Summary of Council Meeting
The Chapel Hill Town Council met Wednesday, Jan. 16, and considered an agenda that included the following highlights. The full agenda and online video are available at https://bit.ly/2RSFHaY or by contacting Communications and Public Affairs at 919-968-2743 or email@example.com.
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“Jefferson Davis Highway” Marker
The Council approved a petition from Mayor Hemminger that authorizes the Town Attorney to reach out to the NC Attorney General for an opinion on who has authority over the property location of the “Jefferson Davis Highway” marker on Franklin Street and whether the marker can be removed. According to the NC Department of Transportation, Franklin Street is a state-maintained road.
Varsity Theatre Task Force
The Council appointed to the Varsity Theatre Task Force two additional members, Kathy Atwater and Xilong Zhao. The purpose of the task force is to consider the possible use of the Varsity Theatre at 123 E. Franklin St. as a community performing arts center. More at https://www.townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/government/boards-commissions
Active Adult Development Applications
The Council continued the public hearings to Jan. 30 for the proposed Active Adult Housing development at 2217 Homestead Road.
Cooperative Agreement with GoTriangle
The Council completed the review and revision process on the agreement that outlines how the two organizations will work together efficiently during the remaining design and construction of the Durham-Orange Light Rail line. The signed agreement will guide cooperation on the project moving forward. https://bit.ly/2CiTsWs
UNC Health Care Eastowne Master Plan Project
UNC Health Care has outlined a proposed process and timeline for its master planning process for Eastowne. The Council received a document that identifies regular updates to Town Council, and opportunities for the Council, advisory boards, and community to provide input into the process. The proposed 18-month timeline includes opportunity for public meetings and Council meetings during the phases of the project. The Council discussed with UNC Heath Care these options for future development proposals. Staff anticipate returning with recommendations for a process at the Feb. 20 Council meeting.
North South Bus Rapid Transit
The Council adopted an update to the Locally Preferred Alternative for the corridor between North Street and Eubanks Road along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, to construct a dedicated curb lane between Estes Drive and Eubanks Road, and to further evaluate converting a dedicated curb lane or constructing a dedicated curb lane from North Street to Estes Drive, during the environmental portion of the project. The North-South Bus Rapid Transit (NSBRT) project calls for improved transit service on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. More at https://nsbrt.org
Charting Our Future
The Council provided feedback on the proposed future land uses for each Focus Area on the Future Land Use Map. At its Jan. 9 work session, Council participated in an activity to consider which components of density, intensity and character should be included for each Focus Area, which are North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, North 15-501, Downtown, NC 54, and South 15-501.
Electric Scooter Update
The Council provided input to Town staff after receiving information about statewide trends in electric scooters. At this time, the Town of Chapel Hill, in coordination with UNC-Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro, is not allowing electric scooter share companies to operate in the community. The Council had significant safety concerns. The Town will continue to seek community input. The Council is also anticipating that the state Legislature may take action in the current session this spring to define electric scooters and establish the scope of local authority to enact regulations governing their use. Collaboration among UNC-Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro is considered essential to the ongoing review process and to the enactment of local standards. The Council received a summary of the actions taken by other municipalities who have also had electric scooters distributed in their jurisdiction without prior authorization. On Aug. 23-24, 2018, Bird distributed 90 electric scooters at locations around the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Bird removed the scooters on Aug. 24, 2018, after UNC and Town representatives requested the removal.
Amity Station Development Agreement Update
The Council authorized the Town Manager to work with the Amity Station Council Subcommittee to proceed with development agreement negotiations. Since the summer of 2018, the Amity Station Council Subcommittee has met three times to review several possible development scenarios proposed by the applicant team. After reviewing and discussing the possible scenarios, the Council Subcommittee proposed proceeding with the development agreement negotiations. More at https://bit.ly/2D81NOm