Dueling task forces for Rogers Road

Just what the Rogers Road neighborhood needs: money? sewer lines? sidewalks? environmental justice? No, it's another committee! I just received an announcement of a new "Historic Rogers Road Community Taskforce" being formed by Orange County. Given that the Commissioners are long overdue in compensating this community for hosting the County's garbage for the last 30 years, and for repeatedly being lied to by elected officials, it's not crazy to have a committee to address this. But...

There is already a Rogers Road Small Area Plan Task Force appointed by the Town of Chapel Hill which is also addressing "the enhancement of the living environment in the historic Rogers Road Community" (and may be tapping the limited volunteer capacity of the neighborhood).

Orange County Seeks Volunteers for the Historic Rogers Road Community Taskforce

Contact: Monica C. Evans,
Orange County Board of Commissioners Office (919) 245-2125

Faison Moves to Reverse Annexation

State Representative Bill Faison has filed H1061, a bill to de-annex the Highlands Subdivision from Carrboro.

I would be surprised if this went very far in the legislature. Faison, it should be noted, although his district extends into the northern reaches of Carrboro (including, of course, Highlands), did not attend our legislative breakfast meeting last month.

As far as I can tell no one connected with town government was aware of this before the bill was filed. For example, Randee Haven-O'Donnell and I have been working with the New Horizons Task Force on concerns related to the annexation. He might well have consulted with one of us on how things are going or have given us a heads up.

Also of interest is why Faison selected only one of the several neighborhoods that were annexed. If his bill is successful, Highlands will be bordered, west and north, by Carrboro neighborhoods.

UNC's perimeter plans

As a part of their application for a third modification to their Development Plan, UNC is holding a meeting to focus on "perimeter transition areas" (areas where campus development has a greater impact on neighbors). The meeting is today at 5:30 at the UNC Law School, room #5046.

We were shown a flyer for this meeting at the last Chapel Hill Planning Board meeting, but I can't find any information online about it. You don't have to be a UNC neighbor to attend.

Click the map below for a big version.

This graphic is from

Breaking down the Residences at Grove Park (425 Hillsborough St.)

As published in the Chapel Hill Herald on September 23rd, 2006

In recent years there has been no proposed development in Chapel Hill that I have more mixed feelings about than the Residences at Grove Park, which would replace the current Town House Apartments on Hillsborough Street with a number of relatively up-scale condos.

On one hand this kind of development fits in perfectly with the direction Chapel Hill's downtown needs to go in. We want more people living near the city's core. This certainly accomplishes that goal.

Beyond that, the Town House Apartments are not particularly nice. This would be a step forward in terms of aesthetics.

On the other hand, this poses a major problem in the sense that it will remove a large amount of student housing near campus. Already the local housing supply is having trouble keeping up with the university's expansion and causing students to choose places to live further and further away from Chapel Hill.

Conservation and evolution

At their meeting tonight, the Chapel Hill Town Council will be considering 4 possible Neighborhood Conservation Districts, covering Coker Hills, Greenwood, King's Mill, and Pine Knolls. Tomorrow the Planning Board will discuss the NCD process in light of the fact that at least two more neighborhoods are requesting them.

I've written before about the many concerns I have about this process. What is the best way to preserve the character of our beautiful older neighborhoods, while still allowing a moderate amount of well-managed change that is necessary to keep our community healthy and affordable as we grow?



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