Leland Text Amendments

Last month Leland Town Officials took up three text amendments.

The first amendment council adopted TXT 15-8548 Building Height Amendments to Sec 30-182 & Sec 30-313 raises the maximum building height from 35 to 40 feet in all of the zoning districts listed in Chapter 30 with the exception of the Conservation District. BASE supported this amendment.

The second amendment council took up was TXT 15-8406 On-Street Parking – Amendments to Sec 22-89 & 22-144 that will include a new definition and requirements for on-street parking. This amendment creates a definition of clustered parking (a parking facility) and says that “All subdivisions shall provide on street or clustered parking, in addition to the required off street parking, at the ratio of one (1) space per one (1) lots.” YES, that means Leland will require developers to put in parking lots in residential subdivisions. This will not “fix” any existing problems. This will only provide for unnecessary parking areas to be built in residential subdivisions—taking up buildable lots, creating more stormwater issues and creating unintended consequences (lighting, loitering, boat parking, etc.) that Homeowners Associations will be forced to attempt to address. BASE strongly recommends disapproving this ill-advised recommendation. Council postponed their vote on the amendment to the October 15th meeting.

The third amendment council adopted TXT 15-8405 Traffic Impact Analysis- New section, Sec 30-316 setting requirements for Traffic Impact Analysis in new developments.

There is an inconsistent title of this item, in one place calling it a Traffic Impact Analysis while the draft language says “Transportation Impact Analysis.” Regardless of what it is called, this amendment will create a new $20,000-25,000 cost for new and existing developments and businesses by requiring a Transportation Impact Analysis for a map amendment, planned unit development, site plan, or subdivision. (or “Any development or redevelopment, regardless of the expected trip generation levels, when the Town determines there are or may be current traffic problems in the area.”)

The Town’s requirements exceed what other regional government bodies use for transportation planning. While the “peak hour trips” may be similar, the thresholds for requiring a TIA and the scope of the TIA itself are significantly different. Using a TIA for “map amendments” will be unwieldy and ineffective, if you don’t know what the uses in the new development will be. Will existing developments have to get new TIAs for new phases? All of these questions were not addressed before approving this amendment.

In short, instead of creating a new process based on what Jacksonville uses, it may be more effective to use the existing TIA requirements in Brunswick County.

Council adopted this amendment with on a vote of 4-1 with Mayor Bozeman voting against. BASE strongly opposed this amendment.

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