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The Daily Tar Heel

Officials Deny Request For Land-Use Hearing

Carrboro officials rejected a resident's proposal because of concerns about setting a precedent for construction.

Christopher Conover, of 124 Winsome Lane in Carrboro, submitted the request to the Carrboro Board of Alderman in August after he found out he could not build a barn on his property for his horse Tru.

But without a revision to the town's existing ordinance, building the barn would push Conover over his legal limit for construction on his watershed property near University Lake.

Under the current land-use ordinance, watershed property owners like Conover can only have impervious surfaces -- like asphalt driveways -- on 4 percent of their land.

Conover's proposed revision would have allowed property owners who have already reached their 4 percent limit to buy extra impervious surface from other property owners who have not reached their land use capacity.

"This would give property owners more flexibility to acquire needed impervious surface," Conover stated in his amendment request.

But some aldermen say the proposed changes would have set a bad example.

Alderman Diana McDuffee said the board did not want to maximize the pollution output.

McDuffee said having the limit on impervious surfaces prevents excessive pollution of the water-flow into University Lake.

She also said approving the revision would send numerous people searching for extra percentage points.

"I'm concerned about the precedent it sets," McDuffee said.

"We are not interested in having 4 percent impervious surfaces -- we are interested in having less than 4 percent."

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