The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday March 28th

Town Talk

Land use ordinance struggles persist at Carrboro meeting

The long process of changing the current Carrboro land use ordinance continues.

A public hearing was held Tuesday at the Carrboro Board of Aldermen meeting to discuss changes proposed by town staff to introduce a site-specific, flexible zoning district in northern Carrboro.

This rezoning process would differ from the current conditional or special use permit requirement by requiring applicants to undergo a site specific study with public input before applying, and would encourage commercial and residential, mixed-use development.

This ongoing process for amending the current land use ordinance started several years ago, and although town staff have proposed amendments, the board moved to send them back to revise, taking into consideration the comments from the public, the board and the advisory boards.

The board and the Northern Transition Area Advisory Committee (NTAAC) expressed concern about the lack of clarity and specificity of the proposed amendments.

“If it's too confusing to understand what the purpose is, then it’s too confusing, and I’m not comfortable passing it,” said board member Jacquelyn Gist.

Tina Moon, planning administrator for the Planning, Zoning and Inspections of Carrboro, said the amendments would allow for mixed-use development opportunities in the Northern Study Area.

“There does seem to be the opportunity for input,” she said regarding the concern for more public input in the process of development.

Despite the claim for necessitated public input, the NTAAC is concerned about the lack of protection of the public’s rights to assert their concerns about development.

“I don’t think we are confused about the ordinance," said Jay Bryan, member of NTACC.  "We see it as a radical departure from your normal approach.”

Michael Brough, the Carrboro town attorney, said the ordinance is a work in progress.

“There are certainly refinements we could make to this ordinance," said Carrboro Town Attorney Michael Brough.  

Omar Zinn, of Zinn Design and Build, has been a part of this process with the board of Aldermen since the beginning.

“Feels like we still have some good meetings ahead of us,” he said.


The Board of Aldermen also discussed new parking proposals for downtown Carrboro.


"When a lot of people are confused about something, something ain't right," said Gist. 


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