All posts in category Economic development

The Council Show

At the election night party I attended last week, the wife of a supporter mentioned that she’d gotten so caught up in the excitement of the campaign that she might even tune into what she called “The Council Show.” Certainly campaign and post-election coverage in the popular press loads expectation that episodes of The Council […]

The big money at stake

This election boils down to economic theory. One theory, held by the incumbents and a challenger who as an advisory board member voted in lockstep with them, aims to add enough luxury housing filled with high-wealth individuals that national chain stores will open branches in town. This group is banking on sales tax revenue and […]

Ask, and get real answers

Someone needs to tell the town’s Planning Department staff that Chapel Hill already has an ordinance that governs bed-and-breakfasts. Oh, wait. Someone already has. Several someones, in fact — the former director of planning, the town attorney and multiple people in the community, including Chapel Hill Watch — going back more than 15 years. And […]

How about yours?

Community members at last Monday’s Town Council meeting turned the “not in my backyard” philosophy on its head, asking instead, “Why not your backyard?” At the Sept. 21 meeting, developers presented their proposed plan for Amity Station, a tall apartment building on West Rosemary Street where Breadman’s sits now. The parcel is in the Northside […]

Putting B&B’s to rest

When I read town staff’s original proposal for an ordinance to allow bed-and-breakfasts in the historic district, my first thought was: We’re eating our seed corn. In August, town staff unveiled a plan to allow homes in the historic district to convert to B&B’s of up to 12 bedrooms and as many as 25 guests […]

Not just a numbers game

For all the talk about the rigorous approval process in Chapel Hill quashing development, the town sure has grown prodigiously in the past 20 years. Drawing on U.S. Census Bureau figures from 1990 and 2010, public policy strategist John Quinterno pointed out that the town’s population has increased by almost 50% and the number of […]

Cloud could brighten our economy

Thank you to Orange Politics for hosting a reception Friday evening for all the candidates in our rectangle of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools to meet one another. Perhaps the gratitude comes most strongly from our family and friends who have listened, with eyes glazed, to us go on and […]

Just because they can

Last week a man carried a loaded assault rifle into the Atlanta airport while he dropped off his daughter for her flight. Georgia passed a law last year that allows permitted gun owners to carry loaded weapons in an airport, as long as they don’t go through the TSA security checkpoint. The man said he […]

Aspiring to be what we’re not?

Krispy Kreme closed its Franklin Street shop earlier this month after less than 5 years. A few doors away, Cold Stone shut down two months earlier. Farther west along Franklin, GiGi’s Cupcakes left town at the end of last year. But locally owned Sugarland still plies its pastries and gelato after nigh on eight years. […]

Smart shoppers

As a value shopper, I perked up my ears at economist David Shreve’s message that we should choose new development projects because we want what they will bring to the town, not because we mistakenly think they will bring in additional revenue. Shreve, president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population and a former professor […]