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The Daily Tar Heel

Town, County Meet to Discuss Strip Malls

Town, County Meet to Discuss Strip Malls

Representatives from Natalli Communities and NorthPointe companies presented their proposals before the Orange County Board of Commissioners and the Town of Hillsborough Commissioners on Wednesday night in an effort to build a new shopping facility and housing development in the Orange County and Hillsborough jurisdiction.

Margaret Hauth, the planning director of the town of Hillsborough, said the 600-unit housing development proposed for the area off N.C. 86 and N.C. 57 will present enormous traffic problems if built.

"The proposed land on which the housing development (Natalli Communities) is being built only has a two-lane road with no traffic light," Hauth said. "This will not work knowing that there is also an elementary school (Pathway) nearby that will cause even more traffic in the morning."

The shopping center, proposed by NorthPointe, also poses potential traffic problems.

Orange County Commissioner Margaret Brown said the box strip mall project proposed for the area off Interstate 85 and N.C. 86 will not be favorable for pedestrians.

"The shopping mall will generate a lot of people and the design produced by the company takes no consideration of pedestrians who live around the vicinity," Brown said.

Hillsborough Commissioner Frances L. Dancy said this is not the first time the development plan by NorthPointe has surfaced.

"Last year they came before the board in an effort to make their development accessible to the water and sewer area in Orange County," Dancy said.

But Brown said both projects have a lot of problems that conflict with what they are looking for in the design of the district.

"We are looking for a sophisticated design that will not diminish the area and will preserve Hillsborough historic reservation," Brown said. "If the box strip mall is built, it will bulldoze historic preservation in order to build a parking lot."

But despite the deficiencies of both projects, Orange County Commissioners, along with Town of Hillsborough Commissioners, will move forward with the process. Hauth said the public will have the chance to voice its opinion about the proposed housing development soon.

"On Feb. 26 we will hold a public hearing concerning the proposed housing development," Hauth said.

Hauth said the fate of the proposed shopping center will not be determined for another month.

"We will hold a meeting about the shopping center on March 12 to decide whether we will approve the plan or not."

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