The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday December 7th

Expansion Concerns Residents

At the public hearing, the Chapel Hill Town Council introduced five amendments to an area land use plan that the Town Council, Orange County Board of Commissioners and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen created in 1986 to control the area's rapid growth.

The amendments would give local officials the option to use five pieces of land between Eubanks and Homestead roads near the Orange County Regional Landfill for alternate purposes.

Amendments to the plan require the approval of all three jurisdictions.

"This plan, for 15 years, has been an enormously powerful tool," said Chapel Hill Planning Department Director Roger Waldon, who spoke for the three planning departments and presented five changes illustrating what can be done with the five pieces of public land near the landfill.

But some Orange County residents who live near the town landfill, located just northwest of the Chapel Hill limits, expressed concern that the planning departments might include more changes than what was discussed at the meeting.

Garry Carver of 1315 Blackwood Mountain Road voiced an objection to a proposed public works site a half mile from his land, which was not on the agenda but is a change from the 1986 plan that local officials are considering.

The site would be a storage area for municipal vehicles such as police cars and garbage trucks. Waldon said the new site was being considered because the town expects to lose the lease on its present public works site on the Horace Williams Tract. The University is planning a large development project for the tract.

After the meeting, Carver also said he is worried about oil runoff from the vehicles polluting his property. Carver said he and his neighbors have dealt with the landfill for decades and should not have to worry about a public works site as well. "They don't want to put it inside Chapel Hill, so they put it in the county," he said. "We put up with their stuff for 30 years. It's someone else's turn to do their share."

The three departments had agreed on four amendments before the meeting, leaving one left to be decided. Waldon presented three different proposals for the fifth amendment, which outlines future use of the Greene Tract, a piece of land south of Eubanks Road.

In the 1986 plan, the Greene Tract was designated as a potential landfill, according to town records. But Waldon said the county departments agreed the Greene Tract should have a different future.

"We know the decision has been made that the Greene Tract is not going to be landfill," Waldon said.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education member Nick Didow, who attended the meeting as a private resident, suggested using part of the Greene Tract for a new school. "We have always assumed that there would be the possibility of a school site at the Greene Tract at some point in the future," Didow said.

Other speakers suggested using part of the tract for a mass transit rail line or affordable housing. The commissioners forwarded the recommendations to the Orange County Planning Department, which should have recommendations for the commissioners by June 25.

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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