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House | June 23, 2014 | Committee Room | Finance

Full MP3 Audio File

If our members will please take their seats. And, without objection, we’re going to call our meeting to order. First bill on the agenda is Senate bill 117. Rep. Setzer is recognized for a motion that we have. Senate bill 117 on the floors for the purpose of discussion. All in favor will say aye, any objections will say aye. I believe we have the bill before us. Will one of our staff folks please. Rep. Setzer again is recognized. We have a PCS before us for the purpose of discussion. Senator, will you tell us what’s in that PCS please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, ma’am. Senate bill 172 as it comes to you originally has two different local pieces in it. The Jacksonville occupancy tax piece and a Rightsville Beach de-annexation Williamington annexation piece. What this PCS does right now for Senate bill 172 is to remove the Rightsville Beach de-annexation piece from the bill so that you are left with just the occupancy tax portion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members of the committee we need a motion to approve that PCS and with a further motion to send it to the occupancy tax sub-committee. Rep. Lewis? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madame Chair, I would move that the proposed committee substitute for house bill 172 be wrote into a new proposed committee substitute and that committee substitute be sent to the sub-committee on occupancy tax. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Everybody’s heard that motion. All in favor will say aye, all opposed no. The next bill is Senate bill 523. That’s the late filing penalty. Senator Rucho, Rep. Lewis is recognized for a motion that will bring PCS before us for purpose of discussion. All in favor will say aye, all opposed no. Rep. Lewis would you like to tell us what is in the new PCS please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madame Chair, with your permission would you ask staff to speak to that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I certainly will. Ms. Everett? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senate bill 523 as you recall was one that this house that you debated last year. It was actually went to the floor, was removed from the floor, and was sent back to this committee. This PCS removes the late filing penalty from the bill. It is no longer a public bill. It is now a local bill that simply contains the a Rightsville Beach de-annexation Williamington annexation pieces that were originally part of Senate bill 172. It’s my understanding that this would de-annex approximately 12.5 acres from the town of Rightsville Beach city limits and annex into the town limits…the city limits of Williamington. The Rightsville Beach city council voted unanimously last week to except the terms of this voluntary de-annexation of the two parcels of property. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Lewis do you have comments? [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion I’m sure it’s perfect time… [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’ll take it in just a minute. Rep. Stone do you have a question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The only question I have on property bills. Has the property owner agreed to it or asked for it? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Everett? [SPEAKER CHANGES] In looking at the news stories, this is hot in the press in Williamington. And, it’s the Galleria shopping center, which is primarily vacant. This land is contiguous to several other acres of land that are in the city limits of Williamington. It is my understanding from those news articles that the developer of this spot, of all this property, would like for all of the property to be in the town of Williamington with the idea that it will probably be a high density mix used development. The town of Rightsville Beach could probably not support, would not be able to support as far as the services needed for it. So, yes. The short answer to your question is yes, the property owner is in favor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rep. Starnes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, when this property comes out of Rightsville Beach, and I guess the intention is it will be one track that was in the Williamington city limits. Is this a contiguous part, or is it a sub-lot annexation. That Galleria shopping center, is that a sub-lot annexation or is that contiguous to Williamington currently? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It is contiguous to Williamington property currently, is my understanding.

I do not know if it was a satellite annexation of Wrightsville Beach or not, that, I'm sorry, I do not know. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Basically then, Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach just join each other. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's right. Yes sir. Representative Moore? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, I just wanted to know if there was any opposition to this particular action from anyone from Wilmington or Wrightsville Beach. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore, I believe there is some agreement with the Wrightsville Beach city council and I understand there's an agreement between the two cities, however, Representative Davis, sir, you represent part of this area. Do you have any comments that you would like to share? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just that I'm not pushing this, but I will say that I do represent all of Wrightsville Beach and they unanimously voted for this. I represent part of Wilmington, they unanimously voted to do this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hall, I'm sorry, Representative Moore? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I have a very quick follow up. Representative Davis, to my understanding the city council in Wilmington and the town council in Wrightsville Beach are in sync with this agreement? [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I respond ma'am? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for that question.Yes sir, this issue was voted on by the town of Wrightsville Beach. it was a 5-0 unanimous vote. Also unanimous with the city of Wilmington. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hall? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chair, and I just wanted to put the information in the record. I spoke with Representative Hamilton, who is in favor of this, and agrees with both Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington. She suffered an injury and hopefully will be able to make a procession tomorrow, but could not be here today and wanted to make sure the committee members to know she was in support of it and the delegation is in support of it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Hall. Are there other questions, other comments? Representative Luebke? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm trying to figure out in this whether there is anyone opposed. It seems the developer has problems with this, or can someone help me with maybe ?? if there's no one to present the bill. Well? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lewis has taken on the duty to handle the bill so we're going to bring him up and let him take the questions. Representative Lewis, are you prepared to answer those questions and if you'd like to refer to anyone in the back. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you ma'am chair. I'll take a stab. Representative Luebke and, let me think, Representative Hall, I was not aware, did not communicate with Representative Hamilton that she did not say why she was not here and I'm sorry to hear that. It is my understanding that the developer who owns this 12 acre block wants this to occur because the city of Wilmington is better able to provide for the growth of the remodeling and whatnot that he is going to do. The town of Wrightsville Beach acknowledges that the city of Wilmington is better able to provide this and the city of Wilmington wants this to occur. I know of no opposition to this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I follow up madam chair? How about the citizens who live close to this high density mixed use project? Is anyone perhaps here from that citizenry? Just wondering if this is an issue where there is any concern from the neighbors. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Madam chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Lewis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you madam chair. With the chairs permission Mr. Tom Fitzer is here who is a lobbyist on this issue and perhaps the chair would allow him to address the gentleman from Durhams inquiry. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We certainly will and Representative Rabon, Senator Rabon is here also who happens to be one of the original bill sponsors so Senator Rabon if you'd like to come on down with Representative Lewis and share the pain. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon committee. Let me attempt to clear up some of your questions. This is a vacant shopping center. It's a ghost town with tumbleweeds and asphalt. It was annexed by the city of Wrightsville Beach

