Our group savecarrborogreenspaces.org has collected 332 signatures near the Farmer's Market on 2 Saturdays and 3 Wednesdays. Our last chance with the Carrboro Aldermen is June 21. We need your help now to address this new "profits over people" environmental social injustice.
Land use decisions are to made deliberately, after public input. But Silicon Valley's wealth is pushing their ASAP culture onto communities and disrupting local procedures (e.g. Uber). To attain market dominance, Google Fiber imposes rules that speed the sitings of its internet relay facilities: Since towns control permits, Google will not partner with utility districts. Google allows towns to nominate only sites that towns own directly. Towns don't own much land, so parks and urban green spaces get nominated.
In 2015 Google pressured Carrboro to move fast. Carrboro custom-amended its zoning law so that Google's zoning permit could be approved without a public hearing in June. In its 4 nominations to Google, Carrboro included a park and the cemetery woods/ meadow. The latter is a rare green space on grad student/ working class Fidelity Street, in the densest part of town. All Carrboro parks are on the other ("good") side of Main Street. No public hearing meant that no one thought of the industrial OWASA site next to the cemetery. Not even the neighbors of the cemetery knew what would happen until days before the Bechtel Corporation (Halliburton's cousin) began building in the woods in April. OWASA indicated interest in hosting this hub on April 28, but Google then accelerated construction. Dependence upon these fiber connections will increase (e.g. 911 calls), and so OWASA's higher security and reliability will be valuable to 10,000 homes in southeastern Orange County.
Back-up generator tests and 24/7 cooling gear will be heard in the meadow and by graveside mourners in this humble cemetery. Google is worth $500 billion and has $75 billion cash. Relocating to OWASA is a cup of coffee. This won't delay things much: OWASA is equivalent for this technology, and the network construction hasn't begun.
Please sign our change.org petition, which you can reach after you read more at savecarrborogreenspaces.org.