Council Meeting Highlights
The Chapel Hill Town Council met at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at Chapel Hill Town Hall to consider an agenda that includes the following highlights. The full agenda and video access is available at https://bit.ly/2Vx6drV
View Council meetings live at the link above – and on Chapel Hill Gov-TV (townofchapelhill.org/GovTV). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honoring Howard Lee
The Council honored former Chapel Hill Mayor Howard Lee and celebrated the 50th anniversary of his election as the first black mayor in Chapel Hill. In addition to presenting Mayor Lee with a proclamation during the meeting, a reception in his honor was held before the Council meeting. View the video Making History in Chapel Hill: https://youtu.be/UQxeNZUM19Y
Recommended Town Budget
The Council considered a recommended budget presented by Town Manager Maurice Jones.
Manager’s Recommended Budget Highlights:
- 3% of market pay adjustment for all regular employees effective July 1st
- 4.9% increase in the employee’s share of Health Insurance Premiums
- Comprehensive classification and compensation study $100,000
- Sworn police officer starting pay adjustments $200,000
- Orange County Living Wage increase ($12.75/hour with health benefits and $14.25/hour without health benefits)
- Property tax rate increase of 1.6 cents for the Debt Service Fund.
- Stormwater Management Fee increase of $2.82 per ERU
- Climate Action Plan $50,000
- Urban design services position $100,000
- Interim coal ash remediation efforts at the police station property $315,000
If a 1.6 cent tax increase is approved, a Chapel Hill taxpayer with a $300,000 home would pay a town tax rate of 54.4 cents per $100 in assessed value — an annual Town tax bill of $1,632 (an increase of $48 from the current year) — not including county and school district taxes.
The recommended budget includes a proposed 1.0 cent tax increase in the Debt Service Fund for affordable housing. This increase will fund the repayment of new debt in the form of voter-approved general obligation bonds following the overwhelming approval of the Affordable Housing Bond Referendum in November 2018. Over the next several years, the bonds will support several large-scale affordable housing projects including public housing redevelopment and development on Town-owned parcels.
The recommended budget includes a proposed 0.6 cent tax increase in the Debt Service Fund for capital improvements. This increase will generate the revenue necessary for the Town to continue meeting its existing debt obligations and create the needed borrowing capacity for planned capital investments, including a new Municipal Services Center.
The recommended budget includes a proposed $2.82 per ERU increase to the Stormwater Management fee associated with the debt service to issue the remaining $3.2 million general obligation bonds in FY 2019-20. The bonds will be used for the Lake Ellen Flood Storage project, Red Bud Flood Storage project and Booker Creek Road project. The new fee will increase the stormwater fees inside the town to $34.97 for each 1,000 square feet of impervious surface.
- Council will receive the Manager’s Recommended Budget at its May 1st meeting
- A public hearing on the budget will be held on May 8th
- Budget worksessions will be held May 15th and June 5th
- Council will consider adoption of the recommended budget on June 12th
Interlocal Agreement for Installation of Private Sewer Laterals
The Council authorized the Town Manager to sign an interlocal agreement among Orange County, Carrboro and Chapel Hill to complete the installation of sewer service to serve the Heritage Lots in the Historic Rogers Road neighborhood. Orange County Commissioners are considering the draft at their May 2 meeting, and Carrboro Aldermen will consider it at their May 7 meeting.
Approximately 62 of the Heritage Lots have dwelling units on them. Staff has estimated 16 households meeting low to moderate income levels will request connection to the newly installed sewer extension within Chapel Hill’s planning jurisdiction.
The agreement establishes a three-year funding period for connections. The County will reimburse 100 percent of the connections costs for eligible households during the first two years following sewer certification. During the third year, connections will be covered at 50 percent of the connection costs.
Charting Our Future
Charting Our Future is a two-phased process designed to chart the next course for the Town of Chapel Hill. The first phase refines the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) by focusing on the Town’s key gateways, corridor and activity nodes. The future land use designation for most of the Town, including much of the Town’s single-family neighborhoods, remains unchanged. The second phase will rewrite the Town’s Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO) with the overall goal of making the town’s land use tools and processes more predictable, functional, and intentional. On Wednesday night, the Council reviewed the blueprints for both NC 54 and South 15-501 Gateway/Southern Village Park and Ride, providing additional feedback on the blueprint for each focus area.
One Year Update on Conditional Zoning
The Council adopted a resolution to amend the administrative procedures to permit conditional zoning applications requiring a Land Use Plan amendment to be considered concurrently, rather than sequentially. Conditional zoning is rezoning with site specific conditions. It provides all the authority of a special use permit, plus allows more engagement with stakeholders.
Review of Traffic Data
The Council considered an overview of Town traffic data that will be integrated into a Townwide Traffic Model that is being developed. The overview compares public perceptions about traffic from the 2018 Community Survey results with traffic data from key routes/intersections around town. Town staff are incorporating traffic data into upcoming decision points for multi-modal and capital projects.