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A sense of place

Talk about your humble pie. I’ve long joined the throngs dissing Cary for its Stepford wives design standard ordinances and over-regulation of how development should look. Then I made a field trip to Waverly Place, a shopping center at the intersection of Kildaire Farm and Tryon roads. I realized that at least in this redevelopment […]

Walk to ride

Let’s say you live in Phoenix Place, near the intersection of Rogers Road and Purefoy, and you wanted to ride Chapel Hill’s prepaid buses into town. Maybe you don’t have a car or you embrace the walkable community ideal we hear Town Council members and developers talk about. Because bus service along Rogers Road is […]

Golf lessons

While on vacation last week, I spent quite a bit of time on mini-golf courses, where I had ample opportunity to observe how parents and grandparents dealt with children who could not putt a ball into a hole if their life depended on it. Time after time, adults would use their own club or their […]

What defines character?

Red flags went up for me when I got the email about a meeting to introduce an initiative called “Neighborhood Character Standards.” Not so much because of its title that evoked right-wing conservative ideology, and not because of anything in the standards themselves. What caught my attention was that the email, in a chipper tone, […]

Parks ahead? Slow down

So many Orange County commissioners may show up for a tour of potential park sites on Millhouse Road and Twin Creeks on New Year’s Eve that the photo op has been deemed a special commissioners’ meeting. If a majority of commissioners attend an event, state law considers it an official meeting and must give the […]

An end, and a new beginning

Compromise, a concept not usually synonymous with Town Council, ruled the day during the approval of a plan for Central West. Council members did so many things right during last Tuesday’s meeting that it’s hard to know where to begin. Town staff set the stage by reconfiguring the room to allow increased occupancy of 130; […]

ETJ and trust

At its Oct. 21 meeting, Town Council will preside over a public hearing to consider expanding the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction north of town. The proposed plan would incorporate the historic Rogers Road area, the old landfill, Northwood and a large chunk north of Eubanks Road into the ETJ. Accepting this proposal would allow the town to […]

At first glance

The Friends of Downtown held a sneak preview of the candidates for Town Council last Thursday. I sat in the audience next to Julie McClintock, which didn’t seem like a mistake at the time, until Mark Kleinschmidt, running unopposed for mayor, got up to speak and made mention of the “constant contrarians.” And suddenly, all […]

Budget busters

The town can’t afford to keep the larger library open as many hours a week as the pre-renovated space without raising taxes or cutting other services. From the beginning the plan for funding the increased operating costs was to raise taxes, but the economy hasn’t exactly bounced back. Now state laws are hitting some of […]

It’s wonderful — and tax deductible

Every time I see a long line of Chapel Hill residents queued up at Town Council meetings to give an impassioned speech about some project or issue dear to their hearts, I’m reminded of what an overall pretty good place Chapel Hill is to live. All of those people wouldn’t be spending their discretionary time […]