MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2005, AT 7:00 P.M.



Mayor Kevin Foy called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Council members present were Sally Greene, Ed Harrison, Bill Strom, Dorothy Verkerk, Jim Ward, and Edith Wiggins.


Council Members Cam Hill and Mark Kleinschmidt were absent, excused.


Staff members present were Deputy Town Manager Florentine Miller, Assistant Town Manager Bruce Heflin, Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos, Town Information Officer Catherine Lazorko, Planning Director J. B. Culpepper, Traffic Engineer Kumar Neppalli, Principal Planner Phil Mason, Principal Community Development Planner Loryn Clark, Development Coordinator Gene Poveromo, Information Technology Director Bob Avery, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Bill Webster, and Town Clerk Sabrina Oliver.


Item 1 – Report on Avian Flu


Mayor Foy noted that as we had seen with response to Hurricane Katrina, local response was key to keeping the community safe.  He said as the possibility of Avian flu or other disasters loom, the Council wanted to hear from the Orange County Health Department as to how they would all be expected to respond in the event that there was an Avian flu epidemic.


Dr. Rosemary Summers, Director of the Orange County Health Department, said every day we heard about new cases of Avian flu in poultry in other countries.  She explained the primary strains of the influenza virus, Type A, B, and C.  Dr. Summers said that Type A was almost all bird flus of some kind, so the Avian influenza being talked about in the media was a Type A virus.  Dr. Summers noted the virus was categorized as H5N1.


Dr. Summers said that bird flu was an infection caused by bird influenza that was transmitted, adding that influenza occurred naturally in birds, particularly wild birds.  She said that wild birds carry the virus, infect domestic poultry such as ducks, geese and chickens, and then could spread to humans or could not.  Dr. Summers said in the case of H5N1, there was no direct transmission from poultry to humans.  She said those who had become infected with the virus got it because poultry excreted the virus through their feces and saliva, and those people had come in contact with those excretions.


Dr. Summers said that H5N1, or Avian flu, was not transmissible from human to human, noting it had not mutated to a point where it could spread easily from human to human.  She said that did not mean they should not be concerned, because the strain could at some point adapt to humans.  Dr. Summers said for that reason, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) were keeping track of all of the countries where the Avian flu was present, and tracking the changes in the DNA and other antigens that were present in the virus.


Dr. Summers said here in Orange County, surveillance was the first line of defense.  She said that UNC Hospitals was one of 62 centers in the State that tracked cases of influenza and the different strains and sent that data to the Division of Public Health in Raleigh, and her department was sent weekly reports.  Dr. Summers said there was also a Health Epidemiologist at UNC Hospitals who monitored the Emergency Department’s data daily as well as hospital admissions data, and compared that data to normal levels.  She said those results were forwarded to her office as well.


Dr. Summers remarked that at the local level they had collected attendance data for the last two years from both school systems to provide a baseline of data to detect any increase in absences.  She said that would alert them that something may be happening.  Dr. Summers said they also received regular alerts from the CDC as well as through the North Carolina Health Alert Network.  She said they also regularly communicate with medical providers in the County.


Dr. Summers said they had a system of planning and testing, noting the Public Health Preparedness Group that met bi-monthly and included representatives from UNC, Student Health, UNC Health Care, Chapel Hill Police and Fire Departments, and the school systems.  She said that group worked specifically on preparedness plans and had been meeting for approximately three years.


Dr. Summers mentioned their plans for first responders to any crisis, and said they had recently tested two of their locations for mass vaccinations or mass dispensing, noted there were five such sites.  She said those sites were the University, Smith Middle School and Culbreth Middle School, and Stanford Middle School, and Cedar Ridge High School in the northern part of the County.  Dr. Summers said their testing of the sites included their ability to use the site, to test the ability to use the mass medication trailer, to do “just-in-time” training for the staff, and to actually dispense flu vaccinations with a goal to process and vaccinate each client in fifteen minutes or less.  She said their goal was to dispense 700 flu shots in seven hours.  Dr. Summers said the results were that at one location they did 689 vaccinations in three hours, and at the other location they vaccinated 200 clients in the first 30 minutes, with 564 vaccinations given in seven hours.


Dr. Summers said their testing had proven that they had the ability to mass vaccinate in a matter of hours.  She said they had also learned that it was necessary to have a minimum of 35 to 40 people at each site to perform the variety of tasks.  Dr. Summers said because the entire Health Department staff numbered 90, one way in which the community could help would be to join their Volunteer Reserve Corp to provide such services as greeting clients, monitoring parking, and many other roles.


Dr. Summers then answered some of the common questions regarding Avian influenza:

Mayor Foy asked how people could volunteer.  Dr. Summers stated people could call her office at 245-2434 and speak to Candace Watkins, their Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator.


