UNC’s Habitat for Humanity president Matt Coleman, advocates and homeless community members asked council members to make affordable housing a top priority.
Then, the Chapel Hill Town Council agreed to accept $446,400 from the N.C. Department of Transportation to extend the bicycle and pedestrian path on Fordham Boulevard.
With this money, the town must agree to locally manage and pay the entire cost of the project. The town can request that the N.C. Department of Transportation reimburse 80 percent of the total project.
This project would connect the bicycle and pedestrian network on Fordham Boulevard and the neighborhoods in the Ephesus/Fordham District.
Senior Planner Corey Liles gave a presentation on the Merin Road residential development site to annex the site inside the town’s corporate limits. The Town Council voted in favor of Liles’ request.
“This annexation would be effective immediately as proposed,” Liles said.
Ben Hitchings, director of planning and development services, spoke to the council about rewriting the Town’s Land Use Management Ordinance, which is more than 30 years old.
“The purpose is to help the community protect what it loves and add what it needs,” Hitchings said.
The document would be re-written to have clear standards that can be easily communicated. It would also provide community stakeholders with meaningful opportunities for input and leave the Council with the key decisions.
“In order to make this work happen on that schedule, we would need some resources,” Hitchings said. “First of all, we would need a consultant.”
Hitchings said the consultant would update the future land use map and revise development code.
Hitchings also asked for public involvement software, which would facilitate online public engagement.
“Altogether the resources would estimate to $830,000 over the next three years,” Hitchings said.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said the Council is excited to move forward with this.