Contributions to this project are welcomed. Checks should be made payable and mailed to the Cashiers Area Legacy Fund - PO Box 238, Cashiers, NC 28717
ULI ADVISORY SERVICES: CASHIERS COMMUNITY GROWTH STRATEGY
UPDATE AS OF 09/10/2021 -- Links to 08/23/2021 Planning Council Presentation by Tom Eitler, Senior VP ULI Americas Advisory Services CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO RECORDING / CLICK HERE FOR POWERPOINT PRESENTATION (Please note, the panel video originally embedded and referenced in the attached presentation is not available.)
In recent years, real estate in the Cashiers Village and General Commercial Districts, designated in the attached Cashiers Area Zoning Map*, has been subject to significant development interest and sales transactions. Continued expansion in residential, commercial and institutional sectors is expected in the future.
Anticipating growth, in 2019 the Jackson County Board of Commissioners adopted the Cashiers Small Area Plan sponsored by the Cashiers Area Community Planning Council, financed by the County, and created with widespread community input. The report provides a general framework for residential and commercial activity within the District footprints.
While helpful, the Plan is not yet codified and explicit ordinances and other actions are needed to ensure growth is managed and allows for sustainable economic expansion and preservation of the quality of life and character of place sought by businesses, full- and part-time residents, and visitors.
Cashiers has a timely and unique opportunity to be the subject of an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services panel. Long-time Cashiers resident Glenda Hood, former Florida Secretary of State and Mayor of Orlando, currently serves on the national ULI Board and facilitated introduction and support of our interest.
Through this program, ULI Americas advisory members integrate into communities dealing with a wide array of real estate and land use challenges to provide unbiased, expert advice and specific recommendations for improvement. Nonpartisan ULI members link together with local leaders to draft a plan to revive, rethink, and restore communities to enact intentional change and improve the lives of the people who live there.
Panels bring together the best and brightest from ULI’s diverse membership — professional planners, market analysts, economists, architects, financiers, natural and built environmental specialists, land developers, designers, and public officials — to provide practical solutions and objective advice not available from any other source. The panel’s work product is based on industry research, collective experience, and best practice resources. They are neither consultants nor “hired guns” to advance predetermined development outcomes.
In summary, the panel will focus on specific issues of local concern, review advance briefing materials, and travel to Cashiers to tour and confidentially interview 50-80 stakeholders. While here, the panel will inform the Council of market pressures affecting the Cashiers community for members to better understand land economics, and they will develop a summary consensus of recommendations based on the current market growth trajectory and provide a detailed written report approximately 60 days thereafter. The cost of a Cashiers onsite Advisory Services Panel of 5-7 reviewers is $135,000. If approved and funded promptly, the panel could be scheduled as soon as late October.
Issues under consideration for the Cashiers panel to address include:
- Preservation of community character & heritage
- Density & siting (residential, commercial, and mixed use)
- Local needs (hospitality, services, retail (grocery, boutique, other), residential including housing diversity/workforce housing), commercial, medical, educational, childcare, fuel, public amenities, etc.)
- Most appropriate and sustainable uses (large acreage properties within the Districts (i.e. Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation Oakmont parcel at US 64W & NC 107N)
- Transportation management and connectivity (traffic volume and flow, pedestrian mobility and safety, public transit-JTA, other)
- Environmental conservation (scenic quality, natural resources, “green” space)
- Infrastructure development & prioritization (water resources-wastewater treatment/community water/stormwater management, highway improvements, arterial road construction, public services)
- Purview, plan & next steps for ordinance codification
It is recommended that the Cashiers Area Community Planning Council lead the project with sponsorship by the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, which will solicit public and private funding.
Tax-deductible donations will be raised from any and all interested parties and public sources. Monies will be deposited to the Cashiers Area Legacy Fund (CALF) established in 2017 by the Chamber.* CALF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose purposes are exclusively “educational and charitable .. to finance and endow public works programs for the Cashiers Area of Western North Carolina.”
Checks may be made payable and mailed to: Cashiers Area Legacy Fund, PO Box 238, Cashiers, NC 28717.
Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State of Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-919-814-8400. This is not an endorsement by the state.
The Chamber will schedule a Community Forum: Cashiers Growth Strategy open to the public in August. The event will feature Tom Eitler, Senior Vice President, ULI Americas Advisory Services, who will explain the panel process and timeline. Update: Following the Planning Council’s 7/26/21 work session discussion, Mr. Eitler will present to the Planning Council at its 8/23/21 meeting to be held at 5:00 p.m. at The Village Green, 150 Frank Allen Road, Cashiers, NC.
Attachment: Cashiers Area Zoning Map (* Source: Jackson County)