Chapel Hill Town Council member Sally Greene participated in her last council business meeting Monday night.
Greene, who served two consecutive terms on the council, will be remembered for her commitment to historic preservation, homelessness issues and affordable housing, officials said.
Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil said Greene’s educational and professional background — including her law degree and work for UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South — made her a valuable council member.
“She had a background in law and in history, and both of those are professions where people ask good questions,” he said. “One of the things that I always appreciated was her ability to ask good questions and her insight into aspects of an issue that maybe other people didn’t see.”
One of Greene’s major accomplishments was pushing forward the inclusionary zoning ordinance, which was passed in June 2010.
The ordinance mandates that new residential developments set aside a certain percentage of their units at prices that are affordable for low and moderate-income households.
Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ward said he was impressed with the way Greene considered all perspectives on the ordinance, from developers to low-income residents.
“Coming up with a document that everybody could agree on, that was an extreme challenge,” he said. “She hung in there with it, and it took a lot of determination, a lot of time, to do that.”
Ward, who has served with Greene during her entire tenure, said he first began working with her on social justice issues, such as the renaming of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Greene also served as the first chairwoman of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness, which worked on the county’s Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.
“She started out as someone who was participating and became one of the leaders on the council to help us do a better job of identifying strategies that worked for both the community and homeless individuals,” Ward said.
Newly elected council member Lee Storrow said he is impressed by Greene’s legacy.
“I don’t think anyone will ever fill Sally’s shoes,” he said. “I’m excited to sort of see what my tenure will look like, but in no way will I ever be able to replace her.”
Storrow will be sworn in on Dec. 5 when Greene officially retires from the council.
“It’s hard to put into words how it feels after eight years of public service except that it’s been an extraordinarily gratifying experience,” Greene said.
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