All posts in category Lifestyle

Money, money, money

How to spend money wreaks havoc on many a marriage. As Town Council, with its four new members, begins the budgeting process this year, I wonder how our new council relationships will fare. The town’s financial director, Ken Pennoyer, will give a presentation at Monday night’s meeting that involves shifting some unexpected leftover money to […]

Council retreat

I suppose I’d be opening up fresh wounds if I proposed that before people weigh in on the icy sidewalk problem they first go see The Martian. The movie captures one of my core philosophies of life: the notion of chipping away. In the face of futility, continue to live your life. Stay true to […]

On ice

The calls started coming in Sunday before the sun had reached high noon. Constituents who live on what’s known as “tertiary streets” phoned me because they knew I’d understand their cabin fever. All of us were iced in, and our good humor had begun to fray. Tertiary streets are those out-of-the-way neighborhoods that are the […]

What we do best

Decades ago, a running coach told me, “The only way to run faster is to run faster.” Pre-empting Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan by nearly a generation, the coach’s advice has proved useful in all sorts of situations in my life. Now it appears I can apply it to Town Council work. The town has […]

Festive Council

I took a different tack this year in creating a Christmas lights tour. Rather than driving through town randomly searching for yards that glow, I visited the neighborhoods of Town Council members to gauge holiday spirit. First, where not to go: Morgan Creek. Though Sally Greene’s house had a dash of red, the streets are […]

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 […]

Who determines livability?

Elkins Hills homeowners and renters turned out in force last Wednesday to convince council members to grant the protections of a Neighborhood Conservation District from what they see as the too-fast pace of development townwide. But one lone property owner and landlord gave council pause when he asked about how an NCD should be used. […]

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 […]