When they adopted the Land-Use Management Ordinance in 2002, the Chapel Hill Town Council created a new way to protect residential areas, it's called the Neighborhood Conservation District. The first community to develop an NCD is Northside, where I live. If you are unfamiliar with it, Northside is a historically black and working-class neighborhood downtown (north of Rosemary Street, south of Bolin Creek, east of Carrboro, and west of Columbia Street). Low prices and convenient location have made the neighborhood increasingly attractive to student renters and their investor-landlords who can afford to pay more than many families and contribute less to the community in my opinion.
I have lots more I'd like to say about this, but what I want you to know right now is that the Town is holding a public forum to discuss the recommendation of the citizen committee that is working with the Planning Board to develop this Neighborhood Conservation District for Northside. Here's the scoop:
NORTHSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY FORUM
Yesterday's Chapel Hill Herald gave us a preview of the "Friends of Sunrise" forum. Excuse me, but who the hell holds their candidate forum on the same night as a Town Council meeting? Doesn't that sort of indicate that you are more interested in making your own points than hearing other people's?
They also gave the candidates questions in advance:
One of the submitted questions reads in part, "Do you think that the town should continue its current policy of ignoring I-40 noise?" Another question asks, "Do you think nonprofits should be allowed to build large-scale, low-income housing projects with public funds and with no public accountability?"
The question on the bonds reads, "Keeping in mind that property taxes have increased steadily over the past 15 years and many Chapel Hill residents have lost their jobs in the economic downturn, how would you justify that this is the time to initiate the largest bond package in Chapel Hill history? Are there other ways to accomplish the intended goals?"
Today's Chapel Hill Herald has an article about the impact of UNC development on the Town Council race. It's great to see the neighborhoods banding together - again - to protect themselves from UNC (over)growth. But it's disappointing to see that those activists still seem to see themselves as struggling in a vacuum. Many others have been working for years to try to make UNC a better corporate citizen of our town and would welcome collaboration with the growing number of neighbors who feel threatened by UNC.
This new group, "the Coalition of Neighbors near Campus," endorsed Sally Greene, Cam Hill, and Bill Strom for Chapel Hill Town Council. And I sure can't argue with that.
(I'm out of town so I won't be posting much this week. I'm still writing up my review of the NAACP candidates forum last Thursday.)
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