Rogers Road discussion

Sorry for not posting this sooner. The day job is kicking my tushy this week. The Historic Rogers Road Community Enhancement Plan Development and Monitoring Task Force (whew!) will be meeting tonight at 7:00 PM at the Homestead Community Center, 600 Homestead Road. This is the county's committee that I think is focused on how to remediate the current (and probably future) impacts of our landfill on the African-American neighborhood that has been denied relief for 30 years.

I was hoping to go, but I don't think I will be able to. I'd love if someone could go and report back!

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Total votes: 146

Comments

Did anyone attend?

I'm still curious about the new school being built out there and how that figures in to the overall situation. The school will raise real estate values which can be good for Rogers Rd. landowners. It may result in raised taxes, which may not be so good. The school is also in the landfill/transfer station traffic zone - what does that mean?

I haven't heard any reports on last night's meeting, but in related news, there is an Interim Report from Chapel Hill's Rogers Road Small Area Plan Task Force being presented to the Council tomorrow. http://townhall.townofchapelhill.org/agendas/2007/06/27/8/8_rrsaptf_cove...

While the meeting ran from 7 to 8:30 I arrived at 7:30. Commission Carey was organizing the attendees (my guesstimate is about 40 plus people), into three work groups to generate and combine the wish lists. Commissioners Foushee and Jacobs were also in attendance. There was no one from the Carrboro BOA. I would not be able recognize to recognize anyone from the Chapel Hill and Hillsborough town councils. However, I heard no signs of representation.

The work groups all discussed the boundaries of the Historic Rogers Road Community . It was stated that it really stretched from MLK to old 86. For me it was a learning experience of the rich history and heritage of this community and that many families have been residing there back to 'slavery times'. It was also clear that this community has been severely mistreated by all the governments all this time and that this mistreatment continues to this day.

Towards the end of the meeting it became painfully clear that there is no real commitment to do anything and the split of responsibities between Chapel Hill Carrboro, OWASA and the the County present formidable obsticals to substantial improvements. In fact at least at my table the split between Carrboro and Chapel Hill was seen as disrespectful of the community.

Moses Carey at the end was downplaying the BOCC's ability or responsibility to effect real change. There is no bucket of money from anywhere allocated for this community . It is my opinion that each item will compete for monies against all the other priorities stressing the budgets. There is no commitment to do anything and I did not hear anything from Carey or any other commissioner that they would spend any real personal or political capital to make anything happen. Responsibility is easily denied and there is no political price to pay.

There was plenty of skepticism at the meeting since all have seen this many times before with no results. But all seem to be willing to try again. I can only hope that the spirit, persistence and courage of the Rogers Road community will somehow make a difference despite the odds.

Below is the wish list generated at a previous 'neighbor to neighbor' meeting and submitted by Reverend Campbell. (I scanned and OCR'ed the document. There might be some errors).

THE ROGERS/EUBANKS ROAD WISH LIST FOR ENHANCEMENT

WE ARE TIRED OF BEING DUMPED ON! We were told that this would not happen to our neighborhood again. The municipalities have divided this community, but we are not divided on this issue, so please stop treating us so.

1. FIND ANOTHER SITE FOR THE TRANSFER STATION.

*WHERE IS THE LIST OF THE ORIGINAL 100 HOUSES THAT WERE SINGLED OUT TO RECEIVE WATER?

2. WATER FOR THOSE EXISTING PROPERTIES THAT DID NOT GET WATER THE FIRST TIME, FOR WHATEVER THE REASON. (EXAMPLE: THE NUNN PROPERTY)

3. YOU MUST DO SOME THING TO REDUCE THE ODOR NOW!! CAN'T YOU ADD LIME OR SOMETHING TO THE AREAS YOU ARE DISTURBING THAT CAUSES THE ODOR TO FLAIR UP?

4. TOTAL PAY FOR SEWER INCLUDING LINES TO THE HOMES BEST GUESS AT COST FOR IMPACT FEES FOR 100 HOMES, 1,400,000.00.G UESSING APPROX COST F6RIINES TO HOMES 800.00 DOLLARSTHE GUESSTIMATED TOTAL 1,480,000.00.

5. DO NOT ANNEX THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

6. BUY THE PROPERTY BETWEEN MICKEY AND JENKINS, PAVE FOR BASKETBALL AND PARK TYPE EQUIPMENT; JUNGLE GYM, SWINGS, PINIC TABLES, BENCHES TO SIT ON, AND ADD THAT THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT MAINTAINS THE PROPERTY.

