No economic benefit
I feel there is a willful campaign of misinformation about Charterwood going on. Mark Schultz’s column on the CH 2020 plan cites Charterwood as an example for balancing the town’s tax base. This statement is in direct contrast to the facts.
Dwight Bassett, former town economic director, stated in an email to me, that sales per square foot in Chapel Hill ranged from $75 to $250. He also included a memo by Ken Pennoyer indicating sales revenue received by the town is approximately $3.81 per $1,000 of sales. The applicant is proposing 18,000 to 27,000 square feet of ancillary retail space. The median of these factual numbers results in tax revenue of approximately $14,000 if the space is actually rented. However, because this is ancillary retail, sales will suffer at the many surrounding stores and restaurants. Additionally, because residential development costs the town money, there will be no economic benefit to Charterwood.
The applicant himself stated at the May 1 Planning Board meeting the retail component was small and was only provided as a “social thing” (video available on the Town’s website).
I grew up in Chapel Hill and attended UNC-CH as an undergraduate and graduate student, and have a daughter enrolled in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system.
I have faith that our mayor and council will review these facts and not allow Charterwood to be approved on falsehoods.Dianne “Joey” Ware-Furlow, CPA Chapel Hill Editor’s note:
Here’s what the article (CHN, May 20) said:
“From Charterwood in the north of town to Obey Creek in the south, and Carolina Flats, the hotel and student housing complex proposed for the middle, Town Council members have faced one development battle after another.
Projects some say would begin to balance the town’s heavily residential tax base, have been criticized as too big or inappropriate for their sites (Charterwood, Obey Creek). A project meant to complement the future Carolina North campus and ease the student housing crunch has been seen as too close to neighborhoods never intended for 600 college students and their cars (Carolina Flats).”Costs vs. benefits
Thank you, Mark Schultz, for your articulate front-page article on Chapel Hill 2020 and what it is and isn’t (CHN, May 20). Also, outlining the six major areas of future development was helpful.
Since CH 2020 is a general guideline, decisions regarding individual developments will still be decided by many committees and Town Council already in place. This format has not worked appropriately up to now, and so, are we going to allow developments currently on the table to get hastily pushed through?
Charterwood is a perfect example. Denied once already by the Town Council, developer Bill Christian has managed to get it quickly back on the table through a loophole. This maneuver was not only unethical, but sets a precedent for developers to sidestep environmental concerns, along with the welfare of neighborhoods adjacent to proposed future projects.
Town officials, it is your duty to get all the facts and weigh them judiciously. Christian has not yet proven tax benefit vs. cost of maintaining services, utilities, etc. The storm water management committee has not properly evaluated potential damage to adjacent properties which already have had water issues. Future water issues will be the neighbors’ problem – not the town’s or the developer’s.
Chapel Hill, it’s time to stop the idealistic rhetoric and disconnection in approval processes and get down to honestly looking at real cost vs. benefit for our environment and ALL citizens!Evelyn Morris Hecht Chapel HillNo need for voter ID
“Chatham commissioners back state’s voter ID bill” the headline reads (CHN, May 16). Such hypocrisy.
Never mind the fact that in the entire history of Chatham County elections, there has not been one incident of voter fraud. There has never been a question of lack of public confidence in election results in Chatham. This an entirely bogus and made-up issue. One that is among many on the Republican Party checklist aimed penalizing the elderly, minorities and the poor, a majority of whom just happen to vote Democratic.
Clearly, the Tea Party is alive and well in Chatham County and their poster boy, Commissioner Chair Brian Bock, is leading their highly partisan agenda. Ed Block Chatham CountySad and disgusted
The N.C. National Organization for Women is both saddened and disgusted at the result of the May 8 primary vote on Amendment One.
It is unfortunate that the General Assembly would press this issue during a time of unprecedented unemployment and economic distress. It is curious that in 2010 the Republicans ran on “jobs, jobs, jobs” yet the legislation they push is all about divisive social issues.
Amendment One is not about gay marriage; NC already has a law against gay marriage on the books. Amendment One also calls into question the rights and protections of unmarried, straight couples. It jeopardizes health care benefits for children, would remove domestic violence protections for all unmarried people (regardless of sexual preference), and writes discrimination and hate into a document meant to protect and grants the rights of the minority.Gailya Paliga President N.C. NOW All human beings
Thursday evening, post-election, I went out to walk my dog while it was still very light. At the top of my driveway, I discovered my still–standing “ Vote Against the Amendment” sign had been uprooted and the metal sign-holder ripped into little pieces; the signs for my neighbors across the street, and next-door, suffered the same fate. I was chilled by the strength and anger it must have taken to literally rip apart the metal infrastructure.
I’m not naive enough to believe that this type of violence exists on only one side of the amendment issue. We are all human beings. I think it’s easy to forget our shared humanity when we’re so triggered by different viewpoints that we become violent in word and deed. No matter how someone else acts, I believe I’m still responsible for my own conduct in a given situation. How can each of us take responsibility for looking inward at the shadows in our own souls before casting the first stone?Jan Hutton Chapel Hill
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