Here comes Briar Chapel

Last week the Chatham County Commissioners approved a project called Briar Chapel. It is being described as "another Siler City" (pop. 7,000) - and that's not counting the three shopping centers. Except of course it's nowhere near Siler City, it's over here near our neck of the woods.

Many people in Chatham County are understandably alarmed about how their schools and other public facilities will handle this rapid growth. Here's some information about the fiscal impact of this development on Chatham County, from a local blog called The Chatham Shagbark (sadly defunct of late) .

But being selfish, I have to wonder about the impact here in southern Orange County. Where are these people going to work and how are they going to get there?



I started another thread on this after the election. No comments. That's too bad because this poses a real challenge to Chapel Hill. It also reveals some of the shortcomings of our planning process. There's a two word answer to why this project is going in northeast rather than southwest Chatham. Those words are "Chapel Hill." Yet Chapel Hill has no planning authority over the prospect of 6,000 additional residents pouring into our community.

The Independent has an excellent update this week by Jennifer Strom. Worth excerpting is this quote from newly-elected Chatham Commissioner Patrick Barnes:

"The human race is the only species that fouls its own nest and then continues to live in it," said Barnes, who joined the board in December after campaigning on a growth-control platform. "If Newland is as good as they say they are, I'd like to see them go back to Florida or to California. I might visit where they came from, but I damn sure don't want to live there."

There's also rumor of a super WalMart going in right on the county line (15-501 and Smith Level). And yet, Chatham has as much right to grow and develop as Orange, Durham, Wake Counties. To some extent, we are responding like any other NIMBY. It makes sense that Chatham would develop to the north in order to take advantage of the services/amenities in Orange and also to generate more consumer opportunities for those retail outlets they bring in.

Personally, I hate the see this happening as much in Chatham as I do in Orange. What's wrong with rural?

I have noticed that developers tend to do business in environments where they feel welcomed and where they can make the greatest profits.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Orange County are desirable places to live and work. We all know that. Chapel Hill has major employers whose businesses are growing and require more employees.

We also know that Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Orange County also have a good deal more regulation and bureaucracy regarding growth than our neighboring counties. I am not arguing that this is good or bad, but merely stating it is the way things are.

I don't think anyone should be surprised about what is happening in Chatham County. I also don't think anyone should be surprised about similar activity occuring in Mebane, Alamance County.

In a way, albeit indirectly, our local governments have contributed to the problem. In other ways, our local governments have contributed directly to the increase in growth and development in surroundig counties.

A good recent example is SAPFO.

For example, the application of the SAPFO in Orange County, Hillsborough, and Orange County Schools has caused growth in Mebane to explode. Why? Because the Orange County Board of Commissioners made a mistake when they decided to not include Mebane in the agreement. Now Mebane is approving tract after tract of development both inside and outside of Orange County. Ya'll think Chatham County is bad? Keep your eye on Alamance!

These sorts of things ocur when "Smart Growth" initiatives are not implemented very smartly. ;-)

Will--I agree with your desire to look beyond the silos of a town department (or advisory board). We do not live in a world in which transportation is isolated from development and Orange County is not isolated from our neighbors. See Paul's comments on SAPFO and Mebane as another example.

There was a good editorial in the NY Times the other day about how leadership skills need to change for modern governments. We need "public leaders who understand that their job is to produce public value and not merely to manage activities....This new breed of leadership must recruit managers skilled in negotiation, contract management and risk analysis who will tackle problems unconventionally and focus on results rather than on defending bureaucratic turf."

It does seem Chapel Hill is a bit un friendly to commerce. It's like shooting your tax base in the foot. I was up in Durham last week and theres a huge new strip mall across from New Hope Commens. I send a fair chunk of my sales taxes to Durham that could go to our local schools or what not. Also, from what I gather, comercial properties pay a higher rate on thier land taxes.
I was at the town council listening to dome devloper get grilled over his plans to build up by lowes. I wonder how many units of "affordable housing" Briar Chapel will build. Will it provide public bike trails? Side walks which don't line thier property?