7. TRAFFIC CALMING BUMPS ON ROGERS ROAD, ALONG WITH DECREASING SPEED LIMITS'

8. A CLOSED IN WAITING AREA AT THE BUS STOPS. BRING THE BUS SERVICE DOWN ROGERS ROAD. AT LEAST THREE TIMES (MORNING, NOON AND EVENING).

9. DO NOT ALLOW ANY DEVELOPMENT AT THE END OF PUREFOY THAT HAS NO OTHER MEANS OF EGREES OTHER THAN PUREFOY, EVEN AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

10. MORATORIUM ON TAXES AND RETURN OUR TAXES PAID FROM THE TIME OF THE OPENING OF THE LINED LAND FILL, DO NOT ALLOW TAXES TO BE THE CAUSE OF OLDER RESIDENTS LOSING THEIR HOMES.

11. DO NOT ALLOW ZONING THAT WOULD MAKE US VUINERABLE TO BIG DEVELOPERS TO COME AFTER OUR HOMES AND PROPERTIES.

12. PAY MORE ATTENTION TO OUR ROADS DURING ICE AND SNOW EVENTS.

13. ALLOW OUR POWER TO BE TURNED ON IN POWER OUTAGES IN A DIFFERENT ORDER SO WE ARE NOT NEXT TO LAST EVERY TIME

14. WE WILL HAVE EVEN AFTER ANNEXATION, THE SAME FIRE, EMS AND SHERIFF THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE. IT WILL TAKE YEARS BEFORE THAT CHANGES.WITH ALL THE NEW DEVELOPMENT ALREADY APPROVED I FEEL STRONGLY THAT THESE THREE SERVICES MUST BE SERIOUSLY EXPANDED. STARTING NOW.

15. SIDEWALKS TO HOMESTEAD.

16. FOR FINANCE; LEASE THE LANDFILL AREAS TO A PRIVITE COMPANY THAT CAN HARVEST THE MEATHANE GAS FOR PROFIT.

17. LOOK AT THE TIPPING FEES FOR REVENUE; EVERY HOUSE THAT USES THE LANDFILL SHOULD BE GLADLY TO PAY MORE AFTERMALL IT DID NOT END UP, IN THEIR BACKYARD.

18. LOOK AT THE MONIES NOT SPENT FOR NEW LAND AQUSITION FOR THE TRANSFER STATION?

19. IF ALL ELSE FALLS HOW ABOUT JUST LEAVING US ALONE ... BEFORE THIS IS ALL SAID AND DONE YOU WILL HAVE CLOSED IN ON ALL SIDES OF OUR HOMES AND LIVES. IS THIS HOW THE ROGERS ROAD COMMUNITY IS TO BE SHOWN HOW MUCH THE COUNTY THANKS US FOR HAVING THE GARBAGE FROM EVERYONE DUMPED ON US IN YET ANOTHERWAY.THIS TIME WITH NO HOPE FOR REPRIEVE.

20. FIND A NEW SITE FOR CONVENIENCE CENTER PROPOSED FOR THE SITE NEAR THE CURRENT HOUSEHOLD WASTE CENTER.

21. BUILD A BARRIER WALL AND VEGETATION TO OBSCURE THE VIEW OF THE MOUNT TO STOP RODENTS AND OTHER ANIMALS, NOISE, IMPROVE AIR QUALITY.

22. WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION OF ALL MEETING CONCERNING THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AND HAVING THESE DOCUMENTS OFFICIALLY RECORDED AND FILED.

23. THAT WE (CURRENT LAND OWNERS) NOT BE PROHIBITTED FROM DEVELOPING OUR PROPERTIES/SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS.

24. THIS COMMUNITY DESERVES THE SAME ASSISTANCE FROM THE PROGRAM THAT SERVES THE MUNICIPALITIES OF CHAPEL HILL AND CARRBORO AS IT PERTAINS TO SUMMER EMPLOYMENT FOROUR YOUTHS.

25. WE WANT SOME POLITICAL REPRESENTATION ON THE DECIDING BOARD THAT ULTIMATELY MAKES DECISIONS AFFECTING THIS COMMUNITY, BE THAT CHAPEL HILL, CARRBORO AND/OR ORANGE COUNTY.

26. STOP DIVIDING US AS A COMMUNITY!

Thank you David for the update. It's a shame someone within the local governments hasn't stepped up and taken the initiative to drive resolution of these long term wrongs. I'm still quite concerned that these on-going efforts are more about prepping the area for a development windfall than addressing the community's needs.

Well, the siting of the school will certainly drive development there.

How does a development windfall square with the predicted ill effects of a transfer station?

