Published: Jun 17, 2012 11:28 AM
Modified: Jun 17, 2012 11:29 AM
I’m writing to express concern about the Charterwood development proposal the Town Council is considering. In looking at the project, I am struck first by its location. This location is an entranceway to Chapel Hill, and while all projects should be held to the highest standards, gateway projects are inherently important because of the sense of place they help establish both for residents and visitors.
The development proposal as it stands fails in at least two ways. First, it fails in its respect for the site. This site sits at the headwaters of Booker Creek; it has 200-year-old trees and slopes that affect drainage, runoff, and water quality. As I understand the proposed development, it does not adequately protect these natural resources. In addition, it is higher than the surrounding land, so even if the buildings meet height restrictions, they will appear taller and will dominate the surrounding properties.
Second, this is a project that tries to do too much. It purports to be mixed-use, which may be laudable in the abstract but seems curious in an area that is already surrounded by offices, retail stores, condos, single-family homes and just about everything else that mixed-use includes. So its purpose seems out of place.
I think the council should not approve Charterwood as it is proposed. Instead, the town should encourage a development that is more in harmony with the natural setting, with buildings set closer to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. to promote the walkable, transit-friendly characteristic we seek, and with a better thought-out rationale for the development itself. Simply labeling something “mixed-use” and therefore considering it desirable is flawed, as this project demonstrates.
I know how much thought the council puts into its decisions about development proposals. The council is and should be demanding. I hope the council considers seeking a better project for this gateway to our town.Kevin C. Foy The writer is a former mayor of Chapel Hill.Unsafe crossing
I read with great interest the letter from George Griffin (CHN June 6) Two weeks ago today, in the early afternoon, I was crossing the carefully marked Carrboro crosswalk in front of Jade Palace as it crossed Main Street to the bank. I stopped to cross waiting for the car from my left to pass. There was no traffic from the right.
When the car from the left approached and stopped, the driver signaled me to cross. Just as I was taking the next step beyond his car, another driver drove around him and continued on, never pausing to consider why the first driver had stopped. I doubt he ever saw me. Had I not been able to stop abruptly, I would have been badly hurt or killed.
I agree with Mr. Griffin, “safe” crosswalks can be very dangerous. I reported the incident to the Carrboro Police, but by having no license number to report, it as just another reported incident. I know Carrboro was trying for pedestrian safety when the crosswalks were installed, however they don’t seem so “safe.”Linda K. Textoris Chapel Hill
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