Yeah, I'll go to durham or chatham county to shop at Wall Mart.

I don't see anything wrong with you going to Durham or Chatham to spend your money. Same I see nothing wrong with them coming to Chapel Hill/Carrboro to enjoy our arts and other amenities. This area used to be a nice liberal, small community. Over the past 20 years, those characteristics attracted a lot of retirees and others with money who promptly setting about developing the area and criticizing everything that made it the community they (you) moved to. Why? If it was good enough to bring you here, why do you feel such a need to change it?

As Yogi Berra once said; "That place is so crowded no one goes there anymore."

I say Orange County should put toll booths up on roads coming in from Chatham Country.

Better yet, spike strips.

And million dollar homes? If I see one more Lexus SUV my car keys are coming out. These people want to live here but do not want to sacrifice anything. "But I NEED four bathrooms and I love Chapel Hill SO MUCH!"

Goodbye Chapel Hill/Carrboro. Hello toursist trap.

Perhaps we shouldn't change it. I sure love it here. It's a question of choice. If we start with lower tax base non-comercial real estate and then buy every possible town sirvice with the gold plate, then we end up with high taxes. This doesn't lend it's self to affordable housing. If we truely cared about the peple who make less money (and I'm not saying we do} it's a question we ought to think about.

At a recent Transportation Board one of the Board members was concerned about the entrance on 15-501 into the new Southern Park. She felt that it would be difficult to pull into or out of the park given the current traffic load. The town's staff rep kind of pooh-poohed her concern and said that they'd studied the traffic flow and felt comfortable that a light wasn't needed. Now, I hate to see another light on 15-501 but I could see that her concern was legitimate, especially if you had read Chatham's traffic assay vis-a-vis 15-501 and Briar Chapel (and Boothes Mt. and Obie Creek).

I asked "Has anyone had reviewed the Briar Chapel traffic study [the flawed Kimley-Horn report suggesting ~ 3500 additional cars at peak]?".

Nope - blank stares all around. The staff rep even suggested that Briar Chapel wouldn't be a factor (I guess the assumption is the BC residents would rather let their kids play on the sewage drenched fields and woods of BC).

I thought it was a strange attitude, first, because Briar Chapel will be as close to the park as many residential areas in Chapel Hill, and, second, because there's been a ton of discussion of the deleterious impact this development will have on 15-501. In fact, depending on whose study you review, we're looking at between 7,000 and 16,000 additional car trips at peak periods on 15-501 with between %44 and %77 of the trips between Chatham's BC and Chapel Hill. With the only entrances to the park being from Smith Level (via Dogwood Acres) and 15-501, you'd think the park planners and Town traffic staff would look beyond our borders to assess whether additional care should be made at the park entrances (round-abouts anyone?).

Briar Chapel will stress Chapel Hill's resources, that's obvious. How we deal with Chatham County's plans to use our amenities to sell developments is not.

Is someone on the Town's staff dedicated to reviewing Chatham's plans and developing a cost-impact analysis of those plans on Chapel Hill?

"How we deal with Chatham County's plans to use our amenities to sell developments is not (obvious)."

This isn't a new dilemma--or have you forgotten the Governor's Club? That's in Chatham--and has a CHAPEL HILL ADDRESS for crying out loud. How the heck did THAT happen? And then there's Fearrington Village...

Honestly, the only thing NEW about this "problem" is the scope. And I'm not certain we have the right to kvetch about it--at least not if we shop in Durham or Wake counties...

I didn't mean to sound so critical above. There are lots of ways in which Chapel Hill and Carrboro work together. For example, the Transportation Advisory Boards of both towns held a townhall meeting not long ago. So I know there is collaboration going on and staff and volunteers are looking and talking outside of their immediate territory. There's also the Triangle J Council of Governments.

