All posts in category Land Use

Do We Want Diversity?

In an effort to improve our chances of recouping through tax revenue the $10 million taxpayers invested in infrastructure in the area now known as Blue Hill, Town Council members considered options for increasing the amount of commercial space in the district. At our June 27 council meeting, we talked about changing the form-based code […]

2018 Season Finale

As the bad news piled up — cruelty and crassness at the national level and callousness from state legislators — a friend commented: “I no longer feel proud to be an American.” I know the feeling. At last Wednesday’s Town Council meeting — our last of the season — we treated the public to 5 […]

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Is all affordable housing good? Is it morally defensible to put affordable housing somewhere that you wouldn’t put other housing? These questions came to mind last Wednesday during a Chapel Hill Town Council meeting at which representatives of the town’s Office for Housing and Community proposed putting affordable housing on three parcels of town-owned land […]

Autopsy of a vote

After my colleagues on Town Council blew off applying for a quarter million dollars of free money toward the purchase of the American Legion property at the April 18 meeting, I was so disheartened I went out and got #NeverAgain tattooed on my chest. (Just kidding, Mom.) So when I walked into the April 25 […]

Guidelines Matter

In its quest to increase the commercial tax base, the Town Council in 2014 approved form-based code for the Ephesus-Fordham, now Blue Hill, district. FBC shifted approval for development projects from council to the town manager in that defined area around Rams and Village plazas and Eastgate. Council drew up some guidelines about maximum building […]

Noisy Neighbors

Chapel Hill’s noise ordinance aims to ensure reasonable peace and quiet for residents in their homes. Typically, people use the law to rein in loud parties or construction projects that go on into the wee hours of the morning. Does that mean people who work from home or cover night shifts and sleep during the […]

Our chance at the gold — gone

Chapel Hill should bid on hosting a Winter Olympics. Sure, we’d need to build a couple of ski slopes, one with fancy rails and jumps. We would have to retrofit the Dean Dome into an ice-skating rink. And we’d need to build a housing complex for the athletes, though we could repurpose it into affordable […]

At what price?

When has Chapel Hill ever forced an entire neighborhood to pack up and move away? When has the town ever told more than 100 of its residents they must leave their homes en masse and find other housing? It sure looks like that’s about to happen to the Lakeview mobile home community in north Chapel […]

What’s worth preserving

Would a time traveler from the turn of the 19th century into the 20th, walking through one of Chapel Hill’s historic districts, recognize the neighborhood? Amber Kidd, a preservationist with the N.C. Historic Preservation Office who advises local governments on how to set up and run a Historic District Commission, put that question to Chapel […]

Happier New Year

We started a new tradition this New Year’s Eve – we wrote all the bad things that happened in 2017 on little slips of paper, then tossed them into the fireplace. It was not as big of a bonfire as I expected, given the national politics and ripples into global and state affairs. And it […]