On election night, fiscally conservative, business-friendly grassroots activists up-ended the entrenched progressives who held a lock on the Chatham County commission. And now the new board is already taking steps to work with, rather than thwart, builders and developers. That represents big change in Chatham. The new board’s move is evidence that, while it may take years to affect change, grassroots activism does work and is worth the long-term effort. Kudos to the new board members for walking the walk.

From the Chapel Hill News:

The new commissioners took one step forward this week in fulfilling their campaign promise to make it easier to do business in Chatham County.
Reversing a Nov. 15 vote, the board agreed 4-1 to give developers one more year to meet their permit requirements. Commissioner Sally Kost voted against the extension.

The vote affects at least 25 subdivisions and 11 commercial projects. It also extends the deadlines for numerous stormwater, septic system, environmental review, soil erosion and sediment control projects.

Commissioners Chairman Brian Bock said he agreed at first that affected developers could seek extensions on a case-by-case basis. However, after more consideration, he decided it wasn’t fair to make them spend extra time and money when they already have the county’s approval.