points-of-order

A look at the week ahead: September 12, 2022

They’re back! After a long summer off, Chapel Hill Town Council is back in session, so we’re going to resume our weekly report of local government meetings. In other exciting news, with the end of the governor’s COVID-19 meeting, the governing boards will be meeting in person, though there will still be an option to watch online (and you can always send in comments via email).

Here’s what on the agenda for this week, September 12-17, 2022.

Chapel Hill Town Council

The Chapel Hill Town Council meets on Wednesday, September 14 at 7:00 pm at the council chambers at Chapel Hill Town Hallhere’s the agenda.  It looks like meetings may not be streamed on the Town’s YouTube channel, but you can watch on the Town’s GovTV website.

Because Town Council hasn’t met for several months, it’s a busy agenda with 13 consent items, several discussion items, and three items related to development applications.

The following three developments are being reviewed:

  • A conditional zoning application for the 47-unit townhouse development at 2516 Homestead Road known as Stanat’s Place. It’s located north of Homestead Road between Homestead Park and the Vineyard Square townhouse community. One big issue is connectivity — the residents of Vineyard Square are loudly opposed to the proposal to connect the main road through Stanat’s Place to Cabernet Drive, which runs through Vineyard Square. The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board and Planning Commission, two of the multiple advisory boards that have reviewed the project, resoundingly voted in favor of making a connection between the two developments, but it’s up to the Council to decide.
  • Concept Plans for two projects near Old Durham Road and I-40 in northeast  Chapel Hill–a multifamily project on White Oak Drive with a proposed 381 dwelling units, and a separate multifamily project known as Gateway with about 380 dwelling units north of it, close to Fordham Blvd. and I-40. These are two of four developments that are proposed for this part of town, and the applicants have worked together to develop a “Framework plan” to coordinate their efforts.

Three other items of note. First, the council will be naming the Hargraves Community Center after its longtime director, Nate Davis, while the indoor basketball court will be named after longtime community leader Fred Battle, who also directed Hargraves for nearly 20 years and served with the Town’s parks and recreation department for more than three decades. Second, the Council will be setting a public hearing for October 19, 2022 regarding changes to the Land Use Management Ordinance to consider proposed changes to the development review process to accelerate the review of affordable housing projects, as well as other updates to the code to accommodate  “modern practices in housing production.” Finally, the hearing on the proposed apartment building downtown on the corner of Rosemary and Columbia has been postponed indefinitely, which puts the future of that project in question.

Carrboro Town Council

The Carrboro Town Council is meeting on Tuesday, September 13 at 7 pm in the Carrboro Town Hall council chambers. Here is the agenda. If you don’t want to attend in person, you can watch the video by clicking on the “video” link on the agenda site, or visiting the town’s YouTube page. Even though it’s the first meeting since their summer recess, there’s not a whole lot going on. Along with some appointments and contract approvals, the Town Council will be:

Orange County

The county’s second meeting of September will be a work session on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at the Whitted Meeting Room at 300 West Tryon Street in Hillsborough. You can also stream it online. Most of the meeting will be spent discussing appointments to ten boards, including the Board of Health, Board of Adjustment, and Orange Unified Transportation Board. There are two other items on the agenda, however.

  • Faculty from the School of Government will be presenting on the basics of property tax assessment and how reevaluations take place. There was significant controversy about the equity of the most recent reevaluation last year, such as higher increases in assessed value on property in the Northside neighborhood (here’s another article by former Indy reporter Sara Pequeño).
  • The School Capital Needs Work Group, established last fall, will report on its efforts. The work group plans to make three recommendations: 1) Hire a consultant to evaluate the County’s approach to school capital planning, design, contracting, and financing. 2)Research alternative funding sources for school capital improvements. 3) County and both school districts commit to continue working together on school capital planning through the existing work group.