There sems to be some confusion about the role of elected officals at last night's meeting.The last time this group met and set the date for last night's meeting it was decided that elected officals should NOT attend.It was thought that without elected officals there some of the neighbors would feel more comfortable and a better conversation would happen.The neighborhood reps on the task force are the ones who came up with the idea of a neighbors only meeting,I supported them.Not sure why the OCC folks came.
JAcquie Gist

Looks like I screwed up!
Moses just told me that I had the meeting dates wrong-the meeting on the 19th was for neighbors only and last night was for the whole task force.Randee just told me that she made the same wrong assumption.
I'm sorry that I missed it and I'm sorry I had my facts wrong
Jacquie Gist

If you both made the same mistake, it probably wasn't clear. I've also been very confused about the various meetings and I'm on the Chapel Hill Task Force!

For that matter hardly any o fthe other electeds (Moses & Joal) come to our meetings either. We have got scheduling issues, people!

It speaks volumes to me that it was so important to you that neither of you couldn't even get the date and time right. Lots of other people did.

Of course, everyone knows that history repeats itself, so you guys are doing a great job of ignoring the Rogers Road folks, just like your predecessors! Keep up the good work, with any luck they will all wind up in Alamance County when they can no longer afford to live here, or get disgusted about their treatment, or can no longer breathe from the odors of the landfill.

Thanks Dave R for posting the truth, not that anyone is discussing your list on this blog. Too ugly. Gotta go to the other blogs to read about it.

JMK, your tone is here is really unfair and unproductive. It's especially hard to take coming from someone not using their real name. I would like to personally ask you to keep your comments focused on issues, what you have experienced yourself, and on what are in favor of. Thanks.

without food, trolls wither.

Quite true, Ken.

Accountability has been successfully divided into enough camps that no one is responsible to the Rogers Road community. Between the state laws, the county, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, the DOT and OWASA no one can do anything, and everyone has someone to blame. No matter what is suggested, it's always someone else's fault.

"JMK, your tone is here is really unfair and unproductive. It's especially hard to take coming from someone not using their real name."

John M Kramer, don't confuse me with the other John M Kramer that lives in Chapel Hill, please. He does not deserve it, nor do I. Feel better? I am in the phone book. Not sure if he is or not. Come see me.

"I would like to personally ask you to keep your comments focused on issues, what you have experienced yourself, and on what are in favor of. "

The issue is the continued ignoring of and dumping on of the Rogers Road african american community - a community that has been here longer than anyone on this blog. Is that focused enough for you?

What I have experienced is talk and only talk- at least on this blog. Not to mention distain for those who would actually propose to do something about it.

What I have experienced from a mile away from the landfill is the wretched smell in my own back yard; I cannot imagine what the smell is like to those even closer.

What I am in favor of is that those on this blog who are so outraged when one african american is "biased against" for dancing on a private lawn (WSM, let me make sure you understand) would take up the cause of those who, if you bothered to read and actually absorb the comments Dave R. posted, have some real, and difficult issues that run generations. Real racism. Think about it next time you sit on WSM lawn and use your free wifi to respond.

Lotsa posers, very little doers. Can't even get the date right. Welcome to Orange Politics.com - why don't you just edit my posts if they don't fit your beliefs??

I wonder why I bother sometimes. Feel good is so much easier than do good. Write me off as a troll if you want, it is so much easier than introspection.

Have a blessed day!

Linda, yes, the legal situation makes great cover for not addressing the long running issues with Rogers Rd but there is a way.

Someone needs to take the initiative - make this community's goals their goals - and find a way to make it happen. That's part of what showing leadership is about... And John, while showing up is great, we already have a parade of local pols putting "face" time in on Rogers Rd. - the reality check is what gets done.

We know part of that way is to listen to the community and respond accordingly. Another is to try to work with the tools we have - say Chapel Hill's dominant OWASA membership - to forge a solution.

I've been hearing about these issue for years. I vividly remember a Council meeting in 2001, when I was just getting started on my more direct involvement in local affairs, yet another articulate, passionate attempt by the community to get some resolution on the most basic of issues - traffic, sewage, emergency and bus services. It pains me that 6 years have gone by and we've actually retrogressed.

Racism involves much more than just concern over the transfer station. Where has the outrage or calls of racism been over the past 20 years of the educational achievement gap? Or with the continued outmigration of our local African American population? Or the loss of affordable housing within the lower income neighborhoods through gentrification?

This neighborhood needs sewer connections, plain and simple, no discussion. I dearly hope that one of our elected officials will assume the role of coordinating the various governments and nonprofits and making it happen. I also hope the town of Chapel Hill will, on their own accord, enforce the same rigid standards on landfill odors as they impose on odors emanating from OWASA's wastewater treatment facility which is surrounded by a more upscale neighborhood.

