The Carrboro Board of Aldermen held a public hearing to receive comments from residents about the possible annexation of the Winmore, Horace Williams and the Horace Williams satellite tract areas.
As soon as the item came up for discussion on the agenda, Carrboro Mayor Mike Nelson said no action on the plan would be taken that evening. "It's obviously going to be a painful and controversial decision," he said.
Planning Department Director Roy Williford gave a report on the proposed annexation before any town residents spoke, outlining issues such as the existing structures on each property, the location of stream buffers and projected costs. All of the parcels are mostly wooded areas with no more than one house.
This area, called the northern transition area, is part of the joint planning agreement formed by Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County in the late 1980s, which stated that the three bodies would not annex the property individually.
The board requested a response from the Orange County Board of Commissioners for next week's alderman meeting regarding Carrboro's proposed annexation.
Chris Potter, a member of the Northern Transition Advisory Board that helped develop the agreement, was the only town member who spoke in favor of Carrboro's annexation of the tract.
"It was not my understanding that the transition area would remain woods or that it would never be a part of Carrboro," he said. "I support the process of annexation. This is where growth needs to occur."
Williford said as many as 832 homes could be built in the area proposed for annexation.
Alderman Jacquelyn Gist said she wanted to know what the annexation would ultimately cost the town and its residents. "There are serious financial complications that I need to grapple with before I can vote on this," she said.