Editorial: An odd sort of gathering

March 14, 2014 

Knightdale leaders met with the Triangle Community Coalition recently and laid bare their hopes to see the town grow.

Why, exactly, we’re not sure.

It’s no secret that Knightdale would like to see its population, its housing stock and its tax base grow. The same could be said for most any town anywhere.

Fortunately for Knightdale, those things are starting to happen again as the region emerges from the effects of the 2008 recession.

It was a bit curious to know that representatives of the Triangle Community Coalition offered no feedback to the town.

That organization promotes limited regulation on the development industry and seeks to encourage growth by removing financial and regulatory barriers to development.

While we believe government at any level can certainly regulate an industry into extinction, we would caution against throwing out too many rules and giving too much leeway to developers who would like nothing more than to develop land without anyone telling them what precautions to take.

The town of Knightdale has a thoughtful Unified Development Ordinance that balances the interests of developers and those who already live in Knightdale. That document is designed to make the town a welcoming place to do business. As the TCC rightly points out in its own literature, keeping the rules simple and consistent makes for a better environment for growth. By establishing a thorough set of rules, Knightdale has done that.

What the town must be sure to do is avoid the temptation to cut and trim rules from the rule book in such a way that it loses oversight over the town’s most basic interests. While there will always be rules that bear reviewing and revising (see the case of Tom Wall who has been told he must build a $500,000 road to develop his property because a neighboring developer failed to do it when that neighboring property was developed), there should always remain a focus on protecting quality of life and maintaining the natural resources we all depend on.

The TCC may at some point come back to the town of Knightdale with something to say about the town’s regulatory process. The town should listen. But it should react cautiously with an eye toward what’s best for Knightdale once the TCC and the developers finish their work and leave town.

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