What are 33 families worth?
Thank you for Tammy Grubb’s in-depth and outstanding coverage of the impending housing crisis facing residents of the Lakeview Mobile Home Park in Chapel Hill.
Let’s consider some numbers:
This land is currently home to 33 low-income, mostly Latino, hard-working families.
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Where they live now, these residents can safely walk to two food stores, three pharmacies, medical and veterinary practices and banks, Piedmont Health Center, an Urgent Care and the high school, as well as being on the Chapel Hill bus lines.
The developer is “generously” offering a total of $75,000 to relocate these families.
Lakeview Mobile Home Park occupies multiple parcels of land owned by one corporation. One of these tracts (PIN 9880461182) is approximately 5 acres. The recent property tax bill for these 5 acres was around $46,500.
In close proximity to this mobile home park is the 1701 North Apartments complex (PIN 9880362959) on approximately 9 acres. The recent property tax bill for these 9 acres was around $326,800 On their website, the 1701 North apartments are described as “brand new luxury apartments”.
The current proposal is to relocate these 33 families to a housing site which is not on the bus lines (many of these families rely on town buses to get to their jobs), not near food stores, pharmacies or health care services, and possibly not in the same school district.
One feasible alternative would be to require the developer to build affordable housing for these displaced families on the existing Lakeview acreage in order to get their proposal for a couple hundred luxury apartments approved. This would be the most cost-effective “fix” since the developer would already have full construction operations in place on site.
A small portion of the Lakeview tract is inside the New Hope Watershed.
Collaboration with the Triangle Land Conservancy would provide the developer with an opportunity for a conservation easement to reduce future property taxes.
What is the health, safety, education and livelihoods of 33 low-income Latino families worth to the town of Chapel Hill?
Defending the Electoral College
I attended the event held at the Stanford L. Warren library on Jan. 27 regarding the Electoral College. The speaker, Frank Hyman, tried to make the point that the Electoral College is inherently racist because the outcomes of certain elections made the process unfair. I disagree with this premise, and hope that the Durham County Library system will allow a pro-Electoral College speaker to have the same government-sponsored platform as Mr. Hyman.
This system, which has elected Democrats and Republicans for over 200 years, is not perfect, but to abandon it for a national popular vote would lead to a shift in power away from North Carolinians to the metropolitan centers of the country. American federalism is based on the representation of states, which should represent the will of the people. The Electoral College looks to enhance the representation of smaller states and is a unique part of our republic.
Progressives may feel the election was stolen by an archaic institution, and, as a never-Trump Republican, I shared surprise at the outcome of the election in 2016. But imagine if the results of the popular and electoral votes were reversed in 2016. Would these same people argue that the Electoral College failed the American people in this scenario?
Learn more about the Durham County Republican Party, visit our website, www.durhamgop.com. Also, register for the Durham County Convention on March 3, at the DPS Development Center 2107 Hillendale Road at 9 a.m. Registration can be found on the website.
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