After Duke Forest acquired 27 acres of land off Eubanks Road and stopped plans for development in November, officials in Carrboro said creating a comprehensive plan for development is a high priority.
Trish McGuire, planning director for the Town of Carrboro, said the Town approached eligible property owners for a design workshop in 2011 about possible development projects, including the Eubanks Road site. According to the workshop report released by the Town of Carrboro in 2012, there was a plan to develop housing and commercial space on the land. However, due to concerns about environmental effects, this site will now be preserved as part of Duke Forest.
“We are excited to add this acreage to the Duke Forest’s Blackwood Division, which is critical to our research mission,” Duke Forest officials said in a statement. “The Blackwood Division has long been an important national and international destination for studies related to climate change, atmospheric chemistry, ecosystem health and more.”
Duke Today, a publication written by faculty and staff at Duke University, explained that the planned development would have interfered with long-term research being conducted near the site, and it would have prevented the installation of a major piece of equipment that measures atmospheric carbon molecules and other greenhouse gases.
Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said balancing environmental concerns with plans for development is always a concern.