Voting Members Present: Patsy Carson, Erwin; Tad Davis, Spring Lake; Robert Farrell (Proxy for Harry Southerland), Hoke County; Pam Graham, Aberdeen; Roland Hall, Sampson County; Tracy Jackson (Proxy for Charles Evans), Cumberland County; Mark Locklear, Harnett County (Secretary); Mike Lynch, At Large; Robert McLaughlin, Wagram (Chairman); & John K. McNeill, Raeford (Vice Chairman); Kim Nazarzik, Eastover; & Bart Nuckols, Southern Pines. Voting Members Absent: Tony Buzzard, Lillington; Bob Davis, Scotland County; Edwin Deaver, Hope Mills; Debra Ensminger, Moore County; Kris Kosem, Vass; Dixon Ivey, Jr, Robeson County; Ted Mohn, Fayetteville; Charles Nichols, Laurinburg; Tracy Parris, Richmond County; & Kevin Reed, Pinehurst.
Non-Voting Members Present: Kathy Blake, Aberdeen; Jim Dougherty, Executive Director RLUAC; David Nash, Fayetteville; & Glen Prillaman, Fort Bragg. Guests Present: Alba Polonkey, Sustainable Sandhills; Drew Brooks, Fayetteville Observer; Jim Caldwell, Mid Carolina COG; Charles Church, Clean Water Management Trust Fund; Kacy Cook, NC Wildlife Resources Commission; Richard Douglas, Erwin; Hanah Ehrenreich, Sustainable Sandhills; Gabriela Garrison, NC Wildlife Resources Commission; Richard Hicks, Erwin; Barry Hull, Fort Bragg; Julia Love, Fort Bragg ; Michael Manderville; FAMPO; Leslie Moorman, NC Urban Forest Council; Linda Pfau, Fort Bragg; Mike Rutan, Mid-Carolina RPO; Eloise Sahlstrom, Fayetteville; Judy Timmer, Fayetteville; & Tami Wolrab, Mid Carolina COG;
I. CALL TO ORDER – Chairman Robert McLaughlin called the meeting to order at 12:02 PM. He then asked the voting members, non-voting members, and guests to introduce themselves.
II. INVOCATION – RLUAC Executive Director, Jim Dougherty, offered the invocation for the meeting.
III. PRESENTATION– “Sustainable Resource Management for Climate Resilient Communities”, Alba Polonkey, Sustainability Manager for Sustainable Sandhills – Alba presented information gained from the just completed ten month planning process conducted by Sustainable Sandhills regarding climate change and sustainability issues. The objectives of the study were to develop a climate adaptation plan, promote climate resilience through sustainable resource management, and to spark action by both local governments and the general public. Alba concluded her presentation with a list of actions, included within the strategic plan, to help mitigate the growing climate change threats. Specific recommendations include: 1) integrate climate resilience into all planning and natural area conservation efforts, 2) protect future water quality and quantity, 3) provide assistance and support for vulnerable populations, 4) shift development patterns to sustainable community design, green buildings, and renewable energy supply, and 5) establish and maintain a monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management process. ACTION: Information
IV. PRESENTATION – “What is Urban Forestry? And Why is it Important?”, Leslie Moorman, Executive Director of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council – Leslie began her remarks by defining the term ‘urban forest’. Her definition is “any tree, green space, or wooded area within city jurisdictional limits as well as the surrounding area where the urban fringe is moving into the rural landscape”. Utilizing that definition, she includes all remaining forests in North Carolina as being urban forests. Leslie explained that there are substantial economic, environmental and social/ behaviorable benefits of urban forests. They include higher residential values, higher retail and commercial occupancy rates, and willingness of consumers to pay more for goods where tree canopies exist. In addition, trees provide shade which translates into lower cooling costs, lower energy use, blocking solar radiation, and reduction of air temperatures. Trees also clean the air – reducing nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulate matter. Further, trees improve water quality by reducing storm water runoff, reducing peak storm water flows, reducing flooding and improving groundwater recharge. They provide wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Finally, they absorb and deflect urban noise, reduce glare reflection, and slow down vehicular traffic where trees line the streets. She said studies show that outdoor spaces with trees are used more often, the contribute to an increase in social interaction, generate higher levels of social cohesion among neighbors, increase a sense of safety and assist with stronger ties. North Carolina has experienced extensive loss of forest land since the 1940’s due to the very high rate of population growth and urban development. Leslie offered several important actions that must be taken now to protect and enhance what little remains of North Carolina’s forests. They include: 1) planning efforts – conduct tree inventories and develop urban forest management plans, 2) forest management – increase tree planting, pruning, removal of damaged / dead trees, storm drainage, insect/disease control, tree surgery, and root pruning, 3) government policy – adopt tree care ordinances, tree protection ordinances, and land use plans / zoning ordinances that include tree and landscaping requirements. ACTION: Information
V. BUSINESS ITEMS MINUTES – Mike Lynch made a motion to approve the minutes for the Quarterly meeting held on November 19th, 2015 and Roland Hall seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. ACTION: Approved FINANCIAL REPORT – McLaughlin reported that RLUAC had a cash balance of $ 26.039.45 on December 31, 2015. There were no receipts in January. Expenditures for the month totaled $ 3,028.50. That left a cash balance of $ 23.010.95 on January 31st . Patsy Carson made a motion to approve the financial report and Mike Lynch seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. ACTION: Approved JOINT LAND USE STUDY – Roland Hall made a motion to proceed with the OEA application to conduct a new Joint Land Use Study for Fort Bragg and the surrounding area and Bart Nuchols seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. ACTION: Approved
VI. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT - Jim Dougherty Land Use Reviews - Dougherty reported that he and the Board reviewed 24 land use cases during the October thru December quarter. They are as follows: 2 cases for Cumberland County 12 cases for Fayetteville 4 cases for Harnett County 2 cases for Moore County 4 cases for Southern Pines Other Activities for the Quarter – Dougherty reported that he had also been involved with the following administrative activities: Met several times with the Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, Col. Funk, to seek his endorsement of a new JLUS process. Worked with Fort Bragg and Mid Carolina Council of Government Officials to develop a new Joint Land Use Study process and application. Composed much of the JLUS application narrative. Met with both Fayetteville and Cumberland County Managers to discuss their involvement in RLUAC. Represented RLUAC at both the Mid Carolina COG Annual Banquet and the retirement ceremony for Fort Bragg’s DPW Director, Greg Bean. ACTON: Information VII.
ADJOURN - There being no further business, McLaughlin adjourned the meeting at 1:17 PM.