Category: City & County Government

  • Fighting Over Airbnb

    This week I attended a meeting of the City of Raleigh Planning Commission Text Change Committee. The issue at hand was an ordinance regulating “short-term residential lodging facilities,” which means Airbnb and similar sorts of private, short-term rentals, frequently used by vacationers and business travelers. These are technically not…

  • Another Round of Media Hysteria

    We’ve been witness to a level of ideologically driven mass media hysteria in recent weeks unseen since the Duke lacrosse rape hoax story. I’m talking about the General Assembly’s nullification, via House Bill 2, of Charlotte’s ordinance designed to legislate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender discrimination. The Charlotte ordinance,…

  • Campaign dispatch, April 19, 2016: Elon Poll edition

    • A new Elon University Poll  of registered N.C. voters defies the conventional wisdom (and the media narrative) about House Bill 2: A near-majority (49 percent) said the state should not allow cities to mandate “ungendered” (my term) bathrooms, changing facilities, etc. 39 percent were OK with the…

  • Expert: Federal Appeals Court May Uphold N.C. Broadband Law

    A high-tech analyst suggests that a Federal Communications Commission rule pre-empting state laws limiting municipal broadband — including North Carolina’s — could be in trouble. Berin Szoka, president of Tech Freedom, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan technology think tank, said that while it’s difficult to predict the outcome of a lawsuit…

  • Scholar: Charlotte Ordinance Erased Bathroom Privacy

    Proponents of Charlotte’s controversial “bathroom” ordinance — including the city’s attorney — claim that stripping a 1985 facilities privacy provision from the city code was of no consequence, but, according to a constitutional scholar, had the ordinance remained in effect, places open to the public in Charlotte “could no…

  • Ballparks, Ballparks, Everywhere

    When I first heard about it, I thought I had to be missing something. Surely this couldn’t be right. But I’ve spent time reading and researching about a proposed ballpark development in High Point, and it really is as bad as it sounds. The city wants to spend a large…

  • Raleigh Chamber To ‘Study’ Financial Impact of H.B. 2

    Opponents of House Bill 2, popularly known as the “bathroom bill,” claim that the legislation has cost jobs in North Carolina, but it may have created at least one. The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce is advertising a new, part-time position for a person to research and analyze the…

  • Another Round of Media Hysteria

    We’ve been witness to a level of ideologically driven mass media hysteria in recent weeks unseen since the Duke lacrosse rape hoax story. I’m talking about the General Assembly’s nullification, via House Bill 2, of Charlotte’s ordinance designed to legislate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender discrimination. The Charlotte ordinance,…