The basic thrust of the article is that Chapel Hill is having a hard time recruiting and keeping businesses, and part of the reason is slow development review and stricter development standards.
The piece illustrates a drawback to development regulations that governments use to create that compact, mixed-use development I talked about it. Yes, there is less sprawl. Yes, more places are walkable and it’s nicer aesthetically. But when a company wants to relocate or expand, do they buy smaller, more expensive property with more zoning restrictions, or the large, cheap lot with plenty of space for parking (cars)?
At least one company’s answer is here:
Before it moved to Durham’s Quadrangle Park in 2003, Rho’s leaders had considered leasing space in Meadowmont but decided it was too expensive and didn’t provide enough parking because the Town Council had restricted the number of spaces. That’s an example of how high development standards have discouraged commercial growth in Orange County.
Helms said he understood the town’s efforts to force commuters into public transit, but with employees traveling from all over the Triangle, adequate parking is critical to Rho’s success.