Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager




J. B. Culpepper, Planning Director


Gene Poveromo, Development Coordinator




Request for Expedited Processing of Rezoning/Special Use Permit Application for the Downtown Economic Development Initiative




February 12, 2007





On January 22, 2007, the Town Council received a petition from the Ram Development Company and referred it to the Town Manager for review and recommendation.  The petition requested expedited processing of a Rezoning/Special Use Permit application for the Downtown Economic Development Initiative.  We recommend adoption of the attached resolution, which would authorize expedited processing of these applications.




Expedited processing grants priority status for review at every step of the process and grants priority status in being scheduled on agendas of advisory boards and the Town Council.  A Special Use Permit application would normally take nine months to a year to be reviewed by all the required boards and commissions and to be heard at a Public Hearing.


Following approval, an application normally takes four to five months to obtain approval of detailed construction drawings and final plans, prior to obtaining a Building Permit.  The review process is often long because of the breadth and depth of review and analysis, and because many projects are usually being reviewed at any given time.


However, because of the other applications previously granted such status, there will likely not be much shortening of the review time for this project if expedited processing is granted.


We believe that this application meets the Council’s criteria for granting expedited processing.




Request:  The petition requests expedited processing status of a Rezoning/Special Use Permit application.  We understand the application is proposing to construct 28,000 square feet of retail space and 137 residential units including 21 affordable units on the Town-owned parking lot #5.  The site is located between West Franklin Street and West Rosemary Street at Church Street.  Although formal applications have not yet been submitted, we note that a Concept Plan application for the proposal has been reviewed by the Community Design Commission and the Town Council.


The applicant’s request for expedited processing of the Downtown Economic Development Initiative indicated that the development will provide 21 affordable housing units and will make significant contribution to the economic growth of downtown.  The petition indicates that the proposed housing development will meet the Council’s affordable housing goals and boost the Town’s tax base.


Expedited Processing:  We follow the Council-endorsed criteria listed below in making recommendations to the Council on requests for expedited processing:

  1. Recommend expedited processing only in cases where there is a public interest or public objective involved.
  2. Recommend expedited processing only when a project that involves public interest would be harmed by following normal rules of procedures.
  3. Recommend expedited processing in cases where an applicant has submitted evidence, as endorsed by the Town Council (see Attachment 3), that the applicant is actively pursuing the development of a project that will:
    1. meet or exceed the LEED Silver certification; and
    2. exceed the energy standards by 20 percent of ASHRAE 90.1-2004.
  4. Avoid expedited processing in situations where other applications that do not carry this special status would be delayed.


Several development applications are currently working toward being placed on the Council’s Public Hearing schedule.  The impact of granting expedited processing for Downtown Economic Development Initiative is that one less space would be available on the Council’s schedule for which other applications are competing.


We believe that the proposal meets the objectives for public purpose for granting expedited processing status.  We recommend that the Council grant Expedited Processing Status for the Downtown Economic Development Initiative.


Projects that have been granted expedited processing are identified in Attachment 1.




Staff’s Recommendation:  We recommend that the Council adopt the attached resolution.  Adoption of the resolution would grant expedited processing for the Downtown Economic Development Initiative, if the Council chooses to grant this request.



  1. Petition (p. 4).
  2. Area Map (p. 6).
  3. Town Council LEED criteria (p. 7).
  4. List of Projects Granted Expedited Processing (p. 8).