Moeser Objects

In a letter to Mayor Foy, Chancellor James Moeser writes "I wish to register, in the strongest most possible terms, our objection to the action taken by the Town Council on October 11, initiating the rezoning of the University's Carolina North property to OI-2."

Moeser would prefer to "use this time to work together to further our mutual goal of building a better community and university."

So, a zone (OI-3) that allows the university to do whatever it wants without Council involvement is "working together" but a zone (OI-2) under which the Council would review university projects is not?

This strikes me as the sort of knee jerk reaction the university, or any corporation faced with new regulation, always makes: object stongly and in the huffiest terms.

Moeser also conveniently overlooks that all the Council did Monday night was ask for information on a rezoning process. There is a long way to go yet.

[Shameless self-promotion: I discuss the rezoning futher in my column in today's Chapel Hill Herald.]

Total votes: 211

Comments

That does seem to be quite a reaction to the Council asking to begin the process of discussing rezoning. Can you imagine if the Town reacted with such hysterics every time UNC did something without consulting the Town Council first? I just don't get why UNC is so opposed to dialogue!

Tomorrow night there is a public hearing on proposed changes to the OI-4 zone for main campus.

The Town Manager writes "We recommend that the Council initiate discussion with University representatives to review these ideas."

Sounds like just what Moeser is asking for, right?

But, guess what. Farther in the staff report, the Manager reports that "University officials have filed a valid and sufficient Protest Petition. A three-fourths vote by the Council would be required to enact the text amendments."

Kind of sounds like Moeser's bluster about "working together" is a load of crap.

Whether you agree with that judgment or not it seems fairly indisputable that the Town proceeding with a Horace Williams rezoning to protect its interests is at worst no more offensive than the university filing a protest petition (before the public hearing even!) to protect its own.

In defense of UNC filing their protest
petition before the public hearing:

If I remember correctly, state law requires
that it be filed some number of days
before the hearing.

I will definitely be at Town Hall tonight to speak in favor of serious changes to OI-4.

As a Planning Board member, I have been vocally critical of this zone since before it was created. (Sally Greene is my witness.) Now our experience has shown that it doesn't work well for any of the parties involved. I'm hopeful that the Town Council is finally taking some steps (such as rezoning the Horace Williams tract and reforming OI-4) to improve our negotating position with the University. I think future development will be better for it.

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< a href="http://www.lotusmedia.org/blog/2004_10_01_archive.html#109815391057336930">Here's a link to the remarks I made to the Council tonight.

 

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