Item 2 – Public Hearing:  Draft 2006 Greenways Comprehensive Master Plan


Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Bill Webster noted that the Draft 2006 Plan was based on the 1998 plan, but over the years they had found it necessary to respond to new conditions.  He noted that some sections had been left unchanged while other sections had been revised to respond to those new conditions.  Mr. Webster stated that the major changes made to the Draft document relate to the changing financial and physical conditions of the Town and its neighboring jurisdictions, including:

Mr. Webster said they had held several public forums and received comments, and that the Draft had been reviewed by all necessary advisory boards except the Transportation Board who would review it soon.  He said at this time they were confident that what was contained in the Draft Plan was “doable.”


Glenn Parks, Chair of the Greenways Commission, stated that the Commission fully supported Mr. Webster’s work.


Coalter Lathrop said if built as planned the Greenways Master Plan would connect to many trails and paths, including the American Tobacco trail.  But, he said, you still would not be able to get to the downtown or to the UNC campus on the Greenways system.  Mr. Lathrop asked the Council to encourage the Greenways Commission to include in that Master Plan a way for users of the greenways system to get to those areas of Town.


Mr. Lathrop noted he supported the Planning Board’s recommendation that the Plan include improving the Town-owned portion of Battle Branch Trail, which would be a step towards providing the needed link.


Gary Barnes, Vice-Chair of the Transportation Board, commented on the meeting between the Transportation and Planning Boards when Mr. Lathrop made a presentation to them, which led to the Planning Board’s recommendation.  He said they had been generally supportive of providing bicycle access from the east.  Mr. Barnes stated that as existing structures, such as the wooden bridges, wear out, replacing them with structures that were bicycle accessible would help open up access to the campus from the east side of Town.


Mr. Barnes said that Mr. Lathrop had noted to the Boards that the campus brings in 1900 bicyclists from the west each day, which made a significant reduction in the demands on other types of transit, adding that nothing like that existed on the east side of Town.  He stated that removing steps and replacing them with bridges would go a long way towards providing accessibility for bicyclists.


Council Member Ward said several years ago Public Service of North Carolina had asked the Council for permission to again conduct business.  He said he had taken that opportunity to explore if they could take advantage of the large, long corridors where gas lines were buried, and believed at that time that the Council had included a stipulation in Public Service’s permit that they would not prohibit any greenway-type trail in their right-of-way as long as the land owner would allow it.  Council Member Ward asked Mr. Webster to research that and to include that language in the draft Master Plan in such a way that it was not forgotten as the Greenways Commission and the Town begins to articulate this Plan into the future.  He said they should identify locations of where these types of easements might serve the Town well.  Mr. Webster responded they would do so.


Council Member Greene said she had attended the Planning Board meeting where this was discussed, noting that the reference in the Planning Board’s recommendation regarding improving the Battle Branch Trail did not suggest that it be paved. She said the discussion centered around whether or not the ground could be packed hard enough for bicycle use without paving.


Mayor Foy commented that the Council had discussed that issue in the past, and had concluded they would not consider paving that trail.  He agreed with Mr. Lathrop and Mr. Barnes that it was a good idea to have the ability to access the campus and the center of Town through the greenways system, and there was a gap.  Mayor Foy said they needed to focus on that, and if Battle Branch was not the way to do it, then they needed to discover the best way to achieve that.


Mayor Foy said they needed to acknowledge that the voters in Chapel Hill had made greenways and greenway development possible through approval of the 2003 bonds.





Item 3 – Petitions


3a.       Petitions by Citizens.


3a(1).   Planning Board regarding a Recommendation for Old Mason Farm Road/US 15-501 Intersection Traffic.




3a(2).   Transportation Board regarding a Long Range Transit Plan.


Gary Barnes, Vice-Chair of the Transportation Board, noted the Board’s support of the concept of a Long Range Transit Plan and recommended that the Council delay the initiation of the development of the Plan until the Council had reviewed a resubmitted plan for the Carolina North development.  He stated that the Board supported the immediate development of a short and intermediate range transit plan.


Mr. Barnes commented that the Board did not believe there was enough information to support a long range plan, and he described the original plan for Carolina North in terms of parking spaces and residential units and the plan as it now stood.  He said the differences in the two plans suggested the degree of uncertainty about factors that should be driving the Town’s long range planning.


Mr. Barnes said Carolina North had a 50-year build out, and the technology of transit options held great uncertainty over that time.  He said without the essential driving statistics about the number of people living and working at Carolina North and how many might need to be transported from the main campus to Carolina North and back, we were not in position to develop a plan.


Mr. Barnes said the cost of developing a long range plan would be between $100,000 and $200,000, and at a cost of $200,000 that was $4 per resident.  He said he did not believe that money should be wasted.


