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The Daily Tar Heel

Town Council to discuss library, shelter expansion

While controversy over the Chapel Hill Public Library expansion builds, a resolution is not expected to be reached at tonight’s Town Council meeting.

The Chapel Hill Town Council reviewed a proposal on Nov.22 made by University Mall to relocate the library to the current Dillard’s location. This would replace an established plan to expand the library’s current location, said Acting Deputy Town Clerk Amy Harvey.

At tonight’s meeting, Town Manager Roger Stancil will update the council on the issue with an “apples to apples” comparison, but the council does not plan to make a decision until next month, Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said.

Kleinschmidt said he has only heard good things about the new proposal in terms of space, parking and increased patronage to the other tenants of the mall, but he said there are still issues that need to be addressed.

“We don’t expect every question to be answered,” he said. “There are still some problems about storm water as the mall is in a floodplain.

“We need to be careful before building something as important as a library in a floodplain.”

Town spokeswoman Catherine Lazorko said other questions like what a library at the mall would look like may also be discussed.

“You can expect to see some preliminary design proposals of how the new mall facade could look with (the library) in place,” she said.

Also on the agenda for Monday night’s discussion are the guidelines for homeless shelters and other rehabilitation centers in Chapel Hill.

Originally established by the shelter subcommittee in May, the guidelines were revisited by the planning board in order to be submitted to council members. The guidelines include details like proximity to day care facilities, schools and transportation access.

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service’s application for a special use permit to build a transitional housing facility for men near Homestead Road has met with disapproval from some residents due to the proposed location. The application, which will not be discussed at tonight’s meeting, was passed on to the council by the planning board at its Jan. 4 meeting.

With this controversy over the location, Kleinschmidt said he expects the meeting to be a lengthy one with much resident input.

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