Orange County

Here’s what the 5 people who want to be Carrboro aldermen think about development

Early voting begins Thursday, Oct. 19, for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board and municipal races in Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Early voting begins Thursday, Oct. 19, for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board and municipal races in Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7. File photo

Space has become a luxury in Carrboro, where most of the town’s 6.5 square miles has been built up or is being developed.

The next Board of Aldermen could face some tough questions about what to do at the Lloyd Farm property on N.C. 54, for instance, or in the Northern Transitition Area along the Old N.C. 86 corridor, from Old Fayetteville Road to Eubanks Road.

Growth pressures also have sparked debates about how tall the town should grow, what kind of development it needs, and how that development can benefit the community instead of spawning more traffic, flooding and other problems.

Incumbents Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven-O’Donnell and Sammy Slade and challengers Paul Clark and Barbara Foushee are running for four seats in the Nov. 7 general election. Former Alderwoman Michelle Johnson left her seat when she moved out of state.

Early voting begins Thursday, Oct. 19.

Here’s what the candidates think about development at Lloyd Farm and in the Northern Transition Area:

Paul Clark: After seven years of adjustments and compromises, I think it is time the town honored its agreement. The Lloyd family loves Carrboro and wants to leave a positive legacy. Most people would like to see the area stay wooded or a public green space where people could come together. But if it’s developed, they want aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly development that includes affordable and accessible resources, such as a small grocery or other neighborhood business. They are interested in working with local developers, not somebody who’s three states away and doesn’t have a vested interest in Carrboro.

Barbara Foushee: Carrboro needs more commercial development and affordable housing. Potential mixed uses could include a grocery store, mid-size retail stores that meet the needs of the entire community, affordable and senior housing, affordable flex-space for business start-ups and local artists, office space and plenty of open, green space. Because of the location, I would be willing to consider more than one story. This type of development would address affordability by adding economic growth and development with jobs, as well as adding some much needed affordable housing to our community. We must also continue to consider environmental impacts, existing neighborhoods, transportation access, noise and traffic as parts of the development process. ​ ​

Jacqueline Gist: I have listened closely to the neighbors and developers to help develop a viable plan using the flex zone. We are close. The project must not add to flooding or traffic problems. I favor a mixed-use development, which is clustered to preserve trees and open space, provides substantial buffers to existing homes, contains affordable/senior housing along with office and retail space. The project should be pedestrian, bike and public-transit friendly. I believe that as the result of the town working closely with the community, neighbors and developers, we will soon have a high-quality socially and environmentally responsible project.

Randee Haven-O’Donnell: This question depends on the board interpretation and implementation of the flex-zoning created for the Eubanks Road concept, which applies to Lloyd Farm. Buffer neighbors from development. Mitigate stormwater and flooding. Human scale, right-size, two- to three-story, mixed-use is appropriate for the Lloyd Farm footprint. It can meet the needs of the neighborhood and pair favorably with commercial development aims. It can serve the larger Carrboro community. Mixed-use includes: office and retail; compact housing for seniors; rental apartments above single-story retail; local businesses; a Carrboro Farmer’s Market satellite; bike and pedestrian amenities (benches, fix-it station); greenway; bike, car, zip sharing stations; public bus transit node route stop; green/open space; a signature Carrboro entranceway pocket park stand of Lloyd Farm legacy trees.

Sammy Slade: The property [must] not exacerbate flooding issues. Any commercial development in Carrboro, including the Lloyd property, must be built to standards that are appropriate to the climate emergency that we are now in. This means being built for pedestrians and bikes, and moving away from a car-centric design. Also, buildings need to maximize energy efficiency and ideally generate their own power. In addition, making it possible to live close to work and play, the development should be mixed use – that is, every building should have a first floor that is commercial and at least one floor thereafter that can be either office or residential spaces. Buildings should be of a height that minimizes a sense of dis-proportionality with neighboring properties. The Lloyd property developer originally achieved this in their plans by placing the tallest building far from the property line. Lastly, there need to be affordable commercial and residential units.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb

Early Voting information

One-Stop Early voting in the Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough municipal races and in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board election begins Thursday, Oct. 19. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Eligible citizens can register and vote during the early voting period with an approved identification, such as a bank statement, drivers license or utility bill, showing their name and current address.

All early voting sites will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Otherwise, the following polls will be open:

▪ Board of Elections, 208 S. Cameron St., Hillsborough

Thursday-Friday, Oct. 19-20, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.,

Monday-Friday, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturdays, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

▪ Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro

Monday-Friday, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturdays, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

▪ Chapel of the Cross, 304 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Monday-Friday, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3, noon to 7 p.m.

Not open Saturday, Oct. 28, because of UNC football game

Saturday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

▪ Seymour Senior Center, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill

Monday-Friday, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30-Nov. 3, noon to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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