GAD Takeover of the Advocate
October 22, 2021

Once a month NCR Government Affairs Directors (GADs) will do a GAD Takeover of the Advocate! This monthly feature will be solely focused on local policy, events and news. It will take a closer look at Local Association advocacy efforts and community engagement. Each GAD will provide a unique, personalized peek into their areas. The GAD Takeover offers a break from state legislative news and will take you on an advocacy trip around North Carolina, from the mountains to the coast and all areas in-between.

For additional information on any of the items below, please click on the GAD’s name that is associated with the content. View the GAD map.

Spotlight Article

High Country NC: Michael Cooper, Shared & Regional GAD
The McDowell County Board of REALTORS® partnered with the Marion Business Association and their Executive Director Freddie Killough to bring the NAR Smart Growth Grant for a Main Street Development Assessment to the City of Marion. Hilary Greenberg, President of Greenberg Development Services in Charlotte, provided a Main Street Development Assessment for the community. Hilary visited Marion in August, that included lunch with the county manager, a walking tour, business visits, dinner with the Marion Business Association, a breakfast workshop with community leaders including REALTORS®, interviews with stakeholders, and a lunch with economic development officials. Her report is now being finalized. But we do anticipate applying for a NAR Placemaking grant to implement some of the recommendations in the report.

“Marion, North Carolina is a quaint little city in the foothills of North Carolina. The quality of life and the cost of living will make this an attractive place now that more people can live and work from anywhere. But that’s not a guarantee of attracting new residents, new jobs and new investment. We still have to do the work. We need to study our assets, highlight the best of what we have to offer, and sell a vision of a renewed and prosperous future for the community, and NAR’s Smart Growth Grant is helping Marion do that.”

To learn more, click here.

Spotlight Issue

Far West NC: Mike Butrum, Shared and Regional GAD
As housing supply continues to pose a challenge to affordability in our markets, local governments increasingly turn to proposals of inclusionary zoning in an effort to provide more housing opportunities at low cost. There are significant challenges presented by inclusionary zoning, namely that it is not a silver bullet to solve the affordability issue.

To learn more, click here.

News from Around the State

Inner Coastal Plains: Katharine Wendt, Regional GAD
The Washington-Beaufort County Board of REALTORS was awarded a $5,000 NAR Placemaking grant in 2020 to support the work of the Pamlico Rose Institute and their Rose Haven Center. The Pamlico Rose Institute is committed to providing community-based wellness and resiliency programs for female Veterans.

The grant was utilized to build a greenhouse and a wheelchair accessible boardwalk at the Rose Haven Center of Healing that will allow easy access to the mediation gardens. The Center helps facilitate wellness through opportunities to engage with nature and creative expression.

If you are interested in more information or would like to take a tour of the facility please contact Katharine Wendt.

South Central NC: Dalton Clark, Regional GAD
On Wednesday, October 6th the Mid Carolina Regional REALTORS® Association hosted the 2021 MCRAR Diversity Workshop. The virtual workshop featured speakers from NAR, NCR, Sandhills Community College, and a special presentation from The Diversity Group. The event included presentations on grants and programming from Ryan Davis, Director of Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion at NAR, a presentation on Diversity and Inclusion from Dean Alfreda Stroman, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at Sandhills Community College, and finished off with a virtual Privilege Walk with The Diversity Group. In addition, MCRAR was awarded a Level 2 Diversity grant from NAR for this event.

Western Piedmont Triad: Emma Kate Sowder, Shared GAD
The Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® (WSRAR) is excited to support a proposed amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance which would allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), known commonly as “granny flats”, in Forsyth County and the City of Winston-Salem without a special zoning process.

WSRAR has been a fierce proponent of this code change for many years, as the city currently has a special zoning process in place for ADUs. The special zoning requirement has made this type of housing extremely unattractive to potential builders and owners, as the process is onerous and complex. WSRAR opposed this change from the beginning and has since been an advocate for amending the city code. WSRAR held an event earlier this year, Accessory Dwelling Units and You, with ADU expert Kol Peterson. This event allowed city officials to ask an ADU expert questions and paved the way for the proposed amendment to the UDO.

WSRAR looks forward to supporting this amendment at the November planning board meeting, which would remove the special zoning process and makes building ADUs much more attainable for Winston-Salem residents.

Eastern Piedmont Triad: Genise Smith-Watkins, Shared GAD
The Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association (GRRA) and Transit Alliance of the Piedmont (TAP) held an outdoor public workshop on Thursday September 23 at LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro. Mayor Nancy Vaughan was the featured speaker at the event.

With a competitive statewide Innovative Grant from NAR, the event goal was to have collaborative effort from organizations, leadership, agencies and the general public in order to determine how Greensboro can allocate over $59 million in COVID funding towards connecting people in the region to better jobs, housing and services.

The event resulted in excellent discussions between Greensboro area REALTORS® and the nonprofits and public agencies participating. The well attended event provided attendees with an opportunity to vote on over twenty project packets.

Coastal NC: Porter Graham, Shared & Regional GAD
North Carolina House Bill 531 became State Law on October 6. The legislation enacts the first significant reform since the 1980s of the state legal framework governing timeshares. It addresses both problems posed by and obstacles to the expansion of the timeshare industry in North Carolina. The legislation eliminated the bond requirement for educators. It also has new regulations for the resale and exit companies that target people, and in particular the elderly population, and take their money. This is significant legislation not just for NC but on the national level as it puts NC in the forefront of regulating exit companies.

Local Associations are a foundational and integral part of NCR’s advocacy efforts. NCR members are engaged with state and local lawmakers, and strong advocates for their communities. With the launch of this new feature of the Advocate, we encourage you to coordinate with your GADs to highlight all the work that’s being done in your areas whether it’s volunteerism, your efforts in protecting private property rights, or promoting issues important to the real estate industry.

If you have any comments or would like to provide suggestions for future content, please contact Troi Bachmann or your GAD.


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