Growth & Development

Chatham County Growth Issues

are the topic of tonight's Sierra Club forum:

Chatham County Growth Issues
Prospects and Possible Solutions
Wednesday, March 9th, 7:30 p.m
Chapel Hill Town Hall, 306 North Columbia Street

Loyse Hurley, president of Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities, Jeffrey Starkweather, president of Chatham Coalition and Mike Cross and Patrick Barnes, two newly-elected Chatham County commissioners who were endorsed by the Sierra Club, are the presenters.

The meeting will be televised on public access.

Cradle & Arts Center Move

Guest Post by Ross Grady

Editor's note: This was originally written as part of a discussion on about the proposed redevelopment of 300 East Main Street in Carrboro. For more background, see this Chapel Hill News article.

Most of us who actually live here have by-and-large seemed pretty optimistic in our assessment of this project.

I myself would like to get beyond the current namby-pamby weak-postmodernism that southern commercial architecture seems to be stuck in; it's neither vernacular enough to be useful in the South, nor interesting enough to be, well, interesting. (Like that white building at the western end of the project; I'd like to see more details of that one.)

I'd like to see structures that take advantage of the vast quantities of solar energy available to us here, like the new Club Nova apartments just a couple of miles further west do.

Here comes Briar Chapel

Last week the Chatham County Commissioners approved a project called Briar Chapel. It is being described as "another Siler City" (pop. 7,000) - and that's not counting the three shopping centers. Except of course it's nowhere near Siler City, it's over here near our neck of the woods.

Many people in Chatham County are understandably alarmed about how their schools and other public facilities will handle this rapid growth. Here's some information about the fiscal impact of this development on Chatham County, from a local blog called The Chatham Shagbark (sadly defunct of late) .

But being selfish, I have to wonder about the impact here in southern Orange County. Where are these people going to work and how are they going to get there?

Erwin Trace: A challenge for local government

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday, February 19, 2005

One of the more unusual ideas to hit Chapel Hill of late was the suggestion, adopted last year, that the town seek authority to purchase open space outside its jurisdiction. On the face of it, this was nonsensical. As Kevin Foy put it last September, "Citizens of Chapel Hill are citizens of Orange County, and Orange County buys land throughout the county. I don't think we have an interest in duplicating the efforts of the county."

But Foy went on to point out that the town's planning interest extends beyond the town line. Tactical purchases outside the town's extra-territorial jurisdiction can help Chapel Hill protect the rural buffer and provide additional open space. This was born out recently when the town opened the door to cooperating on the possible purchase of property along Erwin Road just northeast of the extra-territorial jurisdiction.

West Rosemary Developments

Every morning I ride my bike through downtown Carrboro along Main Street and West Rosemary until I get to work just before the intersection at Church Street. This particular stretch of road contains some strange juxtapositions of land use (and value, I assume) as well as a number of significant construction projects.

As previously posted in Too much coffee?, Carrboro is getting a coffee shop on the corner of Rosemary and Main which is currently undergoing renovation and sidewalk repair. The Herald reported in January that it will be called "Padgett Station Coffee, Tea, Treats" owned and operated by a couple from California. With the wonderful Carrburritos next door, as well as a tattoo parlor and art gallery nearby, this "lower east side" of Carrboro may soon rival Weaver Street Market in hipness.



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