Wrong project for Chapel Hill
Regarding the news story “Planned apartments could replace one of Chapel Hill’s last affordable housing options” (THS, Dec. 18)
As former chair of the Northern Area Task Force (and former Planning Board chair), I would like to comment on the proposed Hanover development on Weaver Dairy Road on the site of the Lakeview Mobile Home Park.
This project will add an as yet unknown amount of impervious surface in the Booker Creek Watershed contributing to ongoing downstream flooding. Additionally, by adding over 800 parking spots it will contribute to a total of over 19,000 parking spaces both approved and in the pipeline for Chapel Hill!
Is anyone thinking about the resulting traffic congestion? Ten years ago, the Northern Area Task Force’s charge was focused on Transit Oriented Development, and this development does not respect that vision.
Redeveloping an affordable mobile-home park site as 258 market-rate apartments plus 45 affordable units priced at 80 percent of the AMI (Area Median Income) is shortsighted and disgraceful. Those affordable units represent only a net increase of 10 affordable units (over the 35 currently there) for a county in an affordability crisis!
The market-rate apartment sector is way over-capacity. Within walking distance, somewhere between 744 and 1,044 other market-rate units are either approved/ being built or are proposed! Additionally, mobile home dwellers (most of whom have children) don’t typically earn 80 percent of the AMI — will they be somehow spirited away? Alternatively, this parcel could provide mixed-income housing starting from 30 percent AMI to 110 percent and would then, at least, be providing something the town desperately needs.
Comprehensive planning should be about realizing that adding up proposed projects, approved projects, and projects completed in the past year totals 7,200 to over 8,000 new residential units, with fewer than 400 affordable units. Our infrastructure, transit capacity, traffic congestion and environment are already challenged. What will happen if we don’t plan properly?
This project should never see the light of day unless it scales down and is ALL affordable or provides a significant non-residential contribution to the economic needs of Chapel Hill.
Shutting off the supply
It puzzles me that the media is silent about the CIA drug trafficking. With our opioid deaths soaring around the country, the media focuses on treating victims rather than shutting off the supply.
There is a mountain of evidence that the CIA has been trafficking in drugs for decades. The huge proceeds from drug sales feeds its black budget. But every day our young people are dying of overdoses of drugs.
Isn’t it time to do something about it? Everyone should google “CIA Drug Trafficking”. Let’s stop the carnage!
Donald W. Stacey
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