Terri makes a good point here. Millions of dollars is being spent by OWASA to avoid odors from the wastewater treatment plant from drifting into the nearby neighborhoods. The Town Council has taken a strong stand on this. It would be interesting and productive to compare the situations and apply the same standards.

No ifs, ands or buts - Chapel Hill has to make it happen. Considering this is an election year, maybe the folks that have served the longest will explain why there's been a dearth of resolve.

Well- from my observations, it seems that many of our local politicians seem to confuse explaining why something isn't going to happen with actually doing it. For instance, the Rogers Road residents have heard over and over WHY they aren't getting sewer, and I expect that certain pols consider excuses as good as sewer, and can't understand why these people don't just stop asking. Not naming any names, but I can certainly see the frustration with local pols when their very good reasons for not doing what was promised aren't accepted. I'm sure it is frustrating to explain over and over why some people have yet to be connected up to water or sewer connections don't exista after years of promises. One has to wonder exactly why- when the pols know full well the whys before making these promises- why do they make them anyway?

My opinion has always been that most of the people in the town aren't paying attention, so when it is said that the Rogers Road Community will be compensated, they assume the man who publicly states that means it, and never notice that it just never happens. And, of course, 20 years later, they think these people are whiners for continually asking for what they have been promised (and never been given) all along. It's an ugly cycle, and the only way to break it is to make sure that everyone is aware of what really happens, not just listen when the promises are made and move on to more interesting subjects without following up on the results.

Strange how we can scrape up $950K from the Feds to tell folks their bus is going to be a few minutes late but we can't get creative and find a fix for the Rogers Road sewage problem (which we've been hearing about for decades).

Not strange at all, Will, when you live in a wonder bread land like this one. Take that $950 and add the cost for the silly art at the shiny new Town Maintenance Facility off Eubanks ($500k, not that I want to remember) and perhaps you could even afford to buy land for a real transfer station....nah, too much work, never mind, and those people just don't matter that much. How silly of me to think of wasting that money on them when it could be spent on such wonderbread niceties.

Bonnie Norwood - "picking my jaw off the floor" hearing about this report that I haven't seen for the last 3 days from a task force I'm on.....

"We've heard about sewage and roads" let me add one:
DON'T ANNEX US!

"Don't annex us. Give us our sewer and leave us alone..."

"You are building everywhere you can"... Norwood

She describes a recurrent nightmare she has about bulldozers pulling up in her front yard wiping her home away....

Reed(?) sees Chapel Hill as pulling development towards Rogers Road.... Damn straight. They see the cards are lined up against their community - each card a "GO STRAIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT"

Strom - "the idea that the bridges will be drawn up and nothing will happen out there is pie in the sky"... "annexation is not part of this discussion"...

Of course annexation isn't part of the discussion - it is the subtext of the discussion...

Kleinschmidt - makes a good point that the task force is about creating a framework, set of tools to manage growth antithetical to the existing community....

It's about creating a vision that developers will have to work to...

Strom - "We are not developers" - well, not on Rogers Rd. at least...

Kleinschmidt - (paraphrase) I suggested the other week why don't we just dissolve the task force and let what will be happen... but we need to stick with it...

The Town could create a framework to sustain this community post annexation. I've asked about the legality of a graduated tax or special transfer tax but haven't gotten a decent response...

Carolina North, the developments on MLK/Airport Rd. , the schools, the NTA are lighting a fire along this corridor and it's up to Chapel Hill, at least as I see it, to rise to the challenge.

In the Chapel Hill News today there was a story about the Monday's Historic Task Force meeting. In the article, the reporter, Carolina Astigarraga, stated that Moses Carey "stressed the county looked at several sites before picking Eubanks Road."

If reported accurately then Mr. Carey purposely deceived the reporter if not out right lie to her. Moses Carey knows better. He knows that there was no real site search and no serious consideration of any alternative sites.

Moses Carey also asserts that the final decision has been made as if he had no power to do otherwise. The facts are that the one thing he has the power to do is to reopen the discussion. And with the other board members ask for the SWAB to make a real site search. Given the magical appearance of an extra year of life for the landfill, this would be the right thing to do. It is hypocritical to do other wise given that almost all the board members gave the 3 year remaining life of the landfill as their main reason for siting the dump at Eubanks. I am not holding my breath.

Moses Cary has, for me, been a major disappointment. I voted for him but I now see that I made a major mistake.

Are there any local politicians out there who have the strength of character to take this issue to heart , expend the personal time and spend the political capital to do what is right for the Rogers Road Community?

I e-emailed a letter to the Chapel Hill News in response to 6/27's news story. It was printed today.

http://www.chapelhillnews.com/opinion/story/8332.html

It is redundant of my last post on this thread. But I felt that Carey's false assertions could not go with out a response.

 

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