Town Holiday Jan. 20. Most municipal offices will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Chapel Hill Public Library will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Chapel Hill Transit will operate on a Saturday schedule. Residential trash will not be collected (make-up day Wednesday, Jan. 22). Read More

Chapel Hill eNews

Post Date:04/12/2019 8:00 AM



In This Issue

Autism Awareness Evening - TOWNweek - Art Gallery, Puppet Shows Pop Up Downtown - Traffic and Transit Impacts: Tar Heel 10 Miler - Council Recap for Wednesday Meeting - Plastic-Free Egg-stravaganza - Spring Holiday Service Schedule - Town Receives Excellence in Communications Recognition - Spring Shred-A-Thons April 25 and 27 - Changes to Sidewalk Dining Ordinance - We Can End Homelessness in Orange County - Near & Far Festival Celebrates Diversity - Saturday FG, T and V Routes Detoured April 13 - Safe Rides End April 27 - Town In News



Autism Awareness Evening 

6-8 p.m. Friday, April 12
Morehead Planetarium

This will be Morehead's debut sensory friendly event and will include a variety of activities that engage the audience. Each ticket includes a sensory adapted show in the theatre, a live performance at the Science Stage, and a hands on activities with Oobleck! 

There will be designated quiet spaces throughout the planetarium where anyone is welcome to take a break if needed. There will also be staff, trained by UNC TEACCH, to help transitions run smoothly and guide guests to the cool down spaces. 

Tickets are available online:






Art Gallery, Puppet Shows Pop Up Downtown

For four days, a vacant space in downtown Chapel Hill will be transformed into an art gallery and puppet theater for area residents and arts lovers to enjoy.  Tarish Pipkins, also known as the master puppeteer Jeghetto, will take over 109 E. Franklin Street from Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14 with a display of his work and a variety of puppet shows.  This event is a collaboration between the artist, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

Pipkins, a self-taught artist and Chapel Hill resident, is well-known for his work in a variety of visual art media, including murals, paintings and video.  He is perhaps most known for his puppetry, an art form that he has taken to a new level and brought to new audiences.  His puppets include famous figures ranging from Amy Winehouse to Frederick Douglass to Durham rap artist G. Yamazawa. Pipkins has performed extensively and in a wide variety of venues, including the National Folk Festival and the New Orleans Jazz Festival.  He frequently teaches workshops throughout the country to inspire the next generation of puppet artists. 

At the Pop Up Gallery, a variety of his puppets and other art works will be on display.  The community is invited to come see the art and stay to see the artistry of a Jeghetto’s puppet mastery. There are shows on Friday and Saturday that appeal to all ages and shows on Saturday and Sunday that are geared toward children. 

Pipkins says that opportunities like this give him the chance to show off his work, new and old, to the community he calls home.  He notes, “ I am asked to take my art to places all over the country, so I am thrilled have the chance to let Chapel Hill see what I’ve been up to recently.”  Pipkins says he will have a variety of pieces on display and that people that only know him for his puppets will be able to see the breadth of his work in other forms as well. 

Susan Brown, Executive Director for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says that this is part of a series of pop-up arts experiences designed to meet an un-met need for more arts events in downtown Chapel Hill, despite a lack of dedicated arts space.  “This series allows us to show off a great local artist, activate a vacant space, and create an engaging arts experience downtown.”  The event also coincides with UNC Arts Everywhere, an initiative to activate campus and campus-adjacent spaces with arts.

The hours for the Pop Up Gallery and each day’s puppet shows are:

  • Friday, April 12 from 6-9 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. Puppet Show
  • Saturday, April 13 from 2:30-8 p.m. with a 3:30 p.m. Children’s Show and a 6:30 p.m. Puppet Show
  • Sunday, April 14 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with an 11:30 a.m. Children’s Puppet Show




Traffic and Transit Impacts: Tar Heel 10 Miler

Expect road closures and traffic detours when more than 6,000 runners come to downtown Chapel Hill on Saturday, April 13, for the Tar Heel 10 Miler and Fleet Feet Sports 4 Mile Run.

The Tar Heel 10 Miler is a rain or shine event. For weather-related information about the race, visit and follow @tarheel10miler on Twitter.