I'm surprised that traffic on 15-501 between Chatham and Orange hasn't been raised as a concern--but even if it was, what can anyone do? It's not the states job and the two counties are in separate management zones. Will raised the issue of stop lights at Dogwood and 15-501. Signalling along the 15-501 development area (up to Southern Village) is being handled by the Chatham engineers. Chapel Hill doesn't have a budget to add a light as part of the construction costs. To add a light now would either add to the cost of the park or require a change in the park plans.

Terri, excellent point. I know you have some great ideas on how to rearchitect our local bureaucratic silos and foster a more collaborative approach to identifying and solving our town's problems, sometimes even in an “unconventional” manner.

On Briar Chapel (and Boothe's Mt. and Obie's Creek), I don't fault the Transportation. Board - I think that the individual impact of these projects was not obvious or highlighted.

This is where an “open source governance” approach could've helped. If the Transportation Board (or any other of the town's boards), had a ‘blog, let's say, so that the community could raise a missed issue, like the questionable nature of the “official” study of Briar Chapel's impact on Chapel Hill's traffic, then the Board could use the “open source” power of a thousand eyes (or in this case maybe 10 eyes) to research, analyze and develop first-pass solutions to these type problems.

We need to unlock both the creativity of our staff, as you've pointed out, and our community to address the flood of issues facing Chapel Hill.

Well, the development insanity continues down South in Chatham county. I'd heard throught the grapevine that a Super Wal-mart was headed our way sometime coterminous roughly with the Briar Chapel development but it seems that the traffic disaster is headed our way sooner than I thought.

As I pointed out earlier in this thread, the anticipated load on Smith Level and 15-501 was already estimated well above the current carrying capacity of both the nearly finished 15-501 and widened Smith Level. If Hillsborough is any example, the conservatively estimated increase of 16,000 trips from Briar Chapel added to those trip increases brought by a new commercial complex/Walmart will probably require additional, substantial, improvements (at taxpayer expense) of the infrastructure between there and Chapel Hill.

Locally, as reported by HS's Ray Gronberg, Barry Jacobs and Ed Harrison have cast a watchful eye towards the development

Jacobs coupled the request to a warning that "there may be some access issues to 15-501 that Wal-Mart may be trying to finesse."

The commissioner didn't elaborate on what he meant by "finesse," but another elected official, Chapel Hill Town Councilman Ed Harrison, said he's worried that the project's backers may try to persuade administrators higher up in the DOT bureaucracy to overrule the Asheboro district office's ruling.

but I'm not sure what they can do to keep Orange County or Chapel Hill from getting Bunkied.

Maybe we can make it clear that the suggested bus service between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro, a service underwritten by Chapel Hill taxpayers, won't be stopping at Walmart (but that seems somewhat Pyrrhic).

Or maybe we'll have to revisit Cam Hill's suggestion ,as reported by CHN's Matt Dees, that we need

to build a new expressway between Chatham County and the Chapel Hill area

If this comes to be, Chapel Hiil/Carrboro will be out-flanked by Wal-marts - which maybe is the ultimate expression of our bulls-eye patterned development strategy.

Any ideas what to do?

Whoops, forgot to mention one possible silver-lining from this development. It appears that the developer will have to negotiate with UNC to gain access to the roads. Maybe UNC can use their leverage to both pry a Park-n-Ride out of the developer and to gain concessions from Wal-Mart to allow substantial overflow parking during special events (football, basketball, etc.). With this parking integrated into an intelligent transportation plan, maybe some roses will spring from this potential developmental manure.

UNC has already expressed their intention of building another park and ride for the other side of 15-501 across from Old Lystra. When I saw the clearing yesterday, I thought it might be for the park and ride, but on my way back from the Lowes Grocery, the extensiveness of the clearing WASN'T park and ride. This morning's Herald explained it.