Council Member Harrison stated he had heard all Transportation Board discussion regarding a transit plan except for this last one, and was familiar with the Town’s short range transit plans.  He said they did not have anything resembling an intermediate transit plan, and perhaps that was what they should be working on.  Council Member Harrison said he was not someone who wanted to abandon the ongoing development of a long range transit plan at this time, and suggested that this issue be placed on the Council’s planning retreat agenda scheduled for January.  He said he would also like to know what an intermediate transit plan would consist of.




3a(3).   Will Raymond requesting that the Council List-Serv be Opened to Citizens.


Will Raymond stated that later this evening the Council would receive a report on the 2005-06 Town Communications Plan, noting that the Plan stated that key themes would be communicated frequently and in a variety of ways, using simple, repetitive messages, and that messages gained power from consistency and repetition.  He continued to quote from the Plan regarding the communication tools that would be used by the Town.


Mr. Raymond remarked that repetitive messages were a hallmark of propaganda, especially when not backed up by data.  He asked that the Council support continued openness in Town government.


Mr. Raymond said his petition was that the Council provide the public access to its list-serv.  He also asked that since it was near the end of the year, that in the spirit of openness that the Council direct the Manager to publish the detailed and categorized financial information from the Town’s MUNIS system by year’s end, so that when budget discussions began the public would have detailed data to understand whether or not wise expenditures were made.  Mr. Raymond asked that the Council take quick action on his request.


Mayor Foy noted that the Town’s fiscal year ended on June 30.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins asked if the Council had a list-serv.  Deputy Town Manager Florentine Miller responded that the Town uses a distribution list.  She noted that Information Technology Director Bob Avery, who was present, could provide information regarding the difference between a distribution list and a list-serv.  Ms. Miller said she believed the list-serv Mr. Raymond was referring to was simply the distribution list of Council members used by the Town.


Mr. Avery remarked that a list-serv was an electronic mailing list of email addresses, designed to allow a person to sign up for a subscription to a member group that would allow them to receive all information sent to that member group, and the person could also contribute information to be shared with the member group.  He said the Town did not operate any list-serv servers.


Mr. Avery said the Town maintained email services, but it was not designed for subscription-based addition of addressees to the system.  He said the list-serv referred to by Mr. Raymond was just a short email distribution list maintained by a member of the Manager’s staff that was managed manually, and there was no systematic process for adding or deleting email addresses through a sign-up process.


Mayor Foy said when this had been brought up by Mr. Raymond the staff had responded that they would post these emails on the website so that the public would have access to them.  He asked how that would work.  Mr. Avery replied that at the Manager’s request, they had prepared a location on the website where they could post public documents on a daily basis.


Mayor Foy asked if these messages would be archived.  Mr. Avery responded that they would be archived in the same way as other information on the website was archived.  He said in some cases the information may not have been received electronically, in which case the document would have been scanned in a PDF format for posting, which would not be electronically searchable except by its title.


Council Member Verkerk said sometimes emails that come to the Council were things such as what kind of sandwich do you want for dinner at the next Council meeting. She asked what exactly what was meant by public documents, noting that the Council sometimes received advance notice of a crime that had been committed. Mr. Avery said he believed that public documents referred to items such as Quick Reports prepared by staff regarding advisory board meetings, and other documents such as information sent to the Town Manager or received via email.




Mayor Foy commented that when these options came back to the Council, the financial implications of each should be provided as well.




3a(4).   Brenda Brown requesting Town Assistance with the Rosa Parks Celebration.


Brenda Brown asked that the Town sanction a celebration in honor of Rosa Parks planned for Thursday, December 1.  She said the program would begin with a bus ride from I-40 down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and stopping at the Town Hall.  She said starting at the Town Hall there would be a peoples’ procession in concert with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, marching from Town Hall to the Hargraves Center.


Mayor Foy suggested asking the staff to work to the extent possible with the organizers of this event, noting he did not see any problems with the request.


Council Member Greene thanked Ms. Brown for bringing this request forward, noting this was the 50th anniversary of Ms. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus.




Announcements by Council Members.


3c(1).   Council Member Strom regarding new TTA Service.


Council Member Strom noted that TTA had recently started an express route from the Eubanks park-and-ride lot to downtown Raleigh in the mornings and evenings and it had been very successful.  He said starting the first week of January, in a collaborative effort with Orange-Person Transport, TTA would be operating eleven roundtrips daily between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.  Council Member Strom said the route would begin in downtown Hillsborough and make a stop at the Sportsplex, which would be operating as a park-and-ride lot.  From there, he said, the route would include a stop at the Eubanks park-and-ride lot and then travel on to downtown Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals.  Council Member Strom said more information would be forthcoming in December, but the service would begin in Hillsborough at 6:30 a.m., with the first trip out from UNC Hospitals scheduled for 7:05 a.m. heading back to Hillsborough.  He said the service would run eleven times during the day, ending at 7:20 p.m.


