All posts in category Land Use

Office-retail only

Ellie Kinnaird’s voice was drowned out during her final years in the N.C. Senate by affluent colleagues who, having reached a high level of creature comfort, put in place policies that closed off that path to others. After several years of advocating for laws that made life better for residents in all socio-economic classes, Kinnaird […]

Public-private = win-win

Chapel Hill needs a Stuyvesant Town, a large-scale complex of safe, well-built, no-frills apartments with rents affordable to your average working stiff. For some years during my New York days I lived in Stuy Town, an 11,000-unit complex built on 80 acres of what used to house leaky gas storage tanks and businesses and apartments […]

Plans vs. promises

At its March 10 meeting, Town Council passed an Affordable Rental Housing Strategy that was such a foregone conclusion it should have been on the Consent Agenda. But without the fanfare of a staff-narrated PowerPoint and a time for public comment, council members and town staff would have been deprived of a feel-good moment. And […]

Senior special

A concept plan for a dense subdivision on the agenda at last week’s council meeting drew not a single resident to protest. Maybe this developer knew to schedule his presentation at the exact same time as a UNC men’s basketball game, or maybe this developer offered something that many of us have been waiting years […]

6,200 and counting

Some town leaders have had it with this hick town and want to take Chapel Hill to the next level of cityhood. Town Council approved the redevelopment of Central West. Obey Creek is on track to sail through intact as the developer wants it. And council is poised to allow developers carte blanche in the […]

Be our guest

Business investors have figured it out before some of the rest of us: Chapel Hill is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live here. When Town Council meets next on Wednesday (the regular Monday night meeting has been shifted due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday), members will consider a […]

Who’s the boss?

A while back, someone I know made a disparaging comment to a Town Council member about town manager Roger Stancil. The council member responded sharply, “Don’t talk about my boss that way.” Pause while you think about what’s wrong with that statement. Not long ago, I gossiped to another council member about the other council […]

We did what this year?

What a ride 2013 turned out to be. Yet despite the ups and downs, we moved forward. We began the year with Town Council members choosing Sally Greene over 10 other well-qualified and diverse candidates to fill the seat Penny Rich vacated a couple months before. In the November election this year, Greene was elected […]

Loopholes and buzzkill

You’re more likely to behave yourself if you live next door to your landlord. Jay Patel of, well, a few different business partnerships, but known by Chapel Hillians as the owner of the Franklin Hotel, apparently ascribes to that theory. At tonight’s Town Council meeting, he will present a concept review of Franklin Student Housing, […]

Buybacks

Tell me I’m not the only person to have donated something to the PTA Thrift Shop, then a month later bought it back. Town Council members know the feeling. They are asked to give away affordable housing as they vote to approve redevelopment projects, then scrounge for town resources to buy affordable housing somewhere else […]