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On Facebook: Central West, affordable housing and candy maker’s ‘sweet deal’

October 25, 2013 

You can now use Facebook to comment on stories and photos on chapelhillnews.com and on my Facebook page. (Friend me at on.fb.me/Tgr3Tr)

• Our story on the Chapel Hill Town Council hearing on the Central West draft development plans ( bit.ly/18GcXEe) generated several reader comments.

The steering committee presented its draft plan for how the Estes Drive-Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard area should grow: 270,000 square feet of retail and other commercial space (slightly less than University Mall and much more spread out), as well as 620 residential units. A splinter group presented a less dense plan, emphasizing single- and multi-family homes.

Here’s what some of you said:

Michael Czeiszberger: If density isn’t appropriate along major transit corridors then where?

Terri Buckner: There are two plans now and both deserve to be discussed. What I didn’t hear (Monday) night from either the committee members or the council was a recommendation (or a willingness on the part of the committee members) for reconciling the two. Design is an iterative process that involves a great deal of compromise between those things that are “wanted” and those things that are technically/economically feasible.

Desiree Goldman: Without commercial development, property taxes will continue to go higher and higher. This is the consequence of continuing to slow down the process and not approve commercial. People in Chapel Hill drive to buy things in other counties. How is that environmentally friendly?

• Our story on Chapel Hill’s affordable housing report ( bit.ly/19VzVcx) generated comments as well. The Mayor’s Committee on Affordable Rental Housing presented recommendations Oct. 16 that included a bond referendum, working with nonprofits to develop affordable housing on town land, and developer incentives.

Chris Moran: Affordable housing is still a fantasy here. If we are serious about wanting persons of all incomes and backgrounds to live here, more creative solutions and dollars are needed. Local governments and the university joined forces to provide public transportation. The same could be done by them and financial institutions to provide affordable housing for working-poor folks.

Lucy Lewis: Why didn’t the Chapel Hill Town Council turn (Parking) Lot 5 into affordable housing and grocery instead of restaurants and expensive condos?

• Our story about Orange County using incentives to lure a Japanese candy maker to Mebane ( bit.ly/1a52h48) drew comments. The county will pay Morinaga an amount roughly equal to 75 percent of its property taxes for five years, starting in 2015, up to $1.5 million total.

Dave Carter: Sweet deal for Morinaga. ... Good thing the government gets to pick winners and losers.

Fred Johnson: All I ever hear from the liberals is they want to stop corporate welfare. What do they think this is?

• And finally, several of you liked our front-page photo of children playing on the railroad tracks during the Carrboro Music Festival. (No trains were running, and their mother was watching.)

Steven Ray Miller: Great shot – joyful exploration in motion.

Schultz: 919-932-2003

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