People who drive are advised to seek alternate routes to avoid delays between 6 and 10 a.m. The Chapel Hill Police Department, along with other area police agencies, will have officers stationed at various intersections to ensure public safety and guide people who drive. Please see the course map for impacted routes.

The roadways will clear and normal traffic is expected to resume by 10 a.m. For more information, including a course map, visit


For more information, contact




Council Recap for Wednesday Meeting  

The Chapel Hill Town Council met Wednesday, April 10, at Chapel Hill Town Hall to consider an agenda that included the following highlights. The full agenda and video access is available at

View Council meetings live at the link above – and on Chapel Hill Gov-TV ( Council meeting summaries are issued from the Communications and Public Affairs Department. To sign up to receive these by email, please send a request to


Sidewalk Dining Text Amendment

The Council approved a text amendment to the Town Code to make outdoor dining easier for restaurants. The change responds to concerns expressed by restaurant owners who voiced their concerns about the permit application process and guidelines. Town staff piloted a new permit application with multiple Downtown restaurants, and their experience was used to adjust the changes. Find changes to the ordinance at


Development Applications for Independent Senior Housing

The Council approved development applications for a 198-unit, age-restricted multi-family residential development on 17.1 acres located south of Homestead Road. Special terms and conditions require the developer to provide a minimum of 20 units for households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). These affordable units will comprise 12 one-bedroom units and 8 two-bedroom units. The developer is also required to make road improvements, including the widening of Homestead Road along the length of side frontage to provide a three-lane cross-section with five-foot wide bicycle lanes. Also required are a new bus shelter, electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle parking, a greenway connection, a sidewalk, and crosswalks. Construction is expected to begin in April 2021.


Public Housing Master Plan

Council received an overview of and provided feedback on the Public Housing Master Plan. Chapel Hill uses the plan to better serve the 800+ people the Town serves today and to better prepare for those needing housing tomorrow. The Town is continually assessing its properties, evaluating its assets, and looking at various strategies available to meet the mission of providing safe, affordable housing to its residents.


Community Connections Strategy

The Council deferred review of the Community Connections Strategy to its next meeting on April 17. The Town is implementing a new strategy to advance the Council’s goal to create a vibrant and inclusive community by enriching the lives of those who work, live and visit Chapel Hill by building community and creating a place for everyone. The updated strategy has two main objectives:

  • Increase the diversity of residents engaged in Town processes and programs to fully reflect the composition of the community, with particular focus on engaging populations that have been historically disengaged or disconnected from the Town.
  • Deepen the Town’s connections and engagement with organizations, groups, and populations that historically have been disengaged or disconnected from the Town.





Plastic-Free Egg-stravaganza

On Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 4 p.m., Chapel Hill kids and families are invited to 140 West Plaza to be a part of the first ever Downtown Plastic-free Egg-stravaganza. This new event takes all of the fun of an annual egg hunt, adds STEAM activities, subtracts the plastic, and moves the whole thing downtown.

The Egg-stravaganza will transform an urban space into a spring garden, and will feature egg hunts starting every 15-20 minutes. The egg hunts will employ reusable wooden eggs, painted by UNC Art students. Kids between the ages of 2 and 8 will take turns hunting for the eggs in the plaza. Participants are asked to bring their own baskets. At the end of each hunt, egg hunters can swap their eggs for sweet treats and then enjoy a variety of egg-themed STEAM activities, games, arts and crafts.

Community partners for those activities include Kidzu Children’s Museum and The Scrap Exchange. Southern States Cooperative is providing a variety of plants, flowers, and greenery to transform the space. Chapel Hill Public Library’s Circulator will provide egg-themed stories and more.

The Egg-stravaganza was born out of several community interests, including creating family-friendly events downtown, activating 140 West Plaza, and environmental sustainability. Susan Brown, Executive Director for Community Arts & Culture, notes, “We are trying out some new ideas, new locations, and new partners for community celebrations. We are also working to align our events with community values and a plastic-free egg hunt is an example of that work.” This plastic free event follows on the heels of the Town’s “Skip the Straw” month in March.

