Increased Density is the Right Choice

Travis Crayton's picture

This column originally appeared in the Chapel Hill News on Sunday, January 25.

By Travis Crayton & Molly De Marco

In 2014, “density” might well have been the word of the year in local government in Orange County.

Much of the debate about development in our communities boils down to preferences and emotions about the scale and density of proposed projects. (How tall? How many new units per acre?)

This Week in Orange Politics: January 26-February 2

OP Editors's picture

It’ll be another busy week from Orange County’s public bodies this week. Both the Chapel Hill Town Council and county Board of Commissioners will hold their annual retreats, and both will also hold other meetings where the Ephesus/Fordham Renewal District and associated public improvements will be up for discussion. The Hillsborough Board will get a status update on an invasive plant in the Eno River, while the Carrboro Alderfolks will consider the rural buffer. The county school board will discuss several school improvement plans.

Residents Give Feedback on Proposed Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center

Jeff Miles's picture

More than 40 people came out to Carrboro Town Hall earlier last night to give the Board of Alderman their thoughts about a proposed Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center downtown. The project, a joint effort of The ArtsCenter and Kidzu, would consist of a center with three performing arts center and kids museum located at at the intersection of Main and Roberson Streets.

Better Together

Travis Crayton's picture

A good friend of mine spent some time over the holidays in another college town, where his parents live. We were chatting upon his return to Chapel Hill, and he said something that really struck me: Compared to his parents’ town, Chapel Hill just doesn’t have a real sense of community.

This Week in Orange Politics: January 19-25

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It’ll be a quite a busy week for the Chapel Hill Town Council with four meetings scheduled covering a wide range of subjects including a new ETJ, Chapel Hill 2020, Obey Creek and the future of Southern Village. The Carrboro Alderfolks will hold a public hearing on a proposed downtown arts venue, while the county commissioners will discuss what to do with the unassigned general fund balance. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will hold a development meeting, while the county school board and Hillsborough Town Board take a break.

Here’s the full summary:

"Public" Participation: A Look at Central West

Travis Crayton's picture

Researchers at the UNC School of Government recently released the results of a survey (PDF) they conducted about Chapel Hill’s Central West Small Area Plan process. You might have seen some press and spin about this survey and the comments participants provided in the survey. But before we start extrapolating from these data, it’s important to make sure we understand who provided feedback on the Central West process and how those individuals compare to our community at large.

Regional Transit Now Serving Mebane, Efland

Travis Crayton's picture

Regional Transit has come to Efland and Mebane, as of today!

Triangle Transit's Orange-Durham Express (ODX) route, which started operating in August 2014, has now expanded its service. The route now connects Mebane, Efland, Hillsborough, Duke University, and Downtown Durham.

This Week in Orange Politics: January 12-18

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With the holidays now fully behind us, Orange County’s public bodies are gearing up for a busy 2015. This week the Carrboro Town Board will hear about Chapel Hill Transit and take on changes to the rural buffer, while the Chapel Hill Town Council will get an update on the town’s asset management plan and consider a special use permit. The Hillsborough Town Board will talk about preservation efforts at the Colonial Inn.

Village Plaza Apartments Approved

Travis Crayton's picture

The Town of Chapel Hill has approved Vilage Plaza Apartments, the first development proposed under the new form-based code implemented in the Ephesus-Fordham District.

Village Plaza Apartments will be constructed on the vacant site located between the Whole Foods shopping center and the ABC Store on South Elliot Rd. The development will bring 265 apartments, ground-floor retail space, a parking deck, greenway improvements, and roadway improvements. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment will be approximately $1,150/month while a 2-bedroom apartment will rent for about $1,600/month.

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