I spoke with the Chatham County Planning Dept in early December about the rumor of a Wal-Mart on that site. At that time, they had not received any permit requests for that property and knew nothing about the landowners plans (although they too had heard the Walmart rumor). Evidently large development plans move much more quickly and less publicly in Chatham than they do in Orange. What confused me about the Heralds article is that it doesn't sound as if the property owner has any kind of permit from Chatham. Could they really be conducting such massive clearing without any kind of plan/permit?

From the HS article:

"It will be that typical-sized development, a Wal-Mart central location with a couple of outparcels for other businesses," said Damon Webb, an assistant district engineer in DOT's Asheboro office, which oversees road and driveway work in Chatham County. "It'll be similar to a Wal-Mart or Lowe's-type building."


The planning director added that there were 20 acres zoned for business right at the county line. He was not sure whether that would be enough land to accommodate the retail center.


By using land already zoned for business, Lee-Moore would be able to get a project approved by Chatham County quickly. All it would need is a zoning compliance permit and a watershed permit, both of which administrators can approve without involving elected officials.

So, Terri, it seems like, at minimum, they'd need a watershed permit since that property drains, I believe, into University Lake. Though, I guess, Chatham might not be so concerned about Carrboro's and Chapel Hill's water supply though it is covered by Section 301.A of their watershed ordinance.

Section 301.(A) WS II - BW (Balance of Watershed):
This area is the portion of Chatham County draining to
University Lake. Generally it is bounded on the east by
U.S. 15-501, the south by S.R. 1532 (Manns Chapel Road),
on the west by S.R. 1534 and on the north by the
Chatham/Orange County line.

This satellite image displays the potential environmental consequences fairly clearly.

The relevant Chatham watershed ordinance indicates that for a WS-II classification

(b) All Other Residential and Non-Residential--
development shall not exceed twelve percent (12%)
built-upon area on a project by project basis.

so one might imagine that building a Super Wal-mart will require a variance. I'm not aware of how Orange County or OWASA can be involved in discussions involving the variance.
Also, it's not very clear that clear-cutting in that area requires anymore remediation than a replanting of vegetation along waterways (which I believe there's a couple small wet weather streams that cross that property).

A quick check of the Chatham County Planning board's agenda doesn't seem to indicate any short-term requests for this property.

If you're troubled by the clear cutting, maybe you should contact Lee-Moore Oil (whose plat for the property I can't find - strange).

Or you could boycott their TruBuy and C-Store locations (none of which are in Chapel Hill).

The clearing you see at 15-501 and Old Lystra is for UNC's park-and-ride, not the supposed Wal-Mart. The university owns all the frontage on the east side of the road from the Woodbridge Drive intersection south to Old Lystra.

Thanks Ray. I just drove down there to figure out where Woodbridge Dr is. While I was there I roughly measured the space on my odometer. The UNC site measures 2/10 of a mile from Lystra to the end of the construction site (352 yards) fronting 15-501. Didn't measure depth. From Woodbridge/end of UNC construction to ALR electronics (county line) is another 4/10 of a mile (704 yards) fronting 15-501. That's 6/10 of a mile of pavement and one heck of a lot of new traffic entering 15-501 and Smith Level. I checked the UNC Community website and didn't find anything indicating parking capacity for this new site.

The only positive aspect I find in this is that there is a lot of affordable housing in the northern section of Chatham, most of which I imagine is occupied by UNC staff and students who will now have easier access to campus without cars. Can't find anything positive about Walmart. The new jobs it will offer are too low income to be of value and it will just continue the drain of employees and customers from locally owned businesses.

If anyone doesn't have ENOUGH reason to oppose Walmart, here's some figures for you. In Orange and Chatham counties, the area median income (HUD) is $56,500. For housing purposes, individuals who make between $34,900- $55,840 are classified as low income; between $20,940-$34,900 is very low income and less than $20,900 is extremely low income. Guess which category Walmart workers will fall in?

