The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday February 27th

Carrboro CVS proposal encounters resistance from residents

Student Body President Mary Cooper discusses her platform in her office in the Student Union.
Buy Photos Student Body President Mary Cooper discusses her platform in her office in the Student Union.

Developers are looking into building a new CVS in Carrboro — a proposal that is in its earliest stages but has already met resistance from within the community.

The store would be located at 201 N. Greensboro St., replacing a 24-hour CVS about 300 feet away.

The new location would offer more retail space, said Damon Seils, chairman of the advisory planning board.

The preliminary plan for the mixed-use development proposes a two-story building with a 12,900 square foot CVS below and 13,400 square feet of office space above.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, the potential developer for the project, presented a concept plan to the town’s advisory boards May 5 at a courtesy hearing.

CVS developers had conditional use and rezoning permit applications pending at the time of the hearing, Seils said.

According to Seils, the developer went about the process out of order — usually the developer would hold a hearing with the advisory boards first, get feedback and then submit permit applications.

“It makes me wonder to what extent the developer will be in a position to consider what the advisory boards have said to them.”

Seils said he didn’t know if the backwards process would hurt the permit application’s chances.

Advisory boards don’t make the decisions — but they do advise the Board of Aldermen on projects, explained Patricia McGuire, director of the Carrboro planning board.

Developers must still present advisory boards with a more formal proposal and hold a public hearing before the permit applications can be approved, a process Mayor Mark Chilton said could take until the end of the year.

Controversy from the start

Though Seils said the project is in its earliest stages, Carrboro citizens are already speaking out against the development.

“I certainly see anti-CVS signs sprouting around downtown Carrboro,” Chilton said.

Judy Huntsman, a Carrboro resident for more than 60 years, is worried the development could harm the neighborhood’s landscape but said she would be open to alternatives.

Celia Pierce, a Carrboro resident whose ties to the town date back four generations, agreed. She said she is worried the store will detract from the town’s history.

“It’s not that I am anti-CVS,” Pierce said. “I am anti-cookie cutter store building.”

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