Carrboro’s thoughtful development has made it one of the Triangle’s most livable and entertaining towns.
But the town can’t have it both ways.
The Board of Aldermen postponed a vote Thursday on Shelton Station. The project would bring 94 apartments and 24,000 square feet of retail and office space within walking distance of the downtown center. The delay gives the board until April 2 to decide if it meets the town’s goals.
Carrboro’s Vision 2020 calls for a minimum of 40 percent commercial space in mixed-use projects and doubling downtown’s commercial square footage. But in 2011, the aldermen changed that requirement for Shelton Station to get more environmentally sensitive building and site elements.
Shelton Station’s proponents contend it will bring tax dollars, jobs and a couple of hundred more residents for existing businesses. Others say the project is too big to border quiet neighborhoods and would overwhelm busy North Greensboro Street.
As proposed, Shelton Station would have 170 parking spaces – fewer than the town requires. Yet just last week the town paid $600,000 for a 90-space parking lot on South Greensboro Street.
The aldermen may be right to relax the parking requirements for Shelton Station. But if they’re wrong those cars are going to have to park somewhere. Before the project comes back, they may want to figure out just how much parking downtown really needs.