Bringing the event to 140 West serves as a way to bring a variety of community members to downtown, including families and kids. Matt Gladdek, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, says that the organization is pleased to be a part of this event. “Anytime we can show off our downtown places and spaces to our community, we take that opportunity.” Gladdek is working with downtown merchants and restaurants to offer special deals for Egg-stravaganza participants.

Parking is free on Sundays in downtown Chapel Hill. For more information and a map of all downtown parking visit For more information about the Plastic-free Egg-stravaganza, visit

The Plastic-free Eggstravaganza isn't the only game in Town. Our partners at Parks and Recreation are hosting Egg Splashan egg hunt at the Aquatics Center, and an Egg-ceptional Egg Hunt for with kids with different abilities/special needs/disabilities and their siblings & friends.

Download a flyer




Spring Holiday Service Schedule

Most municipal offices will be closed Friday, April 19.

RESIDENTIAL TRASH collection will not be affected. Yard waste will not be collected Friday, April 19 (no make-up collection).

CURBSIDE RECYCLINGwill not be affected.

COMMERCIAL TRASHwill not be collected Friday, April 19. Friday’s trash will be collected before the end of the week.


CHAPEL HILL PUBLIC LIBRARY will be closed Sunday, April 21.

CHAPEL HILL TRANSIT will operate on Saturday schedules on Friday. The CM, CW, D, FG, JN, T and V routes and 420 GoTriangle Hillsborough Express will operate. The U, NU and Safe Rides will not operate. On Saturday, April 20, U, NU and Safe Rides will not operate. EZ Rider will operate from 8:15 a.m.-6:52 p.m.

HOUSING: Office and Maintenance Division will be closed. For emergency maintenance services, call 919-968-2855.

PARKS AND RECREATION: The Plant Road office will be closed. Call facilities for schedules: Chapel Hill Community Center (919-968-2790); Hargraves Recreation Center (919-968-2794); Homestead Aquatics Center (919-968-2799); The Corner Teen Center (919-968-2841).

For more information about Town holidays, visit



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Town Receives Excellence in Communications Recognition

DURHAM, NC – The Town of Chapel Hill was among North Carolina governments to earn recognition in the 12th Annual NC City & County Communicators (NC3C) Excellence in Communications Awards.

The awards were presented Thursday, April 11, at NC3C’s annual spring conference held in the Durham Convention Center. NC3C received a record 248 contest entries. Judging was conducted by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO).

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Communications and Public Affairs Department won three first place awards:

  • First Place for Social Media: Best Campaign Use of Social Media - Recurring Events

    Cabin fever kicks in quickly when people are told it’s unsafe to travel. They want to know the condition of roadways and what’s happening out there. Chapel Hill proves that photos and videos are among your most important messages during emergencies. Yes, seeing is believing!

  • First Place for TV, Video & Streaming: One Time Special Programming We all have outstanding employees that put a human face on government services. We can’t all have Anita Hackett, a mechanic for Chapel Hill Transit. She shines in this video. In her words: “If it’s manmade, a woman can fix it.”  View the video:

  • First Place for Printed Publications: Employee Newsletter TOWNtalk, the monthly internal newsletter for Town of Chapel Hill, strives to engage, motivate and inspire more than 700 employees from across the organization. When we share information with and from employees across all departments, we help create a unified employee community. Our issues highlight the core RESPECT values that connect and motivate us.

The purpose of NC3C is to encourage professional development and networking among communications professionals in local governments. More at




Spring Shred-A-Thons April 25 and 27

This spring, the schedule for the free, semi-annual Orange County Shred-A-Thons for confidential paper will be changing slightly. On Thursday, April 25, the event will be held at the recycling center in Hillsborough, behind Home Depot at the Hampton Pointe Shopping Center. 

On Saturday, April 27, the Shred-A-Thon will be held at the Eubanks Road Park and Ride Lot in Chapel Hill, about one-half mile from the intersection with Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.  The Chapel Hill event will be “drive-through” this time (it has been "walk-up" in the recent past).  Residents drive up to the shredding point and staff will help them unload and shred. 

