Generic Development lives on....Barnes St - Carrboro

If they put half as much effort into the design, safety and impact of this development as they have put into the legal battle, perhaps we would not be so opposed to it.  Article from the good folks at the Carrboro Citizen:

Northwest Property Group, which wants to build a shopping center at the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Barnes Street, has won an appeal in its case against the Town of Carrboro.

In September 2007, the developer sued after the town approved its development but limited access to Barnes Street to emergency vehicles due to concerns about safety at the intersection. In a suit heard in April 2009, Northwest argued that the town’s condition, which effectively killed the project, was not backed up by a finding of fact on the traffic and safety concerns.

The board of aldermen had sided with residents on Barnes Street and the adjacent neighborhood who said the intersection was already unsafe and a store entrance and exit would make it even more so.

In a 2-1 decision handed down in late December, the state Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court had erred in finding in favor of the town. In its 48-page ruling, the court said the town had not presented sufficient facts to back up its case that the intersection would be unsafe.

Town officials, who declined to comment because the case involves pending litigation, are expected to discuss next steps in the case in the next few weeks. The town could appeal the decision to the North Carolina Supreme Court.


Comments fight another day.

Too bad the obvious solution (dual ingress and egress points on Jones Ferry Rd) can't be done.

In my view, the BoA erred in requiring this applicant to limit traffic at the Barnes Street access to emergency vehicles only.  The board heard from a few nearby residents expressing concern that this new access would make the Jones Ferry/Barnes St. intersection unsafe, even with improvements.  These concerns, however, weren't backed up with any hard data. Lacking this data, the board really had no justification to require the applicant to make the changes, effectively killing the development. They should have known their decision was unsupportable by the facts.  Perhaps they did and made the decision to kill a project they didn't like.  Who knows?  What is known is the town has accrued a hefty legal tab as a result of their decision.  I wasn't personally fond of the project either, but felt the applicant's project met the zoning and LUO requirements and therefore should have been approved as designed.  By making ill-advised decisions such as this one, the BoA injects uncertainty and additional risk into the development process which deters any and all potential development projects, even those which are more forward-thinking.

I have driven down Barnes St. many times to visit a friend who lives there. I agree, this wider than normal street is very unsafe as there are a high number of pedestrians and bicyclists who go up and down this street near the Jones Ferry Road intersection. Children use this street to play and mothers push baby strollers down the middle of this street, even with traffic.

Sidewalks are needed on both sides of this street. I have had to often stop my car to avoid pedestrians who do not pay attention and walk in the middle of this street.

There is a lot of crime in this Barnes St. area now. Perhaps, with a new development and more people around, this crime situation would diminish.

I believe the low income residents of University Gardens apartments, the Jones Ferry apartment complexes, and the neighboring houses would welcome quick access to a nearby grocery store. And perhaps, they could find jobs there. 

As a shopper, I do not like trying to find a parking place at the Harris-Teeter in Carr Mill Mall. I generally avoid that grocery store in busy times of the day. I think that Carr Mill would be helped by having additional parking available if Harris-Teeter were to move to this new development.

There are houses near the current Carr Mill with the Harris-Teeter and the value of these houses has increased, with the added convenience of being able to walk or bike to that shopping center.

I am sure that Barnes St. can be made safer than it is now. Carrboro Police often park on that street. So emergency and police vehicles are already using that street. Put in some sidewalks and crosswalks, and this street will be safer! And a stoplight at the Barnes/Jones Ferry intersection. And put a covered bus stop shelter at that corner where many poor people wait for the bus.

"The board heard from a few nearby residents expressing concern that this new access would make the Jones Ferry/Barnes St. intersection unsafe, even with improvements.  These concerns, however, weren't backed up with any hard data"As a nearby resident, I must disagree that there were only a few of us objecting.  We organized much of the neighborhood and everyone was extremely concerned about the rise in traffic that this will produce.  As for hard data, would we as residents determine the future impact data?The DOT traffic study the developers used is now outdated and not accurate in my opinion.  The hard data I use is watching just how busy Barnes St is currently,(very)  and just how busy Greensboro St. is in front of Harris Teeter currently.  It took me 15 minutes last week just to turn into HT and pick up my wife and just get back out onto Greensboro.  15 minutes to go 100 feet.I just don't think we need to turn Carrboro into Northern Virginia or Atlanta. Growth can be positive and benificial, with the proper long sighted planning.Another question I have that has gone unanswered is: How is the ingress and egress in front of Harris Teeter on Greensboro allowed to exist , but the DOT states that entrances/exits on Jones Ferry Road cannot exist the same ditances away.  The developer suggested entrance/exits that were further apart than the current to Harris teeter/Carr Mill now -  but the DOT said commented above, that would make a huge difference in the problem for residents. 


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