Good for Northgate area
I was pleased to read that Duke had purchased the former Macy’s at Northgate to open a new, large medical clinic (THS, Dec. 17).
Many shopping malls and department stores across America are empty and abandoned, risking urban decay. I have shopped at Northgate Mall for over 20 years and we must not let that happen to us. This type of mixed usage is the future and the perfect solution to revitalize the Northgate area once again with new stores, restaurants, offices and housing.
Mangum claim absurd
The great sexual harassment revelation controversy is starting to border on the absurd when a letter to the editor comes from “The Committee on Justice of Mike Nifong” (THS, Dec. 15) claiming that the totally disgraced case against the Duke lacrosse players was a setup.
The writer says, “Without evidence, the media has asserted, as fact, that [Crystal] Mangum lied.” I seem to remember the exact opposite: that the lacrosse players were tried (in the media) and convicted without evidence. No physical evidence to support this claim, notwithstanding, and the claim that Mangum was a victim of “a trumped -up, vendetta-driven prosecution and second-degree murder conviction” really stretches one’s credulity.
I wonder what if the writer was present at Duke Hospital when Mangum’s victim died and, if not, what evidence does he have to back his defamatory statements.
And, finally, it was common knowledge, in Durham and nationwide, that Nifong was hoping to use the national publicity to vault into much higher office. But as we know, it exploded in his face and he received his just desserts.
Restaurant plan inappropriate
An open letter to Mayor Pam Hemminger and the Chapel Hill Town Council,
The developers of Wegmans presented a plan last week to the surrounding neighborhood for a 17,000 square foot casual dining facility surrounded by 3 acres of parking to include 166 parking spaces on adjacent parcels along Old Durham Road and Legion Road Extension. The parking lot would be on property currently zoned residential and would include an entrance/exit on Legion Road Extension. The developer specifically mentioned Darden Restaurants, which operates Olive Garden.
This plan is totally inappropriate for this site and you should make it known to the developer early in the process that the town will not support this use for this property. This proposal highlights the need for some actual planning for this part of town, which has been sorely lacking. The traffic impact of Wegmans alone will be overwhelming and adding another one-story rooftop surrounded by acres of asphalt and over 1,000 additional vehicle trips per day will result in even more traffic grid lock and delays. Legion Road Extension is a narrow residential street with no sidewalks and this use will create dangerous conditions for vehicles and pedestrians.
Redevelopment of the Old Durham Road corridor certainly makes sense, but should be done in an intelligent and planned manner, taking into consideration the existing road network, which is extremely poorly designed, as well as the long-term best interests of the town. Wegmans was approved for a site not well suited to its traffic demands through a seriously flawed and secretive process which seems to have encouraged its developer to assume it can do whatever it pleases.
Chapel Hill will be best served by development that improves the quality of life and desirability as a place to live. Olive Garden will not do that. Please address the long-term best uses for properties along Old Durham Road that will make Chapel Hill a competitive environment where people actually want to live and work. Turning Old Durham Road into a sea of asphalt with extremely high traffic volume chain businesses runs very much counter to that goal. Please make this developer and town staff aware that this type of poor development is not welcome in Chapel Hill.
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