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Carrboro Town Council approves modifications to stormwater plan, conditional rezoning

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A storm drain on the UNC campus.

During their meeting Tuesday night, the Carrboro Town Council discussed stormwater management within neighborhoods and conditional rezoning for property at 1307 W. Main St. 

What's new?

  • Randy Dodd, the Town’s stormwater utility manager, gave a presentation for modifications to the Stormwater Utility Rate Structure plan, which determines annual service charges for Carrboro’s stormwater program.
  • He requested a rate amendment to fund the recently developed Watershed Restoration Residential Assistance Program. The program is designed to support stormwater infrastructure.
    • The rate amendment would also provide funding to hire a new stormwater assistance coordinator, he said.
  • Community member April Mills said the tax increases from the rate amendment should not go toward paying a salary and, instead, be used for remediation for stormwater damage. 
  • Community member Solomon Hoffman said he supports the Town’s increased investment in stormwater management and modifying the rate structure to assist homeowners. However, he said the residential assistance program may not be beneficial or accessible for homeowners facing flooding issues.
    • Since only a small amount of Toms Creek is actually on his property, he said, he is not able to initiate stormwater efforts such as streambank stabilization along the creek to reduce erosion. 
    • He said he is hopeful residents along the creek would consider stormwater management efforts, but it is still a notable investment for them, and that not all residents experience the same flooding issues.
    • “We wish that the Town could take more full responsibility for the cost of streambank stabilization — with the consent of the landowners — so that we aren’t relying on our neighbors to make significant investments that they wouldn’t have much incentive to do,” he said.
  • Tina Moon, the Town's planning administrator, gave a presentation for a text amendment to the Land Use Ordinance. The amendment requests an increase in maximum height of buildings in the R2 residential district to 65 feet.
  • She also proposed an amendment to the zoning classification of property located at 1307 W. Main St. Under the amendment, the property would be moved from the B3 neighborhood business district to the R2 district.
    • The proposed rezoning for the property would include greater parking spaces, proximity to transit and more open space.
    • “For Carrboro to meet its climate goals and its sustainability goals, it has to get a little bolder and more dense,” Jim Spencer, a local business owner, said. “There’s a need for a lot of housing in this town, and to have housing that is quality, construction, and a local team that understands the area and complies with a lot of these goals of the comprehensive plan.”
  • Community member Diane Robertson said residents of Carrboro are concerned about the new vision that is being presented by the amendment. 
    • “The shipping container architecture that has taken over this area, one block after another, undermines the total understanding of the vernacular architecture that this community was built around,” she said.

What decisions were made?

  • The council voted unanimously to pass the modifications to the Stormwater Utility Rate Structure plan.
  • The council voted 5-1 to approve the land use ordinance text amendment and the conditional rezoning of the property at 1307 W. Main St. Council member Randee Haven-O’Donnell voted against both. 
    • She said there hasn't been a conversation about human scale in relation to the size of buildings in the community.

What’s next?

  • The council will hold its next regular meeting on March 5 at 7 p.m.

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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