Here is a look at some of the local government meetings scheduled for this week, April 25-29, 2022:

Chapel Hill Town Council

The Chapel Hill Town Council will be holding a virtual meeting on Wednesday (April 27) at 7 pm — view the agenda hereaccess the Zoom here if you want to comment, and it’s also streamed on the Town’s YouTube channel. Highlights include:

Plan of proposed apartment building at 101 E. Rosemary, Chapel Hill, NC

Carrboro Town Council

The Carrboro Town Council will meet Tuesday (April 26) in person at Carrboro Town Hall, but you can also stream the meeting on YouTube. View the agenda here. Highlights include:

  • A public hearing on an application for a special use permit for a new three-story commercial building at 201 N. Greensboro St., at the corner of Greensboro St and Center St. The development proposes retail on the ground floor and office above. This is, of course, the site of an abandoned one-story office building which was torn down after anarchists occupied the building following CVS’ proposal to build a pharmacy on the site. More on the story here. The project unfortunately proposes 41 new parking spaces in an area of town that has a lot of underused parking; but the good news is that is less than the 59 (!!) parking spaces the Town’s ordinances somehow require.
  • Speaking of parking, the Council will accept and discuss the 2022 downtown parking study. This follows up on the Town’s 2017 downtown parking study It is painfully clear that downtown Carrboro has more than enough parking, and it’s good to have Yet Another study to confirm. The 2022 report notes that there is “ample existing space availability across the downtown,” with about 3,604 overall parking spaces, and maximum occupancy of around 50%. Yes, that’s right, at peak times about half of the spaces are unoccupied! The bugaboo is, as always, lack of enforcement of the parking time limitations, challenges finding the public parking and available spaces, and the Town’s ongoing failure to get private property owners to agree to open up private spaces for public use and certain times. One thing that might help is charging for parking, which would (as the study notes) give the town a revenue source to pay for enforcement, and perhaps also to compensate private property owners for use of their parking spaces when they don’t need them. And maybe it would help if every new downtown development (such as the one discussed above) wasn’t required to provide its own parking spaces, which continues to exacerbate this problem.

Orange County and School Boards

The Orange County Board of Commissioners meets on Tuesday (agenda here), and on Thursday the commissioners are holding a work session with the Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools about the schools systems’ budget request. The meeting will take place on Wednesday (April 28) at the Whitted Meeting Facility at 300 W. Tryon St. in Hillsborough.  View the agenda here, and stream the meeting here.

In addition, at the April 26 meeting, the commissioners will vote on a contract with North State Communications to deploy broadband services across underserved parts of Orange County. Commissioner Sally Greene lays out the details in this twitter thread, and it sounds like an excellent project:

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.

Geoff Green, AICP lives in Chapel Hill. In his day job he's a practicing urban planner; in his spare time he rides his electric bike around town and advocates for improved facilities so that everyone can...

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