Council Summary from Wednesday Meeting
The Chapel Hill Town Council met at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 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/2GzEaRI.
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Initial Budget Public Forum
Business Management Director Amy Oland presented an overview of considerations for development of the 2019-20 Town Budget. Through the Town's annual budget process, the Town Council makes decisions on the level and types of services provided to residents with local, state and federal funds. Adoption of a budget determines the level of resources available for Town services over the coming budget year. The budget process is one of the most important functions and responsibilities of the Council. It is also a key opportunity for residents’ participation in Town government. Additional public forums and hearings on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. on March 20 and May 8. The final budget is scheduled for adoption on June 12.
Update on Building Integrated Communities Action Plan
The Council received an update on the Building Integrated Communities (BIC) initiative and associated action plan. BIC is a multi-year planning process that helps North Carolina local governments successfully engage with immigrant and refugee residents to improve relationships, enhance communication, and promote civic participation and leadership in local government. As a result of working with BIC, local governments and diverse community stakeholders gain tools and build capacity to generate locally relevant strategies for promoting economic development and strengthening educational advancement. The BIC project aligns with the Town's goals of making Chapel Hill a Place for Everyone. Learn more at http://bit.ly/2tvMjOv.
Update on the Rogers Road Zoning
The Council was informed and provided feedback on a project to create new zoning standards for the Historic Rogers Road Area (in partnership with Carrboro). This area of northwest Chapel Hill and northern Carrboro extends from Homestead Road to Eubanks Road. It is a legacy community originating from black-owned family farms and sawmills with settlement dating back to the 1700s. This effort is designed to reflect the interests of residents and implement the recommendations of “Rogers Road: Mapping Our Community’s Future.”
Greene Tract Resolution
The Green Tract is a 164-acre parcel of which 104 acres is jointly owned by Orange County and the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Orange County owns 60 acres of the property that have been designated as the Headwaters Preserve. Over the past two years, mayors from Carrboro and Chapel Hill along with the chair of the Board of Orange County Commissioners have met to consider preservation and development options. The Council agreed to combine the land and solicit input from the public while exploring options for possible future development and preservation.
UNC Health Care Eastowne Development
The Council entered into a Development Agreement process with UNC Health Care regarding its Eastowne Redevelopment project. A four-member subcommittee of Council members will proceed with negotiations. The process will generally follow the schedule proposed by UNC Health Care (http://bit.ly/2XfZMYt) with an opportunity for the full Council to check in between phases two and three to confirm its interest in proceeding with negotiations.
UNC Health Care’s Eastowne Campus is on Highway 15-501 at the eastern gateway to Chapel Hill. Development agreements have generally been used to address large, complex, multi-year projects, and/or projects for which both the developer and the Town make infrastructure improvements and other investments. More at https://bit.ly/2EmNi9T
Update on the Peoples Academy
The Council received an update on the Town’s first resident academy, our inaugural five-week program in which participants learned about Town services and jobs, connected with Town leadership and neighbors, toured Town facilities, and built leadership and communication skills. There were 43 graduates. More at https://www.townofchapelhill.org/residents/chapel-hill-peoples-academy
Percent for Art Program
The Council adopted the 2018-19 Percent for Art Plan. This program provides that one percent of all appropriations for Capital Improvement Projects are directed to the Town’s Percent for Art Program. The purpose is to help define the community’s identity and sense of place, promote social interaction and discourse, bring arts into everyday life, and memorialize the past while expressing shared values for the future. Town staff reviews all capital projects during the annual budget development process and designates projects as eligible or ineligible. The plan is presented to Chapel Hill Cultural Arts Commission for review and then to Council for approval.