Growth & Development


Did you blink? If so, you might have missed the Chapel Hill Town Council's entire discussion and approval of rezoning a neighborhood near campus. This is intended to effectively immobilize any development of any kind there.

This is ostensibly temporary while a Neighborhood Conservation District is developed for the Mason Farm neighborhood. I voted against this down-zoning on the Planning Board because I believe zoning is a long-range tool that is being applied here in a short-term way.

Fighting "McMansions" and other elusive beasts

I have become increasingly disillusioned with Neighborhood Conservation Districts, Chapel Hill's attempt to manage change in our delicate, older neighborhoods. I have always seen them as way to protect the character of neighborhoods as they evolve over time. I'm afraid they are being used more as a tool to stop any change or growth in the areas entirely. In my opinion, this is neither healthy nor fair.

So I was intrigued to learn that Carrboro has taken a different approach to this problem:

The Board of Aldermen sat down Tuesday in another bid to hash out its architectural standards. But there was little agreement other than the idea that they must preserve the town's individual character without allowing in mega-developments with McMansions.
- Carrboro building standards elusive

De-Bunk Chatham County

I know this is, but your neighbor to the south wants to pollute your quality of life with more traffic, more pollution and big box goliaths sucking retail out of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Chatham County progressives need your help to oust the men who are selling off the county to any developer who dangles promises of tax revenue in front of their frothy mouths.

We barely survived the last four years under Bunkey Morgan, the car wash king and bag man for Briar Chapel. Now is our chance to show him and his ilk the curb.

The Chatham Coalition, a PAC that succeeded two years ago in electing candidates into office, is looking north for help in making a clean sweap of politicians who engage in back-room deals with wealthy landowners, believe Cary is the economic model of our future, and turn a blind eye to our streams and rivers turning brown with silt.

Hillsborough development issues

Looks like Hillsborough will be getting a Weaver Street Market, but not a light industrial area. This seems like a step in the right direction.

Plans for a Gateway Center with a branch of the market can move forward after Judge Howard Manning approved a settlement between the town and the center's developer Tuesday.

Mayor Tom Stevens said he thought some of the settlement's conditions addressed concerns raised by Board of Adjustment members who had voted against the plan for a market.
- Weaver Street Market coming to Hillsborough


A plan to bring light industry to the north side of town suffered a setback Tuesday night.

The town's Planning Board unanimously recommended that the Town Board deny a request to rezone 38.58 acres off N.C. 57 for a light industrial use.
- Panel's advice: Deny light industrial rezone

Anyone from north of I-40 care to share their thoughts?

Those poor developers

In today's N&O, Matt Dees reports the breaking news that developers think Chapel Hill is too tough on them. I think that having higher standards is what makes Chapel Hill such a nice place, which is what makes people want to build here and make money on our prosperous community.

For example, how do you think Roger Perry's East-West Partners is doing on Meadowmont, The Cedars, Downing Creek, Cobble Ridge, and Westwood Terrace? In fact, look how they brag about the sidewalks in Medowmont in their web site. The "neotraditional" or "new urbanist" style of that development was first suggested by a small area plan for the NC 54 entranceway in which the Town established the goals for the site.

Roger Perry says the mere words "Chapel Hill" are enough to turn off most developers.



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