The new jobs it will offer are too low income to be of value and it will just continue the drain of employees and customers from locally owned businesses.

So regarding the drain of employees--are you saying that employees of locally owned businesses are going to leave to go work at walmart, at a job that is too low income to be of value?

One wonders what will happen to Popes, Lowes, etc. Add some more commercial space incrementally closer to Southern Village and what will happen to the rents at Colepark (which is showing its age) or the adjacent Lowes Plaza. Maybe they'll build and no one will come but that doesn't seem to be the pattern.

BTW, Super Wal-marts have been spec'd out at over 200,000 sq/ft with proportionally sized parking areas. Some communities have limited the size of their big box stores but as long as Chatham is being Bunkied and has commissioners that brook no dissent from smart growth constituents, well, there's a good chance Wal-mart would be able to build at the top of the scale.

If it was an Ikea would people be as offended? I know I'd have the same concerns about impermeable surface, watershed quality and increased pollution due to traffic.

Bill--There's two issues (no order). One, many of the small businesses currently located around here pay better than minimum wage, but many can't afford to offer the health insurance benefits of Walmart. So Walmart offers a better employment package. They may also offer a higher wage making it more difficult for local stores to find employees (not sure about that). Two, typically when a large discount store comes into a community, they take away enough business from the local stores that the locals have to close down.

Since you have a "very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness," I'm sure you agree that there are real economic benefits for the community in having locally owned businesses rather than a superstore.

Terri - Help me to understand your points about Wal-Mart.

First you say, "The new jobs it will offer are too low income to be of value."

But then you follow it with, "...many of the small businesses currently located around here pay better than minimum wage, but many can't afford to offer the health insurance benefits of Walmart. So Walmart offers a better employment package. They may also offer a higher wage making it more difficult for local stores to find employees..."

These statements appear contradictory to me.

I agree with you that the arrival of a "large discount store" may drive smaller stores out of the market, but if what you say about offering workers "a better employment package" is true, the community is likely better off because of it.

The fact that the smaller businesses are driven out of the market implies that they larger store provided shoppers with a more attractive shopping experience - through lower prices, increased convienience and greater selection.

Having higher-priced, locally-owned businesses that provide workers with a worse employment package (combined wages and benefits) primarily provides economic benefits to that business' owners.

Since the typical community is made up of more workers and shoppers than business owners, the community is better off if shoppers have more convenient access to less expensive goods, and workers simultaneously earn "a better employment package."

Allan, very well done!

I guess my socialistic tendencies are showing. :) For me the unit of concern is the community rather than individual. In the long run, I think individuals benefit more by having a strong, diverse, economically sound community. What I hear you saying is that as long as the individual gets a better wage and better insurance, then any losses at the community level are irrelevant.

Once the diversity of Popes or Branches is gone, the possibility of monopoly faces us. The other benefit of locally owned business is that own local money stays in the community instead of being shipped out to some corporate headquarters in another town/state/country. The way I see it, a Walmart may add short-term benefits for individual workers in the form of higher wagers and additional benefits. But in the long-run, the community loses. There's more but need more time.....

I guess my libertarian tendencies are showing as well.

I am pretty surprised with your position on this issue given that you are a self-described socialist. Aren't socialists supposed to side with workers in conflicts with capitalists?

What could be more capitalist than a business owner who seeks to limit entry to their market by a competitor that offers lower prices, and rewards its workers with higher wages and better benefits?

I would also call into question the assertion that locally-owned businesses benefit the community more because the "local money stays in the community." That money may belong to someone living in the community, but it is concentrated in the hands of a few business owners that a lack of competition has allowed to pay low wages and provide no health insurance. All this in the name of diversity.

I would argue that the community is better off by having more money available to the average worker through higher wages and better benefits, than by worrying about whether the owner's share of profits is deposited in the local Bank of America branch or the corporate headquarters in Charlotte.

