The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday October 18th

Aldermen extend permit for Carrboro solar community

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to extend the permit for the Veridia Solar Community, a proposed sustainable housing development that would replace existing mobile homes on Fayetteville Road.

The permit was set to expire April 26 of this year but will now expire on April 26, 2016.

The permit has been previously extended at least twice.

The Board of Aldermen originally approved the development in 2011, but construction on the complex never got off the ground.

According to the board’s resolution, it extended the conditional use permit because David Bell, a partner for the development, has proceeded with due diligence and is acting in good faith and that conditions of the development have not changed enough to warrant a new application.

Bell said after the 2011 approval it was necessary for him to buy out his partner George Overholt, and that the ongoing delay in construction is due to his search for a new financial and developmental partner.

“We’re not under the time constraint to pull the trigger very quickly because of the work I’ve done,” Bell said.

Bell said the developers’ goals for the project have slightly changed since the permit was last extended — they now plan to make the housing more affordable than originally proposed.

“The cost of solar has gone down 80 percent since we priced it initially,” Bell said.

Bell said the development aims to use innovative, constructive methodology in its construction.

He said he is looking at emerging technology and determining how long it will be until the new technology is available on the market, which would include more automated construction technology.

Bell said the overall vision for the development is to be able to create something sustainable and affordable that also looks like something people would expect, rather than the more eccentric-looking existing models.

The development also aims to reduce upfront costs through technologies that have emerged through time, he said, and will support long-term savings for water and utilities.

“This could be a model to inspire development, not just in Carrboro, but nationally,” said Alderman Sammy Slade.

The board was supportive of the initiative the development was taking to provide affordable housing in the area. Affordability is an issue the board has focused on this year after several area apartment complexes stopped accepting Section 8 vouchers.

“We’d like you to consider us as a partner as we’re thinking of how to further support affordable housing,” Slade said.

city@dailytarheel.com



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