Online Petition in support of Human Rights Center at Abbey Court (possibly being shut down after tomorrow)

Array

9 Comments

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Need more info

James, do you have more information about this? I know the management company (and majority HOA owner) has a history of hostility and discrimination, but specifically why are they asking the HRC to leave (especially since they own their own units)? What is the fine for? Where does the HRC plan to move if they leave in May? 

Geoff Gilson's picture

Some information ...

My information is only anecdotal. I attended the press conference organized at the corner of Jones Ferry Road and Davie, and also the meeting of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, where the Anti-Lingering Ordinance was repealed.On both occasions, I spoke with a youngish man, who I believe is the fellow referred to as being resident at the Center premises at Abbey Court.On the first occasion, he explained the work of the Center, advising the immigrant community within Abbey Court, helping to forge links betwen them and the community, and Abbey Court management.He told me that the working relationship with management was excellent. He said the problem was with the property holding company.Then, on the second occasion, he explained that the Center would likely have to move away from Abbey Court because the property holding company were threatening heavy daily fines for one or other specious alleged infractions by the Center.At the meeting of the Board of Aldermen, Aldermen spoke specifically of wanting to support, even finance, some form of community liaison with Hispanics within Abbey Court, precisely so that, and I do not think Joal Broun will mind me paraphrasing her, precisely so that the quality of life in this area could be improved for all.Here we have just that sort of community liaison, and the Abbey Court property holding company want to shut it down.This shameless behavior by the property holding company is hardly what I would call good citizenship. Folks are trying their hardest to create a sense of community in a part of Carrboro that desperately needs it. And this is the contribution of the property holding company.I would invite the Board of Aldermen to make contact with the property owners and impress upon them their own stated views and the desire of our town for consensual, community-minded conversation and action.And I would urge all to sign this Petition. I have posted a Link to the Petition on Facebook.

Mark Chilton's picture

Occupy Chapel Hill, where are you?

Geoff's right on all relevant counts.  The HRC is being booted out of Abbey Court because Ken Lucas - the pricipal behind the holding company that owns most of Abbey Court - is claiming that HOA rules don't allow for non-residential uses.The HRC is to be fined $300 per day from what I understand.  This organization (HRC) is by far the single most positive influence on Abbey Court, Carrboro's poorest and most dis-empowered community.  They provide after-school tutoring, mentoring, internet access, and many other great services to the most disadvantaged people in our community.The HRC has requested lieniency from the owners of Abbey Court, requesting that they be given until May to relocate, but the Abbey Court HOA is poised to say no.

HOAs

Where does the authority to levy that kind of fine derive from? Is it state, local, county authorities which give HOAs their power?

Mark Chilton's picture

state issue, as usual.

HOA's are entirely state regulated.  If they do have the power to levy such a fine, it would be in their bylaws and/or state statutes on HOA's.  I have not read either, so can't evalute it, but I do know HRC has been consulting with an attorney who is more expert in that area.  And I gather there is not much the HRC can do, other than throw themselves on the (vanishing?) mercy of the HOA.

Geoff Gilson's picture

#OccupyAbbeyCourt From Our Computers

Not so fast with the defeatist talk! It may not be much, but we can do a passing impersonation of #OccupyAbbeyCourt from our computers.I have found some contact details for the guy (Kenneth Lucas) who owns and operates Tar Heel Companies of North Carolina, which is the out-of-town company that owns and operates Abbey Court.We can try to gum up the contact form for his company, to be found here - http://www.tarheelcos.com/contact.html.Don't know what to say? This is what I have written today, and what I will send every day, until I am told HRC is safe again at Abbey Court:"Dear Kenneth Lucas,I used to live in an apartment in Abbey Court. I know how challenging it can be to own and operate a large apartment complex with a diverse residential population.That is why, as a continuing resident of Carrboro, NC, I support the work of The Chapel Hill & Carrboro Human Rights Center.They have worked hard these past few years to mentor the Hispanic residents within Abbey Court, building good relations with your management at Abbey Court, and building bridges between Abbey Court, its residents and the citizens in the surrounding area.This must all help with creating an harmonious community within Abbey Court.It is, therefore, with surprise, that I learn that several alleged infractions have been brought by your company against the Center, and your company is threatening to levy fines against The Center.These fines will almost surely cause The Center to have to leave Abbey Court, and cease its good work.Judging from the narrative of your web-site, you are genuinely interested in being a good citizen within the communities in which you operate.Please demonstrate that intention now, by engaging in meaningful dialogue with The Center, such that it allows them to continue their good work by staying at Abbey Court.You have the power to interpret your apartment guidelines in a fashion which is the most beneficial to your residents and to the community in which your company operates.Please give this your urgent consideration. If it helps, I know that the Carrboro Board of Aldermen also support the work of The Center.Best,Geoff Gilson"Now. If you want to be a real pain in the burr, and you have the time, once you have submitted your form, you can hit 'Back' on your computer, and the entry will still be there. Submit again. And again. And again. Watch Oprah. And again. Count to a 100. And again. Eat a whole bag of gummy bears. And again ...Meanwhile, Mark C., if HRC does have to move as a consequence of action by Tar Heel Companies, I do hope that the Board of Aldermen will do all in its power to make life as difficult as possible for Tar Heel Companies to operate in Carrboro henceforth.

Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro March for HRC!!

We've got a March for HRC in the works as we speak! The place is way too valuable not raise a stink over this. We're aiming for Saturday so Carrboro will be hoppin'. The UNC-SDS has said they will march with us, and we'll invite Abbey Court's community, too! Spread the word and check occupychapelhill.org's calendar tomorrow for more details! 

Thank you Geoff, for this fabulous cyberslap! I'll be hitting send all night.