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Pittsboro Votes to Halt Growth, Again

Posted October 22, 2007
Updated October 23, 2007

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— Construction will stay on hold in Pittsboro. The Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to extend a ban on new, large development for two more years.

The ban was introduced 18 months ago when Pittsboro's wastewater treatment plant couldn't keep up with the growth.

“In the past 18 months, we were unable to solve the problem and I don't think there was a lot of hope that we would, " town manager Bill Terry said.

The moratorium the board took up Monday night covers major subdivisions, planned unit developments and non-residential development.

Building a new wastewater plant would cost an estimated $34 million. Commissioners said they don't have that kind of money.

“I think we need to require developers to help us pay for these projects,” Commissioner Christopher Walker said.

Monday night's vote to halt growth was supported by residents who like small-town life in Pittsboro.

"Most of the people that I've spoken with just don't want to see the new growth come in. They're comfortable with the small-town setting," resident Sharon Bynum said.

If a new wastewater plant was to be built, town leaders predicted the population of Pittsboro would jump from about 2,000 to 10,000 people over the next 20 years.

98 Comments

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  • Hardrock757 Oct 24, 2007

    (Part 1)
    KevInApex, I think the question you present is very logical, for someone who does not deal with this everyday. Let me try to answer…your and my local governments choose to spend the money collected from new residents/business taxes and impact fees in very wasteful and grotesque ways. There is more than enough money to go around to expand schools and roads!!!! Let there be no mistake about it!!! But the way the money is spent is not always in the local people’s best interest. Local governments choose to spend the money on highly nonessential infrastructure vs. essential infrastructure. For example, anyone who travels on I-40 East between Wade Ave and 1/64 knows they could cut their travel time down by 30 min if I-40 were widened to 4 lanes in each direction. This is projected to cost about $100million. Now, consider the fact that Cary is about to spend $110 million on a cultural arts center that will only be used by a small percent of Cary residents.

  • Hardrock757 Oct 24, 2007

    (Part 2)Another example would be the $100++ millions Raleigh is devoting to a convention center when the private sector could deliver a larger, better product at less cost.

    The problem is not with Development!!!! It is with local leaders who cater to special interest groups and then choose to gouge developers and make us out to be evil monsters. We are here to employ people, provide homes at lower cost and create new office buildings. When people choose to blame us, they are criticizing a group of people who create jobs, homes and businesses. If you are discontented with the expansion of infrastructure don’t let the local leaders fool you!!! They are simply trying to divert attention away from their own failures.

  • KevInApex Oct 23, 2007

    "Development pays for itself and much, much more!!!"

    If that statement is true then why do we need school bonds and a lottery to pay for schools that are still overcrowded? Why are toll roads being proposed to ease congestion? I admit I am no expert but I think it a stretch to say that development in this area pays for itself.

    I am not anti-growth I just think it should be based on the infrastructures ability to support it.

  • billy Oct 23, 2007

    If there aren't facilities to enable growth then there should be no growth allowed.
    Look at the mess some of the areas that have promoted growth are now in.
    Think About It

  • Hardrock757 Oct 23, 2007

    As a LAND OWNER in Chatham County I SUPPORT GROWTH!!! All you people who want to stop growth are nothing more than thieves! You have not paid for the land you seek to control yet you still expect to have a say in what happens to it. If Pittsboro does not want to build a water treatment plant that is fine, so be it. However, if I want to go and put up 500 homes, all with well and septic that should be up to me. You little thieves need to keep in mind the new people who move into Chatham county pay taxes too and that is how new government services would be paid for, along with impact fees.

    I can’t stand to see you anti-growth communist spattering your platitudes about how you think development works all over a blog when you have no clue!!! Development pays for itself and much, much more!!! If YOU do not want development near you then go and buy the land from the land owner, but stop stealing our rights from us without compensating us.

  • KevInApex Oct 23, 2007

    "Total stagnation is bad actually, no revenue stream except existing taxpayers and municipal bills have to be paid and they do increase"

    Nancy,

    To echo what someone else said. There are plenty of towns that have survived for decades with little or no growth. I would also say that the argument about revenue stream does not pan out in areas growing like this one. Generally the infrastructure costs out pace the tax revenue increases.

    People are coming here in droves for various reasons and that is their right. I think the only discussion is how best to deal with it. Are there more sensible ways to grow than the rubber stamp to developers’ mentality that Cary and Apex appear to have adopted? I applaud Pittsboro for trying to come up with a plan to manage growth before it is too late.

  • Leonardo Oct 23, 2007

    If only we could throw out all the people who endlessly complain about growth in Raleigh...then we wouldn't have growth problems anymore.

  • dogmama Oct 23, 2007

    Good for Pittsboro! Too bad Wake and Johnston County doesn't have the same sense. We don't have enough resources for this type of growth--water, law enforcement, schools, etc.

  • Sumo Vita Oct 23, 2007

    "stop selling off your land to the "newcomers" then. you have no one to blame but yourselves for selling all this land to the attacking yankees that you love to blame for your problems." - applejuice

    Please don't put words in my mouth. And for heaven's sake QUIT framing this as a black and white issue of growth vs no growth- it is not.

    The problem isn't newcomers (yankees or otherwise) moving to the area. The problem is with the builder/realtor and affiliated lobbyists that want to make a quick buck at the expense of existing residents.

    The way this was engineered in Cary by the "development" lobby was to slash impact fees, encouraging builders to flood the area with new developments, adding to their fortunes (and that of other growth-related businesses) with little contribution to the future costs of absorbing these new developments.

    Bring back the higher impact fees that fairly reflect the cost of absorbing new growth, and you'll have a lot fewer complaints about growth per se.

  • applejuice Oct 23, 2007

    stop selling off your land to the "newcomers" then. you have no one to blame but yourselves for selling all this land to the attacking yankees that you love to blame for your problems.

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