Both Shred-a-thons will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to residents and small business in Orange County and the part of Chapel Hill in Durham County as well as employees of the Towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough and Orange County government.  There is a four box or bag limit per household or business.  Keep out any plastics, metal or other non-paper materials.  Your plastic bags and cardboard boxes will be returned to you for separate recycling. The paper is recycled into paper toweling and toilet tissue in North Carolina.

The Chapel Hill is event is co-conducted with the Chapel Hill Police Department.  The Hillsborough event is assisted by other local law enforcement.  Orange County seeks two or three additional volunteers for each event call 919 968-2788 or email: to volunteer.




Changes to Sidewalk Dining Ordinance

Just in time for summer, the Town has revised its Sidewalk Dining ordinance to make outdoor dining easier for restaurants.

What is sidewalk dining?

Sidewalk dining refers to when a restaurant places furnishings in the public right of away (sidewalk) immediately adjacent to their building for the purpose of actively serving patrons. Dining activities on private property are not governed by this part of the Town Code.

Why were changes made to the Town Code and permit application?

  • Make permit application process easier
  • Align the Town Code with new State guidelines that focus on safety versus aesthetics
  • Promote sidewalk dining to foster the vibrancy of public spaces


What are the major changes?

All changes to the ordinance can be found at Below is a summary of the major adjustments:

  • Removing zoning restrictions - now any approved restaurant that abuts a public right of way (sidewalk) can apply for a sidewalk dining permit
  • Reducing the minimum distance from intersections, curbs, and permanent objects of sidewalk dining furnishings to 5 feet - this increases the available space for sidewalk dining activities
  • Removing restrictions around furnishing size and type - furnishings must now only meet Chapter 8 of the Building Code (the same as any other furnishings)
  • Removing the requirement to bring in furnishings by midnight each night - furnishings may now be left out except during Town-declared special events or adverse weather
  • The Town Manager has more authority to grant variances
  • A penalty and appeals process is now outlined within the ordinance (Section 17-89)


Helpful reminders about sidewalk dining:

  • Sidewalk dining furnishings must be kept a minimum of 6 feet from a vehicle travel lane and leave 5 feet clear sidewalk space for pedestrians.
  • Sidewalk dining furnishings no longer have to be removed by midnight each evening.
  • The Town will notify restaurants when furnishings must be removed due to special events, construction, or adverse weather.


What’s next for sidewalk dining?

The Town will be revising the Sidewalk Dining Permit Application slightly to match the new ordinance. The current application can be used until a new one is complete and can be found at




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We Can End Homelessness in Orange County

Join us for Homelessness 101 and Homelessness 201 to learn more. Both presentations will be 3:30-5 p.m. in the theater at the Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Rd in Chapel Hill. Please find a flyer about both presentations attached.

The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness is a coalition that comprises service providers, local governments, and community members who work together to coordinate funding and bring best practices to the work of ending homelessness. It is funded jointly by the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough; and Orange County. For more information, visit

Download a flyer.




Near & Far Festival Celebrates Diversity

People from all around the world call Chapel Hill home – some for four years, some for a lifetime.  With its newest festival, the Town of Chapel Hill, together with a variety of campus and community partners, celebrates the global diversity that makes our local community so vibrant.  The second annual Near & Far Festival will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at 140 West Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill and includes music, dance, and cultural traditions from around the globe.

Planned as a “local celebration of global cultures,” Near & Far features stage performances, street performers, interactive cultural booths, and international foods.  The stage performances include traditional Latin American dances from Huepa Culture, Congolese percussion from The Sound of Drums, and traditional regional music from the Carolina Bluegrass Band.  In between stage performances, there will be a variety of street performers to keep things festive and free-spirited – from Capoeira exhibitions to Chinese dancers and more.  In addition to these performances, there will be interactive cultural exhibits where festival-goers can learn something new about their community and the world.  These booths will feature crafts, games, and other traditions, including Ukranian charm dolls, Native American deerskin painting, and more.

Susan Brown, Executive Director for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says that this event ties directly to the mission of the new division within the Town, which is to “Inspire creativity and celebrate community for a better Chapel Hill.”  She also notes, “Our values are inclusion, experience, and understanding, all of which are at the heart of the Near & Far Festival.”  Now in its second year, the free and family-friendly event also aims to bring people to downtown Chapel Hill. Matt Gladdek, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, says that events like Near & Far are responsive to what the community wants to see in its downtown, noting “Activating downtown spaces with international music, dance, and activities for all ages shows off what downtown has to offer and that it is place for all.”

