PCED Staff Note: This week’s post is part of a series on evaluating site selection factors from a local perspective titled, “Site Selection Factors”. The aim of the series is to outline the criteria used by companies to determine where they will build new facilities or expand existing ones. We will examine the top 10 factors as adapted from Area Development Magazine’s, “The Top Factor’s to Navigate the Location Maze”¹. Those factors, listed in order of priority, are as follows: Availability of Skilled Labor, Highway Accessibility, Quality of Life, Occupancy or Construction Costs, Available Buildings, Labor Costs, Corporate Tax Rate, Proximity to Major Markets, State and Local Incentives, Energy Availability and Costs. Guest bloggers will contribute each week from their area of expertise. Some topics may span multiple weeks.
MOBILITY, PLANNING & PERSON COUNTY
START WITH PLANS. Think holistically about how transportation and mobility impacts health, jobs, public safety, access, movement, recreation, land use, environment, historic properties, community and economic development. The ability of people to age-in-place; the ability to access jobs, education, and training. The ability to attract and retain residents.
US501 CORRIDOR PROTECTION – The US 501 Corridor is arguably the County’s most important transportation corridor. The County’s current land use regulations do nothing to prevent the corridor from becoming overrun with development that will choke access into and out of the County and detract from the physical and natural beauty that helps the County attract and retain residents. A long-range plan for the portion of the US 501 Corridor south of Roxboro was drafted in 2012. It should be reviewed and adopted and implemented. A similar plan should be completed and adopted and implemented for the US 501 Corridor north of Roxboro.
AIRPORT TIMBERLAKE – The Person County Airport and access to and from it from Durham, Granville and Orange Counties is one of the County’s biggest potential economic generators. A long-range area plan should be completed for the Airport and the surrounding area to ensure that development around the airport complements and enhances the airport itself and strengthens the local economy.
CTP (Comprehensive Transportation Plan) – The Person County Comprehensive Transportation Plan adopted in 2010 is the document that NCDOT mines to identify projects for funding. The Plan covers all modes of transportation. Without the Plan, no funding can be obtained from NCDOT for new projects, improvements or enhancements. The Plan should be integrated into an updated Person County Land Use Map and Plan.
MADISON BOULEVARD – Madison Boulevard is the commercial heart of Person County. In many ways, it is the County’s “front door”. The Corridor is dangerously close to failure as a transportation corridor meaning that rising traffic volumes and accidents will make the facility’s use as a commercial corridor untenable. People avoid the Boulevard now because of safety and congestion concerns, this will only get worse. The 2010 Comprehensive Transportation Plan identified and quantified the problems associated with road, and these were used to secure funding for improvements. If the City and the County do not work with NCDOT on the project, funding could go away and competition will make returning these funds to Person County more difficult in the future. The community must demand from NCDOT a facility that not only improves safety, and increases the ability of the Boulevard to carry more cars, the community must insist on a Boulevard that is accommodates pedestrians and no longer acts as a barrier dividing the City of Roxboro into two halves. Because the Boulevard is the County’s “front door”, it must be attractive. The City, County and NCDOT must plan and coordinate resources for both functional and aesthetic improvements to occur at the same time. The City must adopt design standards and financial incentives for local businesses to help them contribute to the revitalization of the Boulevard. Dividing the design of the Boulevard into three different segments will help to reinforce existing businesses. For example, in the center, between approximately Long Avenue and Morehead Street the Boulevard’s design should reinforce the connection between Uptown Roxboro and the West End of Roxboro. The opposite ends should also improve access, safety and aesthetics while respecting, supporting and enhancing the current mix of uses. A “Vision” of these three “design districts” can be viewed here.
Further reading on this topic may be found here.
¹ “The Top Factors to Navigate the Location Maze.” Area Development, Volume 51, Number 4, Q42016, pp. 24-36.
Mr. Michael Ciriello, MLA, AICP
Director, Development Services, Town of Enfield, Connecticut
This entry was submitted by Mr. Michael Ciriello. Although Mike currently serves as the Director of Development for the Town of Enfield Connecticut, he formerly served as the Planning Director for Person County, NC, and, prior to that, as Regional Planning Director for Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments.