Photo: Cashiers Area Chamber Board of Directors Front Row L-R Mary Lanning, Ben Harris, Glenn Ubertino, Ashton Harris Back Row L-R Sarah Jennings, Brandy Letson, Daniel Fletcher, Lec Hobbs, Stephanie Edwards

(not pictured Wendy Lupas, Dr. Don Tomas)



 October 14, 2021/Cashiers, NC – A contract between the Cashiers Area Chamber, serving as Sponsor, and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) was signed by chamber Board President Glenn Ubertino on October 14th. The panel schedule will be confirmed as soon as possible within the November to January time period. “This unique and timely opportunity will help us better analyze growth management challenges and provide actionable recommendations and reference for public policy development,” said Ubertino.

More than 150 Cashiers Area individuals, organizations, businesses, and government entities contributed to the imminent success of a fundraising campaign to support the ULI Americas: Advisory Services – Cashiers NC growth management study. 

As of October 12th, contributions of $123,785 had been received by the Cashiers Area Legacy Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, created by the Chamber and whose purpose is “to support public works for the public good.”  With outstanding pledges, the $135,000 goal to pay the ULI contract fee will be met in the very near future. Additional funds will be used for project-related administrative and other expenses.

Donations ranged from $20 to $10,000 plus an extraordinary contribution of $35,000 from the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. More than 60 people gave gifts of $250 or less, which were matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor. All contributors will be acknowledged in the panel’s published report. 

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved a grant of $5,000 and will serve as a “participating partner” in the initiative to ensure the study’s data are validated as neutral, unbiased and factual research with intended use by the Cashiers Area Community Planning Council, Jackson County Planning Department, JC Planning Board, JC Board of Commissioners and other entities.

Input opportunities before and during the project, the panel’s oral report at the conclusion of their onsite visit and the final published report will be open and available to the public.

Next steps in the study process include assembling an advance briefing book for panelists, who are national experts in their field and will be custom selected for the Cashiers’ analysis. The reference will include historical and background information, previously conducted studies and related reports, local market statistics, maps, photos, regulatory information and more.

The Panel’s assignment will be to answer specific questions within the framework of eight local growth management issues: 

  • Preservation of community character & heritage
  • Density & siting (residential and commercial, 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 use of large acreage properties within the village zoning districts
  • 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 & ordinance codification

All interested individuals are encouraged to submit suggested questions related to these issues to the Chamber via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Input will be used to draft queries for panel direction in recommending and identifying national best practices that apply locally.

Also in development is a list of candidates to be interviewed by the panel. Nominations or volunteers are invited via email at:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The final selection of 80 to 100 people will be based on a broad range of demographics including age, gender, ethnicity, occupation/retired, residency (place and length of time), nonprofit and other affiliations, and more to ensure full community representation. 

For more information, visit