Council Meeting Summary
The Chapel Hill Town Council met Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Chapel Hill Town Hall to consider an agenda that included the following highlights. The full agenda and video access available at http://bit.ly/2B8HZJk.
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Construction of Homestead Road Sidewalk Project
The Town Council authorized the Town Manager to enter into a municipal agreement with NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to accept federal Surface Transportation Block grant funds for the Homestead Road construction project. The project consists of the construction of sidewalks, bike lanes and multi-use paths on Homestead Road from east of Seawell School Road to Weaver Dairy Road Extension in Chapel Hill. The total estimated cost of the project is $1.3 million. NCDOT will reimburse 80 percent of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $1.04 million. The Town will have three years to complete all work outlined in the agreement. Construction is tentatively planned to begin in summer 2019. For more information on projects to improve connectivity and safety, see http://www.townofchapelhill.org/gettingaround
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) Study Areas as Part of Charting Our Future
The Council discussed visioning exercises for the Charting Our Future land use initiative. The Council asked the Town Manager to work with the affected governmental partners and to return to Council with options for incorporation of one or both of the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) Study Areas discussed (the area north of I-40 and the Southern ETJ Study Area). A public meeting will be held prior to moving forward with speaking to other governmental stakeholders, including background about the origin of the urban service boundaries in the subject area, as well as the Town parcel and the uses for the area. Comments received from the public meeting will be brought back to Council to consider next steps. The Council postponed consideration of the land use for the ETJ Study Area north of I-40. More information on Charting Our Future can be found at http://chartingourfuture.info.
Chapel Hill Youth Initiative Update
The Council received the Youth Initiative Report, focusing on community members in the 6th through 12th grades. The report gathered and analyzed data on youth via 14 focus groups with 180 youth in fall 2018. A diverse group of youth was included with a focus on minority populations.
The Town of Chapel Hill’s mission of “learning, serving, and working together to build a community where people thrive” drives the Town’s efforts over the years to engage youth. Our youth contribute to making Chapel Hill a thriving community. By learning about their everyday experiences and how to best serve their needs, the Town hopes to continue making strides in more fully and authentically engaging youth in the community.
Orange County Food Council
The Council authorized the Mayor to execute a memorandum of understanding, job description for the Food Council Coordinator, and work plan for Orange County Food Council. The Orange County Food Council is a coalition of community members committed to building a healthy food system for all Orange County. The coalition includes representatives from local government, educational institutions, and food-related agencies, as well as individual consumers, food producers, providers and entrepreneurs. The Council requested that a seat be designated for a food access representative on the board. Learn more at https://orangecountyfoodcouncil.wordpress.com/
I-40/NC 86 Interchange Design
The Council discussed the I-40/NC 86 design options. The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is in the design stages of a project that would widen I-40 from the I-85/I-40 split near Hillsborough to the Durham County line near 15-501. One component of the project is a redesign of the I-40/NC 86 interchange and surrounding roads. NCDOT has proposed several designs for modifying Eubanks Road. The NCDOT project website is at http://bit.ly/2ThmWLG
The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board received a presentation on the concerns of Northwood residents and the staff’s observations at its Jan. 22 meeting. The board approved a statement opposing the design shown on Map 4A and recommended that plans for the project follow several principles, including minimizing impacts on surrounding neighborhoods. The Council agreed in its opposition to Map 4A.
Independent Senior Housing at 2217 Homestead Road
The Council considered development applications for an independent senior housing project at 2217 Homestead Road. After much discussion, the Council decided to continue the public hearing to the February 13 Council meeting to allow the applicant to supply additional details.
The proposed project is a 198-unit residential apartment development restricted to tenants over the age of 55. The multi-family residential development is proposed for 17 acres located south of Homestead Road. The project proposes 240,000 square feet of floor area, 280 vehicular parking spaces, and 38 bicycle parking spaces. Affordable housing negotiations are continuing with the Town Manager and details will be provided prior to the Council’s consideration. For more information on the project, see the Development Activity Report at http://bit.ly/2FT0GEL.