The multiplier effect is not a matter of confecture. A recent study in Austin compared the effect of sales at locally owned book and music stores vs Borders. It found that the former created more than 3x the local economic activity on a dollar per dollar basis. Other studies I've seen have reported 5-7x multiplier.

Among the benefits of supporting local businesses are:
1) the local businesses often employ their own ad writers, buyers, accountants, and other positions that chains centralize in a single headquarters. Or, the local firm will use local providers of such services.

2) locally owned businesses make more of their own purchases locally, both of products and services.

3) more of the profits at locally owned businesses recirculate in the community (see above).

4) local business owners are more aware of and sensitive to local environmental and social concerns; if they are not, it is easier to bring pressure to bear.

With the multiplier effect, each of thes factors is multiplied, not just the direct financial.

Check out the 6/27 issue of The Nation for an interesting artlcle by Gar Alperovitz on a municipally-based "New Ownership Society."

Notwithstanding the more global issues surrounding the deliterious social and economic impacts of Wal-Marts and their ilk, the transportation impacts of such a use in the location proposed are likely to be profound. Not just for the 15-501 corridor, but the entire Smith Level corridor--- running into and through, downtown Carrboro---as well. I wonder if the trips generated by this proposal are included in the model used by the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (The regional body responsible for transportation planning and funding for Orange, Durham and Northern Chatham Counties) for our 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan?

As most folks know, Orange County and the towns have worked diligently to maintain the rural character of this corridor as it extends beyond the urban services boundary, and , frankly, I shudder to contemplate the effect that this use would have on these efforts.

This being the case, while I am generally reticent to muck about in the land-use decisions of other jurisdictions, the implications such a proposal would have are clearly regional in nature and as such, the County and the MPO (and UNC if involved,)need to quickly understand what these impacts are likely to be, and act (waiting to hear back from Alice).


Now that Alex has moved the conversation back to actual on-site impacts of a development of this kind, I'd like to show the petition I made late in Monday night's Chapel Hill Town Council meeting on this issue. Under our procedures, we petition ourselves and usually refer it to the Town Manager.

Alex, you'll see that I make specific reference to the inclusion of the traffic generated by this proposal in the model used by the Metro Planning Organization, at whose table we sit together most months of the year. No, the trips are NOT included, because Chatham County doesn't have this thing in its adopted land use plan -- certainly not as 63 acres of retail. You'll also see my question about the UNC Park&Ride lot.

Town Manager Cal Horton has promised to start with about 8 hours of staff work on this -- assuming that Chatham County agrees to cooperate. If you're a Chatham resident, start contacting your Commissioners now.

I am in full agreement with Alex's last paragraph. My petition, passed 9-0, follows.

Petition to Council, for June 27, 2005 Regular Business Meeting

FROM: Council Member Ed Harrison

It is apparent that Chatham County will be receiving an application for a retail center involving as much as 62.9 acres fronting on U.S. 15-501, immediately south of the Orange County line, and therefore of the Joint Planning Area. Some 20 acres of this tract are reportedly already zoned for commercial (retail) use.

I petition the Town Council to request that the Town Manager:

o Ask that the Chatham County Manager, when he receives the application, facilitate a basic review of the land use program and related transportation aspects by appropriate Town staff.

Related to this overall review would be requests that:

o the Chatham County Manager, and his Planning Director, clarify the potential approval process for this application, including areas of staff analysis. For example: would it require a rezoning action by the Chatham Board of Commissioners? What other requirements would Chatham County normally require of a development of this scale at this location (on a major Federal highway)?

o the Town Manager ask OWASA to ascertain the site's relationship to the University Lake Watershed, and to summarize any restrictions which it would find appropriate and necessary for a large retail development in this area;

o the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, whose jurisdiction includes northern Chatham County, evaluate whether the proposal and its traffic generation are consistent with the projections of the 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan, and thereby with the Plan itself;

o the Town Manager coordinate any evaluation of this application and its impacts with the evaluation to be done by the Orange County Manager, and with any such evaluation which might be done by the Carrboro Town Manager, or their designees.