Thirty years ago when it was built because it was actually closer to Raxwell beach at the time. Since then Wilmington has come down and surrounded this area. And so the petitioner the person who paid the bulk of property has asked for it to be DNXed in a very good example of inner munacible collaboration of the mayors and the town councils of Raxell beach and Wilmington. Put together in a local agreement whereby the city of Wilmington over the next thirty years is going to provide about eight hundred thousand dollars in tax based revenue to the town of Raxwell beach. And to answer Mister Luki's question, Mr. Luki the city of Wilmington will have sixty days to apply zoning to this parcel. And so the developer, whatever he wishes to do with this property, he's gonna have to go through the normal vetting, planning and zoning process to...and get permanent to do what he wants to do so at that point in time the residents of Wilmington will have a chance to weigh in on this. SPEAKER CHANGES: May I follow up with either with ??... SPEAKER CHANGES: Mr ?? you have the follow. Yes. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you. SPEAKER CHANGES: Well I guess I'm questioning I understand the process whereby there's a formal period during which people can comment. But there's reference by Ms. Everett to let news stories on this, what I'm asking you is are you aware at this point of any citizen opposition to this project. SPEAKER CHANGES: If I may answer that I did not attend the Raxwell Beach public hearing on this but I watched it on LiveStream. A later check I was the only person to do so. Approximately thirty people spoke, all in favor, I'm aware that the town of Raxwell beach got four negative emails. Two of which were from former board members and the same evening the city of Wilmington passed it unanimously. There was one column written by a lady named Pat Bradford who was the owner and publisher of the Luna news which was not entirely complimentary. The agreement that both cities both municipalities have agreed to unanimously but other than that I'm not personally aware of any opposition. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you very much. SPEAKER CHANGES: Other members of the committee are there other questions other comments? If not Representative Louis you're recognized for a motion sir. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you Madame Cheer I moved that the proposed house committee substitute for Senate bill five twenty three be given the favor report on favor to the original bill. SPEAKER CHANGES: Members of the committee you've heard the motion for the questions and comments. If their are none all in favor will say Aye. SPEAKER CHANGES: Aye. SPEAKER CHANGES: All opposed will say no. I believe the motion passes all members of the committee all stand by. We will have a meeting on Wednesday morning to do some wrap up bills that were coming from the Senate and two quick things before we adjourn. Representative Brawley sir you're recognized for a motion that the minutes from the June nineteenth meeting will be so approved ?? Mr. Luki? SPEAKER CHANGES: I was a couple minutes late and wondering whether Senate bill five twenty three has been removed ?? unannounced? SPEAKER CHANGES: ?? It's going to the subcommittee, Representative Loki it went back to it's original text. Just occupancy tax and it has been sent over to the subcommittee and they will meet sometime in the next day or so. SPEAKER CHANGES: I'm asking m'aam actually about late filing penalty. That's the bill we just stripped and has this provision in. SPEAKER CHANGES: Got it. SPEAKER CHANGES: OK. SPEAKER CHANGES: Thank you. SPEAKER CHANGES: Yes sir. All in favor in the minutes as written say Aye. All opposed say no. I believe that's unanimous a House Sergent Varbs, gentlemen we as always thank you for your work. Marvin Lee, Mike Clampett, a Joe Crook and Carl...there you go. Carl thank you very much we appreciate you. With that we stand ajourned.