The Cashiers Area Chamber is leading the Cashiers Community Collaborative, a newly-created organization of local nonprofit stakeholders pursuing implementation of select ULI recommendations (see page 28 of report).  This group convened in Fall 2022 and has committed to aligning its efforts with the five identified growth management priorities and to coordinate its collective activities to ensure efficiencies in funding outreach and programs.  The Chamber's champion assignment is Transportation and Infrastructure and is thus working closely with the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, NC Department of Transportation and Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority on Cashiers Area initiatives, including road improvements, wastewater treatment expansion, and other related projects.  For more information, call 828-743-5191.


Grow by Default or by Design:  Opportunities & Challenges


 Updated 5/18/22 -- Note:  The final is now available - Please click the link below.











Updated 2/17/22



The ULI Cashiers Panel has been rescheduled to February 20-25 from its original January dates.  In mid-January, Covid-related travel restrictions caused the study to be postponed.


The weekly schedule will follow the original format which includes an Introduction and Input Session Monday afternoon and Panel Presentation on Friday morning of the program week.  Both events will be open to the public and will be live streamed for a real-time audience and recorded on the Chamber’s YouTube channel for future reference.


The ULI Advisory Services Panel for Cashiers, North Carolina, scheduled for the week of January 23-28, 2022, has been postponed due to the Covid pandemic.  On Friday, Panel Chair Edward McMahon and ULI Senior Vice President informed the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce and Jackson County that the Omicron variant surge has impacted panelist travel.   

The January ULI Panel schedule included a number of in-person interviews and meetings with local residents, business owners and other Cashiers stakeholders.  “While I think we have all of the onsite COVID protocols in place to ensure the safety of participants, cross-country travel by our panelists has already been restricted and the potential for further disruption is unacceptably high during the current surge in cases,”  said Eitler.  The eight panelists who were scheduled to arrive in Cashiers on January 23rd would have been coming from places as far away as Seattle, Wyoming and Detroit.

“We understand and respect ULI’s decision to postpone the panel and are confident we can reschedule when the travel and business environments are safer for all involved,” said Stephanie Edwards, Executive Director of the Cashiers Area Chamber. “These nationally-recognized professionals have been custom-selected to address our local issues and their participation is paramount to project success. We plan to reengage them to move forward in a timely manner with a full complement of talent,” she explained.

According to ULI, February 20-28, 2022, has been tentatively proposed for convening the panel in Cashiers.  Confirmation of the new date is expected shortly.

The weekly schedule will follow the original format which includes an Introduction and Input Session Monday afternoon and Panel Presentation on Friday morning of the program week.  Both events will be open to the public and will be live streamed for a real-time audience and recorded on the Chamber’s YouTube channel for future reference.

For more information and updates, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 828-743-5191.


By Glenn Ubertino, President, Cashiers Area Chamber Board of Directors


Inclusive, unbiased and expert process to analyze growth management challenges and provide actionable recommendations and reference for public policy development

  •  After receiving widespread community support and contributions for the project, the Cashiers ULI Panel has been scheduled for January 23-28, 2022, with introductions, interviews, deliberations and public presentation to be conducted at The Village Green Commons. The final report will be made on Friday morning and will be livestreamed and/or recorded by the Chamber for later broadcast.
  •  Ed McMahon, the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. has been selected as the chair. He is nationally known as an inspiring and thought-provoking speaker and a leading authority on topics such as the links between health and the built environment, sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation. Other panelists will be custom selected to provide expertise and perspective in fields directly related to the Panel Assignment.
  • In coordination with numerous sources, including Jackson County, JC Tourism Development Authority, NCDOT, Cashiers Historical Society and others, the Chamber is assembling a Briefing Book, according to explicit ULI guidelines, for advance review by the Panel. Included will be background, maps, demographics, statistics, photography, economic data and more. The publication will be submitted to ULI mid-December and will also serve as an onsite reference during the panel’s work.
  • The Chamber has been working concurrently with members of the Cashiers Area Community Planning Council, Jackson County Planning staff, elected officials and expert references (previous panel chairs) to draft the Cashiers Panel Assignment: Questions related to the community growth issues as previously identified (preservation of community character, density/siting, local needs, most appropriate and sustainable uses for large parcels, transportation management, environmental conservation, infrastructure development, and next steps). The public is invited to submit inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The final draft will be presented to the Council in mid-late December and submitted to ULI promptly thereafter.
  • Names for possible interview are being collected by the Chamber via nomination, volunteering and recruiting. Selections will consider demographics to ensure diversity (i.e. age, gender, ethnicity, residency (full-, part-time, seasonal), occupation, length of residency, residency location, commuters, students, etc.) and other items for full community representation. Interviews will be conducted individually, in teams and via Zoom. COVID health protocols as mandated by the ULI at the time will be followed.

Also see 10/14/2021 Contract Signing Feature News Story ... 

Help Fund the Future!  Be listed as a supporter of this project in the final report (name only). Online giving now available at "Donate Now" button. Checks can be made payable and mailed to the Cashiers Area Legacy Fund - PO Box 238, Cashiers, NC 28717 or drop by Chamber office.

UPDATE: A generous, concerned and community-minded benefactor is offering a $10,000 match gift for donations up to $250.  Give $20, $50, $100 or more and double your investment in this unprecedented opportunity!


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: 

  1. Preservation of community character & heritage
  2. Density & siting (residential, commercial, and mixed use)
  3. Local needs (hospitality, services, retail (grocery, boutique, other), residential including housing diversity/workforce housing), commercial, medical, educational, childcare, fuel, public amenities, etc.)
  4. Most appropriate and sustainable uses (large acreage properties within the Districts (i.e. Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation Oakmont parcel at US 64W & NC 107N)
  5. Transportation management and connectivity (traffic volume and flow, pedestrian mobility and safety, public transit-JTA, other)
  6. Environmental conservation (scenic quality, natural resources, “green” space)
  7. Infrastructure development & prioritization (water resources-wastewater treatment/community water/stormwater management, highway improvements, arterial road construction, public services)
  8. 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)

 Rev. 07/30/21 Cashiers Area Chamber This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 828-743-5191