Just west of Exit 266 on Interstate 40 sits 164 acres of land called the Greene Tract, purchased jointly by the governments of Orange County, Chapel Hill and Carrboro in 1984 for $608,000. In the 35 years since its purchase, the Greene Tract has seen no development.
Covering the Greene Tract is a blend of old hardwood forest and pine trees. Creeks run through the woods, making home for state-protected four-toed salamanders. To the southeast lies Chapel Hill, with Carrboro to the southwest. To the northwest, the Greene Tract borders the rural buffer, the thousands of acres in Orange County set aside to prevent urban sprawl.
Since the purchase, the governments have engaged in little substantive discussion about the land, 104 acres of which are jointly owned and 60 of which belong solely to Orange County. In 2002, the governments passed a resolution providing suggestions for land use, designating certain acres for preservation, housing and recreational sites.
On Jan. 29 at the Assembly of Governments meeting, where the governments of Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough annually convene, the three jurisdictions involved in the Greene Tract purchase discussed individually re-adopting a modified version of the 2002 resolution designations. On Feb. 12, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted to re-adopt the resolution.
Both the Board of Orange County Commissioners and the Chapel Hill Town Council plan to vote on the resolution at their respective meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. The re-adoption would designate 60 acres for preservation and suggest redistribution of the Green Tract acreage to account for potential development plans.