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
Chapel Hill Town Council has initiated a comprehensive planning process called Chapel Hill 2020. The final product is a new Comprehensive Plan for the Town. The process is designed to engage not only as many of the Town’s citizens as possible, but also business owners and those who, while not Chapel Hill taxpayers, are part of the unincorporated town. The kick-off visioning meeting included over 300 participants. Participant input was sorted into six theme groups in which citizens are invited to participate to discuss the issues and outcomes residents desire in the plan. A meeting schedule is found here. The Town is encouraging citizen participation at any stage of the approximately six month process, in person at the theme group or report out meetings or on the Town’s Blog called 2020Buzz.
Over ninety people joined the candidates at St. Joseph’s Methodist Church on Rosemary Street to talk informally with the candidates and then to gather in the sanctuary to hear Moderator Eleanor Murray pose questions to the assembled eight (out of nine) Town council candidates. The questions ranged from responsible growth to Town labor practices and equity for the Rogers Road community. Continue reading
123 West Franklin (University Square) - http://123westfranklin.com/. Be sure to follow progress on University Square. There was a meeting on September 8th, 2011 that described progress on the redevelopment design as well as this article in the Chapel Hill News http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2011/09/11/66732/saying-all-the-right-things.html. This property is now owned by the University Foundation and so heavy UNC influence is anticipated. Continue reading
Charterwood a mixed-use development proposed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Weaver Dairy Rd. Extension. This 13+ acre site has been to Council several times in 2011. The developer is returning with yet another revision at the September 26th Council Meeting. Materials are on the Town’s website or contact me for more information on how you can participate. Issues raised include appropriateness of this development for a major town entrance, transportation impacts, proximity to the adjacent neighborhood and fire department burn buildings, destruction of 150+ year old trees and Booker Creek headwaters impacts. Please let us know your thoughts and join us at the Council meeting on September 26th.
A Candidates Community Forum will be held on October 11th from 6:30 to 8:30 at St Joseph’s Methodist Church at 510 West Rosemary Street. It is sponsored jointly by Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG), EmPOWERment, CURB (a group of northern Chapel Hill neighborhoods), NAACP, Community Empowerment Fund and The Jackson Center. Continue reading
The most important activity to hit town in 10 years is the creation of a new Comprehensive Plan for Chapel Hill, called Chapel Hill 2020. This plan will guide development activity in town for the next ten years. The process is designed to include as many citizens as are willing to participate and at any level of participation that they wish. The town reports 140 people have agreed to participate as Stakeholders – you could be one too. Continue reading
This story appeared in the Sept 11th Chapel Hill News.
We are not out of the recession yet, but with a Corps of Engineers permit in hand, UNC is busy getting the utilities in the ground for a new campus, Carolina North. Judging from the University’s announcement released last week, a great deal of land could potentially be cleared outside the airport footprint, affecting forests on the large 1000 acre tract in northern Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Continue reading
Jeanne Brown delivered this thoughtful petition before the Council broke for the summer. Food for thought.
June 27, 2011
Mayor Kleinschmidt and members of Town Council:
Good Evening: It is exciting to hear that the Initiating Committee report will be reviewed tonight – setting the stage for public discussion and formulation of Chapel Hill’s new Comprehensive Plan.
This year Council has faced many ad hoc development decisions. Based on recent comments by developers, council members and citizens, I believe that everyone agrees that the new Comprehensive Plan will provide an updated guiding document for council, developers and citizens.
But creating a new Comprehensive Plan is not all that is needed. As citizen groups watched Aydan Court and similar development decisions unfold, it has become clear that the Concept Plan and Development Application Review processes need to be improved and strengthened in order to avoid similar situations in the future.
To begin with, a publicly created and vetted Comprehensive Plan is only effective if it is used as the basis for guiding staff, council and developers from initial Concept Plan discussions through building of approved projects.
Council Woman Donna Bell expressed the concerns many of us share when she observed that the Aydan Court project had first been proposed as a project that “spanned the entire property” and then had been “whittled down” from there. Continue reading