Source: Editorial Board
Republican Rep. Jeff Zenger is running for re-election in North Carolina House District 74 in Forsyth County. Zenger was first elected to the General Assembly in 2020 and works as a general contractor and developer.
During his short tenure as a representative, Zenger has introduced at least five bills that would benefit developers such as himself.
- Zenger introduced a bill to allow developers to go around local municipalities to get water or sewer for their new developments. The measure allows developers to get water or sewer from “another unit of local government” in the event that their permit is denied. The provision was included as a part of a bill to allow “social districts” for alcohol and was signed by Governor Cooper.
- Zenger introduced a bill that would require local governments to approve development plans within 21 days. Under the proposal, should a local government fail to approve within 21 days, the developer would be allowed to seek outside approval of the plans and force local governments to issue permits within 72 hours. The measure passed in the House but was never voted on in the Senate.
- Zenger introduced a bill to amend watershed rules to allow developers to build with more density than previously allowed. The measure was passed by both chambers and signed by Governor Roy Cooper.
- Zenger has also introduced bills to lower property taxes for townhouse developers and lower development fees.
Zenger’s role in the industry and subsequent actions in the General Assembly may have contributed to his campaign fundraising. He has accepted over $10,000 in contributions from individuals in the development, construction, and real estate industries in the last two years.
Forsyth County is a rapidly growing area that has been quickly developed. Some residents have expressed concerns about the speed amid rising prices and lack of affordable housing.
Jeff Zenger is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Carla Catalán Day. This fall, Forsyth County voters have the opportunity to elect a representative that will prioritize their community over the needs of developers.