Here is a look at some of the local government meetings scheduled for this week, May 16-20, 2022:

Chapel Hill Town Council

The Chapel Hill Town Council will be holding a virtual meeting on Wednesday (May 18) 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. The meeting is chock full of development review applications and budget discussion as well as appointments to advisory boards. Highlights include:

  • Consideration of a conditional zoning application for a new downtown apartment building on the corner of E. Rosemary and MLK Jr. Blvd., next to the town’s pricey new downtown parking deck that is under construction. Seven stories tall with 150 apartments, it’s an unusual project that includes ZERO parking! Instead, the developer will provide a “parking strategy plan” to identify how any parking needs will be addressed. The project is asking for adjustments to the current regulations that limits building height at the property setback line to be 44 feet — the proposed building extends up 90 feet. It includes some affordable housing as well, with 10% of units restricted to those making 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less, and one percent for those making 30% of the AMI or less.
  • A concept plan for UNC’s proposed redevelopment of Porthole Alley. A project that has been underway since shortly before COVID hit, UNC is working on developing a new gateway between Franklin Street and campus centered on Porthole Alley and strengthening the physical connection between downtown and the unviersity. The university owns eight parcels in the area (including 128 and 134 East Franklin Street, and the Hill building which houses the Carolina Coffee Shop). The latest concept proposes to retain the Hill building, replace 128 and 134 East Franklin with new buildings that have similar frontages along Franklin Street but additional space off the street, and add a new building behind the Hill Building that would replace the existing parking lot and help extend the alley further towards campus.
  • A public hearing on the town’s recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23 (beginning July 1). More information about the proposed budget, which includes a tax increase (although some council members pushed back against that at last week’s meeting), is available on the town’s website.

Carrboro Town Council

No Carrboro Town Council meeting this week — next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24.

Orange County

Orange County is holding a budget work session on Thursday, May 19 at 7 pm at the Whitted Meeting Room at 300 West Tyron Street in Hillsborough and can also be streamed online. The agenda is available here. As it’s a business meeting, there’s no opportunity for public comment.

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...