A good friend of mine spent some time over the holidays in another college town, where his parents live. We were chatting upon his return to Chapel Hill, and he said something that really struck me: Compared to his parents’ town, Chapel Hill just doesn’t have a real sense of community.
It’ll be a quite a busy week for the Chapel Hill Town Council with four meetings scheduled covering a wide range of subjects including a new ETJ, Chapel Hill 2020, Obey Creek and the future of Southern Village. The Carrboro Alderfolks will hold a public hearing on a proposed downtown arts venue, while the county commissioners will discuss what to do with the unassigned general fund balance. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will hold a development meeting, while the county school board and Hillsborough Town Board take a break.
Researchers at the UNC School of Government recently released the results of a survey (PDF) they conducted about Chapel Hill’s Central West Small Area Plan process. You might have seen some press and spin about this survey and the comments participants provided in the survey. But before we start extrapolating from these data, it’s important to make sure we understand who provided feedback on the Central West process and how those individuals compare to our community at large.
Regional Transit has come to Efland and Mebane, as of today!
Triangle Transit's Orange-Durham Express (ODX) route, which started operating in August 2014, has now expanded its service. The route now connects Mebane, Efland, Hillsborough, Duke University, and Downtown Durham.
With the holidays now fully behind us, Orange County’s public bodies are gearing up for a busy 2015. This week the Carrboro Town Board will hear about Chapel Hill Transit and take on changes to the rural buffer, while the Chapel Hill Town Council will get an update on the town’s asset management plan and consider a special use permit. The Hillsborough Town Board will talk about preservation efforts at the Colonial Inn.
The Town of Chapel Hill has approved Vilage Plaza Apartments, the first development proposed under the new form-based code implemented in the Ephesus-Fordham District.
Village Plaza Apartments will be constructed on the vacant site located between the Whole Foods shopping center and the ABC Store on South Elliot Rd. The development will bring 265 apartments, ground-floor retail space, a parking deck, greenway improvements, and roadway improvements. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment will be approximately $1,150/month while a 2-bedroom apartment will rent for about $1,600/month.
During its regular monthly meeting, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the North Carolina NAACP hosted Chief Walter Horton of the Carrboro Police Department, Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill Police Department, and Sheriff Charles Blackwood for a discussion of law enforcement issues. A diverse group of more than 50 people attended, including many members of the NAACP and other local social justice advocates.
Walkable, dense neighborhoods are good for us. That’s what this recent CityLab article concludes, citing numerous peer-reviewed research studies. And not only are these kinds of neighborhoods good for us, they’re good for the sustainability of our communities long term. For example:
Note:I posted this blog entry on my personal website on Sunday, January 4th, 2015, but opted to share it here as well at the invitation of OP editors. While I'm eager to learn what others think about the proposed Arts and Innovation Center and the numerous, interesting issues related to the proposal at hand, I'm not contributing this piece to start or stoke a debate between me and OP readers and contributors.