Voting Members Present: Debra Ensminger, Moore County; Pam Graham, Aberdeen; Roland Hall, Sampson County; Mark Locklear, Harnett County (Secretary); Mike Lynch, At Large; Robert McLaughlin, Wagram (Chairman); John K. McNeill, Raeford (Vice Chairman); & Harry Southerland, Hoke County.
Voting Members Absent: Tony Buzzard, Spring Lake; Patsy Carson, Erwin; Bob Davis, Scotland County; Edwin Deaver, Hope Mills; Kris Kosem, Vass; Charles Evans, Cumberland County; Dixon Ivey, Jr, Robeson County; Ted Mohn, Fayetteville; Charles Nichols, Laurinburg; Bart Nuckols, Southern Pines; Tracy Parris, Richmond; Kevin Reed, Pinehurst;, & Bill Summers, Lillington.
Non-Voting Members Present: Will Best, NC Commerce;Jim Dougherty, Executive Director RLUAC; Richard Douglas, Erwin; Bryan Gossage, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Jeff Marcus, TNC; David Nash, Fayetteville; Susan Miller, USFWS; Glen Prillaman, Fort Bragg;
Guests Present: Drew Brooks, Fayetteville Observer; Jim Caldwell, Mid Carolina COG; Gabriela Garrison, NC Water Resources Commission; Donald Grant, Fort Bragg Garrison; Wendy Harris, Assoc. of Realtors; Angie Hedgepeth, Assoc. of Realtors; Michael Manderville; FAMPO; Matthew Moskeoik, TNC; Ali Peet, Atkins Company; Albert Phillips, Sustainable Sandhills; Alba Polmby, Sustainable Sandhills; Mike Rutan, Mid-Carolina RPO; Major Andrew Smith, Fort Bragg; Joel Strickland, FAMPO; Stan Williams, Stamtec; General (Ret) Cornell Wilson, Office of the Governor; Roger Vickers, Fort Bragg Garrison; Tami Wolrab, Mid Carolina COG;
I. CALL TO ORDER – Chairman Robert McLaughlin called the meeting to order at 12:00 PM. He then asked the voting members, non-voting members, and guests to introduce themselves.
II. INVOCATION – RLUAC Board of Director Roland Hall, offered the invocation for the meeting.
III. PRESENTATION - “Fort Bragg’s Troop Strength Updates and Changes”, Roger Vickers, Fort Bragg’s Army Stationing and Installation Plan Manager – Roger reported that according to the detailed population data developed by the Army for Fort Bragg, its population will see only a small decline in size over the next several years. The fort is set to lose only 842 troops by the end of 2018. Further cuts in the number of civilian employees are expected to be announced soon. So far, the cuts were much smaller than anticipated. Roger provided the following table as part of his presentation
IV. PRESENTATION – “Recent Land Conservation Preservation Efforts and Purchases by TNC and SALT in the Fort Bragg Region” – Jeff Marcus, The Nature Conservancy - Jeff began with a brief history of how the government environmental agencies and the fort worked through a time of conflict to collaboration in an effort to protect and recover the endangered Red Cockaded Woodpeckers (RCW) on and near the fort. In 1970 the RCW was listed as an endangered species by the federal government, setting off a round of range and training area closings on Fort Bragg. From this low point, a cooperative agreement was developed in 1995 between TNC, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Fort Bragg to recover the birds. In addition, the US Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the “Safe Harbor Program” (a voluntary program to encourage land owners to preserve their long-leaf forests). With the various entities working together in the partnership, the recovery of the RCW population has become a reality in the Fort Bragg region – thereby lifting most training restrictions on the fort. Jeff enumerated the numerous positives that have evolved from the effort to recover the RCW’s: habitat improvement, the planting of long-leaf pine trees, control of mid-story trees, creation of artificial cavities for the RCW’s, bird monitoring programs, priority protection support resources for private land owners, few remaining training restrictions on military lands, the creation of Carvers Creek State Park in Cumberland County and Calloway Forest in Hoke County, and the purchase of nearly 20,000 of land in the Sandhills Gamelands and around the fort for permanent protection.
V. PRESENTATION - Presentation – “Moore County Planning and Development Updates” – Debra Ensminger, Moore County Planning Director – Debra reported that on September 6th work will commence on a 1,652 acre Planned Unit Development that will include a Westin Hotel (with 300 rooms and a conference center), 590 single-family residences, and an 18 hole golf course. The county has approved (and either has in full operation or under construction) 6 solar farms. It has a new Comprehensive Traffic Plan that should be completed by the end of the month and a new water main that has been constructed along NC highway 73. She reported that the county has been experiencing a boom in new residential construction (266 new building permits) since June 2014. Most of the development is in and around Whispering Pines, which she attributes to growth in military personnel at the fort. Debra expressed concern that with the anticipated decline in military troop strength the County could experience a glut of single-family homes on the market in the near future.
VI. BUSINESS ITEMS
- MINUTES – Mike Lynch made a motion to approve the minutes for the Quarterly meeting held on May 21st and John K McNeill seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
- FINANCIAL REPORT – McLaughlin reported that RLUAC had a cash balance of
$ 22,798.37 on June 30th (to end FY 2014-15). There was $ 7,975.00 in receipts for July (Member government dues). Expenditures for the month totaled $ 2,687.84. This left a cash balance of $ 28,085.53 on July 31st . Roland Hall made a motion to approve the financial report and John K. McNeill seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
VII. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT - Jim Dougherty
- Land Use Reviews - Dougherty reported that he and the Board reviewed 32 land use cases during the April through June quarter. The breakout includes:
- 4 cases for Cumberland County
- 24 cases for Fayetteville
- 1 case for Hope Mills
- 1 case for Harnett County
- 1 case for Hoke County
- 1 case for Aberdeen
- Other Activities for the Quarter – Dougherty reported that he had also been involved with the following outreach and administrative activities:
- Prepared the meeting minutes following the May quarterly Meeting
- Prepared the financial reports for May, June, and July
- Met with Tad Davis the new Spring Lake Town Manager in June
- Prepared and mailed the local government dues Invoices & Receipts in July
- Participated in the June meeting of the NC Sandhills Conservation Partnership in Southern Pines.
- Prepared and submitted quarterly invoice to Atkins Company in July
- Met with Joel Strickland the new FAMPO Executive Director in July
- Contacted speakers and organized August quarterly meeting
- Spoke with NC Department of Commerce GIS person regarding posting the newly revised Green Growth Toolbox and proposed revisions for the RLUAC GIS website.
- Worked to renew land use review contract with Fort Bragg
VIII. ADJOURN - There being no further business, McLaughlin adjourned the meeting at 1:04 PM. McLaughlin reminded everyone that the next RLUAC meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th at the Fort Bragg Conference and Catering Center.