Civic News Roundup Week of June 8

A lot went on this week. We’re trying to keep up with it! Here’s a summary of civic news.

New Carrboro town budget dropped

You can read the proposed budget here. No property tax increase. We’re still going through this and will write up something longer in the coming days. #BudgetSeason

Carrboro Town Council member Barbara Foushee is running for Mayor of Carrboro

Foushee, who has served the community for decades and served on town council since 2017, enters the race with a formidable list of endorsements from community leaders. (The current mayor, Damon Seils, announced he’s not running for reelection.)

Catherine Fray is running for Town Council in Carrboro

Catherine Fray, member and former chair of the Carrboro Planning Board, announced Thursday that they will run for Town Council.  Fray has served on the Planning Board since 2012 and has been elected chair twice. They also co-chaired the 2020-2022 task force to develop Carrboro’s first comprehensive plan document, Carrboro Connects.

Carrboro Town Council member Eliazar Posada is running for reelection

Posada has served on council for just over a year. His slogan is: Let’s make Carrboro a Home for All and his platform focuses on affordable housing, equity, and equality.

Carrboro Town Council member Susan Romaine is not running for reelection

Romaine, who we interviewed back in February, wrote in her newsletter that she would not be seeking reelection.

Carrboro Town Council approves South Green

The unanimous vote at the 6/6 meeting includes plans for three four-story buildings, including 57 condos. We appreciate the community members who are encouraging more playground space for kids. Also:

There was a public hearing on the proposed conditional rezoning at 820 and 904 Homestead Road and 310 Lucas Lane

The proposed rezoning of ~9.7 acres from R-20 to R-3-CZ was discussed and information presented, the proposal is to develop ~42 housing units of which 27 would be single family homes and 15 multi-family homes (duplexes). 25 residents from the surrounding communities spoke against this development. (15 years ago, different people spoke at Town Council to protest where those 25 people now live.)

Their primary objections were:

  • The proposed density (though the planned development is less dense than all the surrounding existing neighborhoods)
  • The anticipated storm water run-off that will feed into the existing Claremont neighborhood which is having on-going issues related to existing stormwater infrastructure
  • Many residents argued against the full road connection of Lucas Lane to this neighborhood.

A note: the existing density of R3 at the site is not being utilized fully. (The site could support up to 77 multi-family units at this site, and the plan is to create 42 units total, of which 27 are single family homes.)This lower density will further limit the opportunity for a bus line to serve this area of town.

We also believe that a full road connection will improve the overall safety, resilience and redundancy of the road network and that a continued non-adherence of the existing Connector Roads Policy makes Carrboro a less desirable, less inclusive and a less safe place to live.

We also learned that the Town of Carrboro now requires surety bonds for storm water elements within a development. This is a good change that will help protect future residents from unexpected and costly repairs if needed.

This meeting was continued to a later date with guidance from the staff to provide more information around the stormwater options (increasing from 25, 50 or 100, year floods) and more information about the expected traffic implications of a full road connection.

What’s happening in Chapel Hill?

Chapel Hill Town Council meeting 6/7 recap: Budget approved

Town approved a budget, including a 5 cent tax increase. South Creek was approved. Chapel Hill Crossing didn’t get a vote, but the council asked the developer to not come back until Sept. 13. The council reviewed the downtown mobility study, told the consultants to focus more on the small streets and build better pedestrian infrastructure on Cameron.

Melissa McCullough enters Chapel Hill Town Council race

Melissa McCullough, who served for seven years on Chapel Hill’s Planning Commision, is running for a town council seat in Chapel Hill. We like her campaign slogan: “We all do better when we all do better.”

Michael Beauregard enters Chapel Hill Town Council race

Beauregard, a graduate student in public administration and city and regional planning at UNC, is active in the local Democratic Party as well as in voter registration efforts at UNC. His platform focuses on the environment, housing, and safety.

NCDOT 15-501 project update

Next Wednesday’s DCHC MPO agenda was just amended to include U-6067 (the 15-501 project).


Yay! Small changes with big impacts

The walk signal to cross Burning Tree Way at Raleigh Rd has been given a leading pedestrian interval and set to ‘rest in walk,’ which means when traffic on Raleigh Rd has a green light, the pedestrian signal is also set to walk, with no need to press a button! See the public request for this change and the town’s response.

We provide a weekly civic news roundup for Chapel Hill and Carrboro. If you’d like to join our newsletter, you can sign up here. You can also read the most recent issue of the Town of Carrboro’s This Week Bulletin and news updates from the Town of Chapel Hill.

Brian Crawford, Melody Kramer, Michael Harrison, Tab Combs, and Martin Johnson contributed to this post.