We’ve gotten spoiled. With Town Council’s newfound determination to end council meetings before midnight, and breaking out council discussions in midweek work sessions at the library (which are not on TV nor videoed and accessible by computer), the regular Monday night meetings end two to three hours after they begin.
Tonight may be an exception.
Several topics made the agenda for public hearing night, and first up is Roger Stancil’s budget recommendation that includes a 2-cents-per-$100-valuation property tax hike. Usually this draws a host of commenters, from representatives making a final pitch as to why their organization needs the amount of money allotted it, or more, and taxpayers who question why something was not included or why so much was allocated to something else, or weigh in on how the funds could be distributed more effectively.
Next, a LUMO amendment to increase fines for landlords who are repeat offenders in ignoring town ordinances. Most commonly cited violations were for too many cars parked on a property and two many unrelated people living in a rental unit. The two are related in that over-occupancy usually is detected by too many cars parked in a yard. Nevertheless, the town is requesting that the limit of cars per duplex be increased from four to eight, given that a landlord is legally allowed to have four unrelated people per unit. Doing the math, double it for a duplex and triple it for a triplex, but town has its limits, and eight cars per lot seemed a good compromise. We’ll see which triplex owner is the first to file a lawsuit.
The third item on the agenda is to have the contractor creating the new LUMO from the CH2020 document include revisions to the Resource Conservation District. Now, I haven’t kept up with the progress of the RCD changes after town staff originally recommended reducing all riparian buffers to 50 feet, but not knowing about a topic has never stopped me from commenting before. The resolution associated with the agenda item only allows the contractor, Code Studio, to do the work. The comments to be added are embedded in the hour-and-a-half-long video of presenters found at http://chapelhill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1729. Riparian buffer width will come into play in the very near future as some of the concept plans for Central West development involve building in the RCD.
Finally, Duke Energy wants to build a power substation in the Calvander-Eubanks Road area and will present a concept review plan to start the process. Some neighbors already beleaguered by groundwater contamination from the landfill want to make sure Duke does enough landscaping to protect them from unsightly views.
With this varied lineup, you’re sure to find something that will get your blood pressure up. Enjoy!
– Nancy Oates