Dan Coleman's blog

Metro-farming in north Carrboro?

One point that caught my attention in last Saturday's meeting to discuss Carrboro's Northern Study Area was the idea of "metro-farming". The current plan includes:

ENCOURAGE “METRO-FARMING”: Encourage the conservation of active farmland within new conservation subdivisions and elsewhere in the Study Area, with emphasis on nontraditional crops or uses (high-value vegetables, pick-your-own berries, apples, etc.) and community-supported agriculture (community gardening, wholesale nurseries, commercial stables, etc.). Metro-farming should be promoted by a special committee that would look into ways to make Use Value Assessments more common and frequently applied.

Yet this is an idea which has not yet been realized. With changing patterns of food consumption and agriculture, the availability of arable land available for small scale agriculture will become increasingly important in the future.

Public Meeting on Carrboro's Northern Study Area

What will northern Carrboro look like in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

Carrboro has launched a review and update of the small area plan for northern Carrboro. Two public meetings are planned so that the town can get input from you and your neighbors on how you would like to see our town grow in the years ahead.

Registration for the event on Saturday morning, April 21, begins at 7:45 while the program itself starts at 8:30 and ends at noon. It will take place in the McDougle School cafeteria.

After a presentation on the current plan (PDF) by staff, there will be facilitated small group discussions of issues of concern to attendees. Subsequently a committee will work on the outcomes of this meeting to prepare presentations for discussion at a public meeting on Saturday, June 16.

Potentially to be addressed are a range of land-use, environmental, and economic development issues.

Faison Moves to Reverse Annexation

State Representative Bill Faison has filed H1061, a bill to de-annex the Highlands Subdivision from Carrboro.

I would be surprised if this went very far in the legislature. Faison, it should be noted, although his district extends into the northern reaches of Carrboro (including, of course, Highlands), did not attend our legislative breakfast meeting last month.

As far as I can tell no one connected with town government was aware of this before the bill was filed. For example, Randee Haven-O'Donnell and I have been working with the New Horizons Task Force on concerns related to the annexation. He might well have consulted with one of us on how things are going or have given us a heads up.

Also of interest is why Faison selected only one of the several neighborhoods that were annexed. If his bill is successful, Highlands will be bordered, west and north, by Carrboro neighborhoods.

New Findings, Meeting on Fire Violations at Shearon Harris

Elected officials have questions about risks, why Harris wants years to comply with safety rules

What: A public meeting hosted by NC Senators Ellie Kinnaird and Janet Cowell

When: Thursday, March 22nd, 7 pm

Where: The Barn at Fearrington Village (15-501, between Pittsboro & Chapel Hill)

Participants: Officials from various local, state and federal jurisdictions.

David Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists
Paul Gunter, Nuclear Information and Research Service
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (declined 3/19)
Progress Energy (invited)

The Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant has increased its risk of a radiation disaster by violating federal fire safety regulations for 14 years – after promising for years to correct all vulnerabilities. The meeting will deal with new information regarding legal action by public interest groups demanding the NRC enforce its rules on fire safety. Key issues include:

Aldermen Set Initial Steps on Economic Development

Yesterday, at our day-long retreat, the Board of Aldermen worked through several dozen possible next steps for our economic development strategy and chose three to refer to staff and three to refer to itself.

Staff will be looking into:

-A leakage analysis of the Carrboro economy. Leakage analysis looks at what goods and services are being purchased in Carrboro from non-local sources and develops strategies to develop local alternatives. Although discussion of leakage locally typically focuses on retail sales, our consultant Michael Shuman points out that significant leakage occurs in such areas as food, energy, financial services, absentee landlords, and transportation. Leakage analysis is foundational to related initiates that, Shuman recommends, could include fostering entrepreneurship, building business support networks, mobilizing demand (what he calls “think local first” campaigns), and better systems for making equity available to locally owned small business. (Shuman’s powerpoint presentation developed for Carrboro should be available on the town web site soon)



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