The Chapel Hill Town Council moved forward with two affordable housing projects during their Jan. 12 meeting.
A proposed affordable housing site on Trinity Court — just south of Umstead Park — would provide 54 apartments for those making between 30 and 80 percent of the median Chapel Hill income. Trinity Court’s existing buildings, which include 40 affordable housing units, were abandoned in 2017 and 2018.
The project would cost $9.3 million.
A second proposed affordable housing complex on Jay Street would yield 48 residential units. Members of the public expressed concerns during the meeting over road width and pedestrian safety in the Jay Street area, citing a Chapel Hill traffic study that determined the development would cause more cars to travel on the surrounding streets.
The study found that if the Jay Street apartments were built, there would be 254 more vehicle trips on the adjacent streets each day.
“I expect the increased traffic from the Jay Street apartments to profoundly affect the ability of people who live on these Village West streets to be able to get out onto Village Drive to go anywhere,” a long-time resident of the nearby Village West said in the meeting.
Chapel Hill Town Council member Adam Searing said he also had concerns about the Jay Street development and said that it should continue to be used as green space. Searing was the sole vote against the Jay Street development.
“I’ve looked at both of these projects and thought about them for quite a while, and I really do support Trinity Court moving forward ... but the Jay Street project I have some pretty serious questions about,” Searing said in the meeting. “I originally started by supporting this project, and as I learn more and more about it, I think we’re really making a mistake.”
The council approved both resolutions and provided site control to the developers of the sites, allowing them to apply for tax credit programs that would aid the cost of the projects.