On Wed., November 16th a meeting was held by residents of the Franklin-Rosemary Historic District regarding recent conversion of a single-family home on North Street into a student-occupied duplex with eight units. Another property on the street has been bought by the same developer and is expected to be similarly converted. While student rentals throughout the central Chapel Hill community are common, there is a point at which a residential area becomes student dominated and loses its residential character. Examples of this are seen in the on-going battles in Northside and the Cameron-McCauley area as well as Davie Circle. While we all love having students around, too much of a good thing leads to neighborhood decline with excessive parking, poor maintenance, trash and loud parties. The meeting generated interest in neighborhoods working together to address this issue with the Town, both through improved enforcement of existing ordinances as well as seeking additional ways in which the character of these in-town neighborhoods can be preserved. Continue reading
At the end of a grueling six hour meeting, Council ran out of time and energy to hear the Aydan Court agenda items which were then continued to Wednesday, May 25th. If you’re not familiar with this important development, click here to learn more about the positions, from the developer and from citizens.
The Town is once more faced with the dilemma of acceding to a developer’s demands for rezoning and special use permits that are not consistent to existing zoning and the Comprehensive Plan. This area, like Charterwoods and Obey Creek, could be developed with consideration to the expressed wishes of the citizens through the Comprehensive Planning process, the environment, the natural habitat they provide and their prominent positions as gateways to Chapel Hill. We’re hopeful that the developers will either revise their proposals to be consistent with existing ordinances, zones and regulations or that final approvals for these proposed developments, Aydan Court, Charterwoods and Obey Creek, will be voted down or deferred until the Town has the opportunity to consider them with an engaged public as part of the newly launched Comprehensive Plan.
Increasingly we are seeing developers’ proposals that fail to consider important town ordinances; tree, steep slopes, RCD. Council is desirous of increasing the tax base and is caught between the press to develop and harvest taxes and being responsible to the citizens by enforcing the ordinances that are so important to them. Unfortunately, granting these many exceptions undermines the validity of the existing ordinances and Council’s credibility. Ultimately, following our ordinances consistently is a basic principal of our organization and we believe for the entire community.
Neighbors for Responsible Growth is sponsoring a question and answer session on Wednesday, February 16th from 7 – 9 pm at the Southern Human Services Building on Homestead Road. Come get informed before the February 28th Public Hearing. A copy of the Unified Development Ordinance is available at the Chapel Hill Public Library or can be read online here.
The proposed Orange County Unified Development Ordinance affects areas outside municipal control. The proposal has been presented as a reorganization of Orange County’s land management regulations into one document. However, there have been concerns expressed about overlay zones which could impact rural communities.