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Chapel Hill Town Council receives progress report on Ephesus-Fordham

The Chapel Hill Town Council also heard a set-annual report on UNC development.

Monday's agenda at the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting included a request for special permit usage by Bridgepoint, renovations in the Ephesus-Fordham district and a semi-annual report by the University of North Carolina. 

Judy Johnson, principal planner at the Department of Planning and Sustainability, took the podium to request access for a special permit usage on behalf of Bridgepoint, a mixed-use development. Their previous permit expired in 2010. Although the property was granted a one year extension in January 2015, Johnson said that not granting Bridgepoint the permit will inhibit rezoning efforts. 

"If you've been out there recently, the project from across the street has brought out the sewer line," Johnson said.

John Richardson, planning manager at the Department of Planning and Sustainability, gave a progress report on developments in the Ephesus-Fordham district.  He unveiled plans for a 13,000 square foot CVS at Rams Plaza in Chapel Hill.

By the end of October, Richardson said Fordham Boulevard will be renovated as well. A slip ramp going in and an exit ramp going out have already been constructed. A U-turn has been constructed on Highway 15-501, also known as "Superstreet," that allows motorists coming from Durham via I-40 to enter Fordham Boulevard. 

Some council members expressed concern over the timeline of the Ephesus-Fordham developments.

"I am skeptical that things will be wrapped up by Oct. 31," Council Member Ed Harrison said.

In response, Richardson said an email was sent out late before the meeting that might address these concerns in greater detail. 

Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services Anna Wu gave the UNC's semi-annual report. She said completed projects include interior renovations in Murray Hall, where there are now 3-D printers and sewing machines for students to use. 

Hooker Fields now has LED lights, and hopefully will be open for students by the end of the month, Wu said.

Renovations still in progress include a new auditorium in Hill Hall that will seat 440 people and a surgical tower for the UNC Hospitals System that will replace 19 operating rooms.


At the beginning of the meeting, the local chapter of the National Society for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) accepted a proclamation for Constitution Week, celebrated September 17-23. 


"I am really excited for the greenway space to become an amenity," said Mayor Pam Hemminger, when discussing the developments at the Ephesus-Fordham district.

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