Up & Coming Weekly

May 9, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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4 UCW MAY 10 - 16, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com MANAGING EDITOR April Olsen editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Hannah Lee assistanteditor@upandcomingweekly. com ART DIRECTOR Courtney Sapp-Scott art@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isaiah Jones graphics@upandcomingweekly.com STAFF WRITERS Alyson Hansen Ashley Shirley Kathleen Ramsey Chayenne Burns Katrina Wilson Aubrette Reid CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John Hood, Margaret Dickson, Pitt Dickey, Richard Hall, Sheila D. Barker, Tomica Sobers, D.G. Martin MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister linda@upandcomingweekly.com SALES ASSISTANT Sheila Barker salesassistant@upandcomingweekly. com COVER Design by Courtney Sapp-Scott Photos of churches participating in Revive All courtesy First Baptist Church. Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: 910-484-6200- FAX: 910-484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Published weekly on Wednesdays, Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Army Airfield, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2020 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. e North Carolina General Assem- bly is bustling with activity. Lawmakers are considering a dramatic increase in parental control over the education of their children, major changes in school governance and the structure of state government, pro-consumer reforms of the state's energy policies, an acceleration of pro-growth tax cuts, huge investments in public buildings and infrastructure, tighter restrictions on abortion, and doz- ens of other high-profile measures. Even if none of these passed, the cur- rent session would be notable for the passage of Medicaid expansion, which brought more than a decade of rancorous debate to a close. But many other conse- quential bills will pass. Here's hoping the 2023 session will be remembered in part as the "affordable housing session." Because North Carolina is an attractive place to live and work, prices would be rising across many of our housing markets even if Washington policymakers hadn't bungled their way into an inflation crisis. What's making it much worse, however, is the extent to which local regulations unnecessarily raise the cost of building, selling, and renting homes to willing consumers. Lawmakers have filed several bills to address the problem. One of them, House Bill 409, recently passed that chamber with a gigantic 106-7 margin and now awaits action in the North Carolina Sen- ate. It confirms the right of North Carolin- ians to build accessory dwelling units, known as ADUs, on their property even if it's currently zoned for single-family housing. ADUs — sometimes called granny flats or tiny houses — are already allowed on single-family lots in many communities. And H.B. 409 doesn't prevent a locality from regulating certain aspects of their construction or use. But it does prohibit localities from requiring that only fam- ily members may live in such units, for example, or from imposing minimum parking requirements. Another measure, Senate Bill 317, would offer property-rights protection in a different situation: when developers purchase large parcels of land (at least 10 acres) and designate at least 20% of the homes they build as "workforce housing," most of which must be sold to households of modest means. By meeting these con- ditions, developers would receive excep- tions from some costly local regulations. "is bill is a targeted free-market re- sponse to our housing crisis," said one of the primary sponsors, Sen. Paul Newton, "and it is intended to ensure houses get built." I agree. Still, there are passionate critics of these bills, and of others that seek to curtail the regulatory power of coun- ties and municipalities. ey argue that localities possess the authority to impose housing and zoning codes for good reason — that people who already live in or near the affected communities ought to have a say in what's built there. Now, just to be clear: in North Carolina, at least, the relationship between local governments and the state isn't compa- rable to the relationship between state governments and Washington. In the lat- ter case, delegates from already sovereign state governments met in 1787 to fashion a new federal constitution. It was then ratified through a state-by-state process. Subsequent amendments, starting with the Bill of Rights, were also ratified by a process in which states were represented and after which a requisite number of state electorates had to approve. By contrast, North Carolina localities have only the power granted to them by the legislature. I do think localities should retain some regulatory authority over land development, though primarily to ensure proper connections to adequately provided infrastructure. But they shouldn't be able to use hous- ing or zoning codes to enforce some resi- dents' preferences over others — includ- ing future residents who don't yet live in a given jurisdiction and whose interests are represented by those who aspire to build and sell homes to them. is distinction is simple to state but, admittedly, challenging to implement. I see legislation such as H.B. 409 and S.B. 317 as striking a better balance between the legitimate powers of local govern- ments and the legitimate rights of prop- erty owners. e result is likely to be more-affordable housing for North Carolinians. PUBLISHER'S PEN Strike a better balance on housing by JOHN HOOD Letters to the Editor Do YOU have something to say? We want YOU to be heard! We want EVERYONE to be able to voice their opinions on current community events. Let us be a place to start much needed conversations. ALL VOICES WELCOMED! EMAIL: editor@upandcomingweekly.com CALL: 910-484-6200 North Carolina lawmakers have filed House Bill 409 and Senate Bill 317, which could help set conditions to provide affordable housing in the state. JOHN HOOD, Board Member, John Locke Foundation. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com. 910- 484-6200

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