What We're Reading: June 19

Happy Friday! Here are a few articles that piqued our interest this week:

Trying to Sum It All Up

It’s tough trying to boil multiple-hour meetings into a news story.  Local media outlets have recapped the public hearing where the Obey Creek development agreement was approved after a nearly six year process (read more here and here). I tried futilely to capture what Council said in 140 characters (see Storifys from the May 11,

Obey Creek Approved in 7-1 Vote

The Chapel Hill Town Council voted 7-1 to approve the Obey Creek development agreement last night. Council member Ed Harrison was the lone no vote against the proposal.

The development will be built across from Southern Village on 15-501 South and, at full buildout, will include 800 apartments and townhomes, 475,000 square feet of retail space, 600,000 square feet of officespace. and 400 hotel rooms. The project is expected to take 20 years to be completed.

The development agreement also preserves 85 acres of land to be named the Wilson Creek Preserve.

This Week in Orange Politics: June 14-21

Both the Carrboro Alderfolks and county commissioners will consider approving their budgets for the next fiscal year Tuesday, after the Chapel Hill Town Council meets Monday to discuss Obey Creek and other development projects. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education will consider several smaller items, while its counterpart in the northern part of the county meets in closed session. The Hillsborough Town Board is on break this week.

Here's the full rundown:


What We're Reading: June 12

Happy Friday! Here's some of what we've been reading this week:

Lavelle Running for Re-Election in Carrboro, Parker Running for Council in Chapel Hill

With election filing under a month away, announcements are coming in from local candidates. Just this morning, Carrboro mayor Lydia Lavelle announced she will be seeking re-election. Earlier this week, Michael Parker, a health care consultant and Chapel Hill Planning Commission member, announced he will run for Chapel Hill Town Council this fall. (Parker also applied for the seat vacated by former Council member Matt Czajkowski.)



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This Week in Orange Politics

Yesterday was the last day of Buy Carrboro Week (see adorable flyer at left). This was an initiative of the new group LocalMotive, which is just one of several organizations focusing on economic development and "buying local" in southern Orange County.  Others include the Carrboro Merchant's Association's Walk Carrboro, and the Town of Chapel Hill's Downtown Economic Development Initiative and emerging Franklin Street Artists' Co-op. There are also older/more traditional groups such as the Chamber of Commerce (and their We Buy Local effort), the Visitor's Bureau, and the Downtown Partnership (risen from the ashes of the old Downtown Commission). I'm sure I'm forgetting some, and I'm not even touching on the groups covering Hillsborough and the rest of Orange County. Buy Carrboro Week got me to thinking about our evolving understanding of economic development in Orange County. Just like our views on other issues such as growth management, affordable housing, environmental preservation, and school achievement I think we as a community have been continuing to learn and to look ahead, leading to a change in attitudes and goals. I've started to wonder whether a traditional "Chamber of Commerce"-type approach is all that relevant here anymore.

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