An additional area of interest which may be covered by one or more of the above requests, is the development's potential interaction with, and effect on, the immediately adjacent UNC-CH Park and Ride Lot, currently under construction.

More on the Wal-Mart project at The story focuses on what's happening inside the DOT bureaucracy.

Thanks Ray. If anyone would like to write letters to the DOT officials mentioned in this article, here are their email addresses:

Deborah Barbour--Preconstruction

Art McMillan--Highway Design

Tim Johnson--Division 8, Division Engineer

Also, here's a bit more about the UNC Park and Ride. They are hoping to have it ready for use by the beginning of fall semester but given construction practices, expect it will be ready sometime this fall. It is a multiphase project which will have 600 spaces when complete. I've asked how much land space is being used but haven't received a response yet.

Revision on the UNC Park and Ride. The first phase of the development is 600 spaces. The fully built out lot will be 965 spaces. Porous pavement is being used throughout with the exception of the bus turnaround. DENR permission was required since the space is zoned watershed-4.

The Lee-Moore tract is also in a state WS-4 zone (Jordan Watershed) which means that only 36% of the land can be developed (approx 25 acres). HOWEVER, only 20 acres of the 69 are zoned for business--all of which are in the area closest to 15-501. Currently Chatham does not have an erosion control program in place so the developer will have to go through DENR for erosion control permits unless this drags out long enough for Chatham to have their own program in place.

So far there is no application, but if an application was put in within the next week, it would go to public hearing on July 18. If the developer were to go that quickly, the earliest the plan could go to county commissioners is Oct 17. The latest would be Jan 16. The next public hearing will be September 19.

Interesting unintended consequences of a potential Super Wal-mart going up as detailed in this letter to the Editor appearing in today's Chapel Hill News.

My name is Alex Maiolo and I'm a partner with Lee-Moore Insurance Agency, Inc. We have three agencies and they are all in North Carolina. One is here in Carrboro, another is in West End, and our third location is in Broadway.

Today my phone rang more than normal. Not because of a sudden demand for insurance, unfortunately, but because of the controversy related to the new Super Wal-Mart in Chatham County. The land that is slated for purchase by the behemoth retail chain currently belongs to Lee-Moore Oil Company and, understandably, there has been some confusion along with the outrage.

For those OP readers wishing to pass along a little outrage towards Lee-Moore Oil Co. of Sanford, here's their contact information:

Lee-Moore Oil Company
PO Drawer 9
Sanford, NC 27331
(919) 775-2301
(919) 774-6967

Hey, Y'all,
1) Submitted and passed resolution similar to Ed's in Carrboro (w/ special attention to MPO staff).
1)Am partnering with Mark Borrosso of Chatham County to develop an Orange-Chatham coalition to address the Wal-Mart issue. The first goal is to set up network and a strategy meeting shortly after July 10. Individuals and organizations who want to be on the list, please send (for Orange) to:


Hey Alex,
Thanks for taking the plunge today. The announcement at Town Hall went great and felt good. Good luck!
(I'll have more to say later on another thread.)

I recently bought a house (8 acres) a mile south of the new ACE-Harris Teeter (still under construction) . Could some one confirm if the “ rumors “ about Wall mart and Briar Chapel are true? I am new to the area.

Thanks .

Search this site and I think you will find your answer:


You might find more current information on Chatham Online:

The owner of the land rumored to be slated for a Walmart is Lee-Moore Oil Company. While they have conducted a traffic feasibility study, they have not applied for any permits that I am aware of.

If it's not a Wal-Mart, it'll be some other big box store and/or collection of big box stores. Really, they all serve the same purpose: does it really matter what they're named?

(apparently I've forgotten how to spell my own bloody name)
Actually, they've applied for a driveway permit from NCDOT: hence the traffic study.


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