DAVIDSON – The Davidson Town Board voted unanimously to remove the adequate public facilities ordinance from the town’s planning ordinance on March 12.

The ordinance allowed developers to pay to provide public facilities, such as police and fire protection, as an alternative to having developments delayed. It helped the town pay to expand services to keep up with growth. 

“This is not at all an effort to walk away from our smart growth strategies,” said Commissioner Connie Wesner. “This to me is the next best practice.”

At the February work session, representatives from the Lawrence group recommended that the town suspend the APFO and look for other ways to match needs and growth.

Planning manager Ben McCrary said the removal of the APFO does not leave the town in a vulnerable position.

“Currently we are evaluating what will replace it,” said McCrary. “When you run the calculation we either meet or exceed capacity in our current services. If a new developer were to come in there would be no requirement to advance that capacity.”

The town settled a lawsuit in February 2011 with Forest City Land Group, the Summers Walk neighborhood developer, after the group challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance. The town had billed Forest City for $630,000, but accepted $101,000 in the settlement. 

In other town board news:

The town held a public hearing regarding a proposed amendment to the Davidson Commons East Conditional Master Plan behind Harris Teeter.

The proposed use of the building is automobile service and repair for Woody’s Automotive Repair owned by Brad Woody.

The request is to not have two fully functional floors as required by the Davidson Planning Ordinance.

Woody said that the total investment for the property is going to be about $2.3 million. The building will house 10-12 employees with an average income of about $75,000 according to Woody.

Kathleen Rose of Rose and Associates, who assisted the town with its economic development strategic plan, asked that the board consider the benefits of approving the proposal.

“In terms of just the overall concept of creating some demand in that area, (from a retail perspective), I think it makes some sense,” Rose said. “We talked about trying to create opportunities for folks to spend their money in the community without having to leave and to get service and goods elsewhere and this provides us that.”