The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday December 6th

Town Council to review proposed developments

Changes to Chapel Hill’s development agreement process were the focus of Monday night’s Chapel Hill Town Council discussion.

The council voted to conduct a technical review with the Glen Lennox site and Obey Creek Mixed Use Development project teams and to hold public hearings for both communities.

Obey Creek is a proposed 124-acre mixed-use development on N.C. Highway 15-501 with 600 housing units, a hotel and 350,000 square feet of retail space.

Obey Creek residents spoke out at the meeting about their lack of say in development decisions in the area.

Many residents voiced concerns about traffic surrounding the Obey Creek neighborhood.

They said having more of a voice in future Town Council meetings would give them an opportunity to enact change in their community.

“Think of our neighborhood as an island,” said Douglas MacLean, a philosophy professor at UNC who lives in the Kings Mill neighborhood near Obey Creek.

“We are finding it increasingly difficult to negotiate with the rest of the town because of Fordham Boulevard.”

He said the road is too dangerous and asked that the council take traffic into consideration in future development plans.

“It is scary. It isn’t even an overstatement to call it a disaster,” said Leesa Brieger, a resident of Southbridge Estates.

The council also received public comment on the preliminary proposal for the 2013-14 Capital Fund Program for Public Housing Renovations.

The town is expecting a 5 percent cut in federal funding for the 2013-14 year to the Community Development Block Grant program — which provides funding for organizations that offer programs to help the community.

The council discussed which organizations may receive funding despite the cut.

Robert Dowling, executive director of the Community Home Trust, said there is a great need in the community for affordable, single-family homes.

Organizations that currently receive funding include EmPOWERment Inc., Housing for New Hope and the Chapel Hill Police Department’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

“We are very fortunate to have these programs in our community,” Dowling said.

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