocate dollars at this point in the project. The dollars have been put toward these elements, but Combest and I are still hopeful about elevating the site two to seven feet… soooo if you know anyone who wants naming rights at the library and has suitable soils (and is willing to deliver and possibly even compact the dirt) their donation would be greatly appreciated and rewarded with a sponsorship level that equaled the value donated.

IMG_6618

*There was a previous miscommunication about when this budget amendment was voted on.  It was passed today April 26th and not last Thursday. My apologies for any confusion and misrepresentation.*