Parking is free in Sundays in all public lots and decks in downtown Chapel Hill.  For more information about parking, visit For event details, including performers, exhibitors and food vendors visit




Saturday FG, T and V Routes Detoured April 13

The Chapel Hill Transit Saturday FG, T and V routes will be detoured on April 13, 2019, due to the annual Tar Heel 10 Miler.


FG Route

The FG route will be detoured from 8:50 a.m. through 10 a.m. along Fordham Boulevard, right on Manning Drive, right on South Columbia Street, right on South Road and left on Raleigh Street to continue the normal route. 

The westbound bus stops on Raleigh Road from Greenwood Road to Country Club Road and on South Road from Country Club Road to Raleigh Street will not be served during these times. Customers may board the detoured bus at the alternate bus stops at the Glen Lennox Shopping Center and on Raleigh Street.


Saturday T Route

The Saturday T route will not serve Franklin Street (Varsity) and Hillsborough Street from 8:15 a.m. through 9:13 a.m. and will be detoured along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to South Columbia Street. 


Saturday V Route

The Saturday V route will be detoured along Fordham Boulevard and will not serve South Road, South Columbia Street and Franklin Street from 8:45 a.m. through 10:14 a.m.

While every attempt will be made to maintain normal schedules, Chapel Hill Transit is advising customers to allow extra travel time and expect minor delays. The detour and any delays will also impact Next­Bus predictions for the route.


For more information on the Tar Heel 10 Miler, visit

Chapel Hill Transit is the public transportation provider that serves Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For complete information about Chapel Hill Transit services, schedules, route changes or directions to the nearest Chapel Hill Transit stop, visit us at, email or call a customer service representative at 919-485-7433.




Safe Rides End April 27

Safe Rides will not operate during the UNC summer break. The last day of service is Saturday, April 27, 2019.

Safe Ride is a service funded by the UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government for the safety of students. For information on routes and schedules, visit




Town In News

Town in News – TIN Report – is a sampling of news media coverage about the Town of Chapel Hill compiled by the Communications and Public Affairs Department. This listing includes articles and columns that are available on the web, and may not necessarily contain all stories in the print edition of the papers or on televised broadcasts.

Links access online stories that are posted for a limited time. Some media organizations require registration or a subscription.

For information, contact us at


What affordable housing could look like in Chapel Hill thanks to this new funding (The Daily Tar Heel)

The Town of Chapel Hill approved $450,000 for three additional affordable housing projects at the end of March. Read more:


Developer offers a taste of what Carraway Village is bringing to Chapel Hill (The News & Observer)

As people pass through northern Chapel Hill over the next year, they’ll find more options for lunch, coffee and shopping at the Carraway Village community growing on Eubanks Road. Read more:


Ominous green cloud towers over town as storm stirs up rare pollen haboob (AccuWeather)

A wall of pollen preceded a severe storm, and it resembled a dramatic weather phenomenon more common in the deserts of the southwestern United States. Read more:


Downtown Chapel Hill Hosting ‘Plastic-Free Eggstravaganza’ (WCHL)

This upcoming Sunday, April 14, families and their children are invited to come downtown Chapel Hill — 140 West Plaza, to be exact — for the inaugural Downtown Plastic-Free Eggstravaganza! Read more:


Will there be regulations on Airbnbs in the near future? (The Daily Tar Heel)

There are about 290 active short-term rentals from Airbnb and HomeAway in Chapel Hill, 185 of which, or about 63 percent, consist of the entire home. Read more:


Storefronts shattered at Sup Dogs and former Tama Tea location (The Daily Tar Heel)

The storefronts of Sup Dogs and what was Tama Tea have been shattered. Read more:


Chapel Hill’s 1st 55-plus apartments get council approval. Pickleball and dog park next? (The News & Observer)

The town’s first apartments for adults age 55 and up were approved Wednesday for a site near the Seymour Senior Center and UNC’s Carolina North trail on Homestead Road. Read more:





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