Press Release: State Legislature Passes Important Legislation for Greensboro
July 1, 2017
Raleigh, NC – The House and Senate passed time-sensitive legislation that addressed two important issues for the City of Greensboro. The legislation, SB 8 – Building Code Exempt / Airport Changes, passed the House and Senate early in the morning on June 30th shorty before the legislature adjourned the 2017 “long session.” Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) carried the bill in the House and Senator Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) carried the bill in the Senate.
Issue 1: Building Code Exemption
Greensboro has plans to build a parking garage that connects a city-owned lot to a Westin Hotel on an adjacent lot by crossing over a street right-of-way. Greensboro’s building inspectors stated that, according to current building codes, there must be a “party wall” separating the two properties. This requirement would prevent the parking garage from working as envisioned – that is, to allow the circular flow of traffic across lot lines. (If this project were built on a single parcel, there would be no party wall requirement.) Section 1 of SB 8 gives Greensboro an exemption for this requirement so that the project can move forward.
Total investment for this project (both public and private) may exceed $80 million.
Issue 2: PTI Airport / Watershed Exemption
The NC Department of Environmental Quality is currently prohibited from requiring storm water retention ponds near airports because the ponds attract waterfowl, which are hazardous to aircraft. However, it was recently discovered that airports may not be exempted from storm water controls in local water supply watersheds. This would have a negative impact on current projects that are being planned at PTI Airport in Greensboro. Section 2 of SB 8 would clarify that airports are exempted from this regulation, which would benefit PTI as well as other airports in the state. DEQ signed-off on these changes.
“These are high-priority projects that will create jobs in the City of Greensboro,” Hardister said. “I was glad to work with Senator Wade to get these issues resolved in the legislature.”
“I was happy to spearhead these commonsense changes that will help create jobs for the citizens of Greensboro in the Senate, and I commend Rep. Hardister for his hard work to get them through the House,” said Wade.
“The City of Greensboro appreciate the opportunity to benefit from this crucial legislation,” said David Parrish, Assistant City Manager of Greensboro. “This furthers our goal of brining economic development to downtown Greensboro.”
“This bill clarifies the storm water design requirements for airfield projects at our airport and clears the way for us to begin the design and construction of a very important taxiway on the western side of the airport that will provide access to Economic Development sites,” said Kevin Baker, the Executive Director of PTI.
Rep. Jon Hardister