What I Would Have Said

Tonight, the Chapel Hill Town Council is receiving public comment on the Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment plan after public comment was delayed from Monday's meeting due to a lack of time.

I was at Monday's Council meeting in the hopes of speaking in support of the plan. Unfortunately, I'm unable to be at the meeting tonight where public comment is still underway at the time of this post. Because I can't be there to speak tonight, I'm posting here the email I sent to members of the Town Council expressing my support for the plan.

Dear Mayor Kleinschmidt and Members of Council:

I was among the many people in attendance at last night's Council meeting, and was one of the people who signed up to speak on the Ephesus-Fordham renewal plan. I am disappointed that I was not able to deliver my comments on the plan at last night's meeting, especially because I am unable to attend the Wednesday meeting where public comment will actually take place. I wished to deliver these comments in person, but as that is not possible, I am writing you now to urge you to support and enact the Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment plan now.

I have lived in Chapel Hill for 5 years now, and I hope to live here for many more - and that's exactly why I support the Ephesus-Fordham renewal plan. As a young person, it's hard to live in Chapel Hill because our community faces a severe affordability problem when it comes to housing. We need forward-thinking solutions like the Ephesus-Fordham renewal to stop pricing people like me out of our town.

The Ephesus-Fordham plan brings together several critical proposals that, together, chart a bold vision for a better, more affordable Chapel Hill. Specifically, it lays out a solution that will:

  • Add more housing to our town's inadequate supply, helping reduce rents across town
  • Add affordable housing to our town's very inadequate supply
  • Expand our town's commercial tax base, reducing upward pressure on property taxes
  • Fix major traffic issues by creating a traffic pattern and flow that works in what is now one of the poorest designed areas of town
  • Introduce form-based code to simplify our town's burdensome and difficult development processes
  • Create a healthier, more walkable community by outlining form-based code requirements that shape our community in an urban direction

The Ephesus-Fordham renewal plan has all of the elements of a successful redevelopment strategy, and I commend the Council and town staff for putting together what is a very good plan.

I hope you will take action and adopt the components of the plan that are pending before you now in the interest of moving our town forward. We cannot delay action on development any further, or else Chapel Hill may never be able to recover from the affordability crisis we face.

Thank you.


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