For three years, however, the American Legion will continue to occupy the dance studio, clubhouse and surrounding land that constitutes the 35 acres.
Following Stancil's presentation, audience members were given the opportunity to speak to the council about whether or not they thought the town should pass the resolution. Andrew Ross, a community board member of the Chapel Hill Farmer's Market, thought it was a good idea.
"We're here tonight just to support your efforts to obtain the property," he said. "I really appreciate being updated on what's happening in Chapel Hill. It's nice to be included. I really appreciate the transparency."
While many Chapel Hill citizens expressed their support for the acquisition of the property, some expressed concerns that the increase in population density on the land will exacerbate robberies and crime in the area.
Chapel Hill Town Council Member Maria Palmer addressed criticism that the council moved too fast in agreeing to purchase the land.
"One of the issues is that it took us years to purchase land in the past — how come overnight we can find $7.9 million? I think it's a legitimate question," she said. I think it's a shameful thing, but just because it was wrong in the past doesn't mean we have to make the same wrong decisions now."
Chapel Hill residents said they were excited to see the land used for hiking trails, space for dance studios and general space for recreational activities.
Council members said they were excited that Chapel Hill was being so proactive with the purchase, and that the property acquisition is a historic achievement.
"It's an opportunity for us as a town to control our destiny rather than always be acting on someone else's proposal," said Michael Parker, a Town Council member. "Now we can literally put our money where our mouths are and go forward with this plan that meets the needs of residents."
The council honored Chapel Hill Town Hall security guard Brendon Hodge, who is graduating this semester from North Carolina Central University with a degree in political science.
"She had a strong interest in this council not just because of me but because of American politics. She had a great run, a good run, and, as a good friend of mine wrote, the world already seems less civilized," said Chapel Hill Town Council Member Ed Harrison on his late mother, who passed away on Nov. 22.