Council Member Strom said this was the kind of service they had been looking for.  He noted that Orange County Commissioner Alice Gordon who served on the TTA Board with him had been instrumental in forging this partnership, which he said was very positive.


3c(2).   Council Member Greene regarding the Inclusionary Zoning Task Force.


Council Member Greene provided an update on the Inclusionary Zoning Task Force, noting that she and Council Member Kleinschmidt would co-convene that Task Force and were working with Planning staff to compile background information to be sent to the members.  She remarked that the first meeting should be held prior to the holiday break.


Item 4 – Consent Agenda


Mayor pro tem Wiggins pulled Item #4r, Response to Petition regarding Installation of a Traffic Signal at the Intersection of Meadowmont Lane and Sprunt Street/Cedar Club Circle.  She said she wanted to offer an amendment to the Manager’s recommended resolution to reflect Option 2, which was to accept the $50,000 from the Cedars and that the Town supply the additional $15,000.




Council Member Ward pulled Item #4g, Pilot Program for Wireless Access.  He said this was an effort to conduct a test project in the Northside neighborhood to provide wireless access for students living in Town-owned housing units. Council Member Ward noted that even though the resolution did not state it, he wanted it understood that the Council would hear about this project during the one-year period.  He said he did not want the project to just disappear at the end of the one-year period.  Council Member Ward asked that the resolution be amended to state that the Council would receive an evaluation and report at the end of six months and that there be an opportunity to consider continuing the project after the one-year period was completed.







Item 5 – Information Reports


Mayor Foy noted that Burwell Ware wanted to comment on Agenda #5e, Response to Citizen Petition to Reduce Disturbance from Garbage, Trash, and Recycling Collection Noise.


Burwell Ware said that since he had filed his petition, he was no longer was he awakened early in the morning by garbage trucks emptying dumpsters.  But, he said, other people did have this continuing problem.  Mr. Ware asked the Council to encourage the Sanitation Department to be more innovative in solving this problem.  He reminded the Council that his petition requested a delay in Town-wide commercial collections in areas where a complaint had been filed, noting he had been disappointed that the staff response to his petition did not include data regarding the number of complaints received by the Sanitation Department from persons in areas where commercial collections took place.  Mr. Ware said he was interested in knowing if there was a file of complaints that would help map out the areas that were sensitive to noise.


Mr. Ware said he had come up with a few suggestions and questions that might be considered regarding this problem:

Mr. Ware noted that the Manager’s response to his petition stated that the Town would continue to try and minimize collection times in his neighborhood before 8:00 a.m.  He stated that would probably mean that sometime in the future they would maximize collection times for people who did not have influence, determination, or money.  Mr. Ware said while he appreciated the willingness to help him and his wife, he was not willing to have his problem dumped on someone else.




Mayor Foy noted that JoAnn O’Connell wanted to discuss Item #5c, Follow-up Report in Response to a Petition Requesting On-Street Parking Restrictions in the Columbia Place Neighborhood


JoAnn O’Connell thanked Traffic Engineer Kumar Neppalli and the Chapel Hill Fire Department for acting on the petition regarding parking in Columbia Place, and noted the Columbia Place Homeowners Association’s support for the recommendation that any decision be delayed for six months and that the parking be kept as is.


Council Member Ward stated that Item #5d, Response to Petition regarding Integrated Pest Management Plan, was in response to a petition from Julie Vann.  He noted he found the response to be inadequate in terms of addressing her concerns, many or all of which he shares.  Council Member Ward said the Town’s report indicated that the Town’s “Least Toxic Integrated Pest Management Policy was being followed,” noting he found that hard to believe when the Town was allowing contracted lawn services to apply herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer that was typically done by those services.  He said that was in considerable conflict with a pest management policy.


Council Member Ward said there was a rose garden on Town property that was being cared for through a contract with a company in the rose business.  He said that tea roses were plants that required a considerable heavy hand in regards to pesticides, which he believed did not necessarily follow the integrated pest management approach.


Council Member Ward said he did not want it to appear that the Town had solved the problem and addressed Ms. Vann’s concerns.  He said he would like to hear from other Council members on how best to proceed.


Mayor Foy noted that a member of our community, Allan Spalt, had done considerable work on this topic and was considered an expert.  He suggested that the Council have staff work with Mr. Spalt and ask him to critique current policy and make suggestions on how the Town might improve it.  Mayor Foy said the Town could ask Mr. Spalt to give the key points that the Town might focus on.


Council Member Ward said that would be a good way to proceed.  He noted that the University also put some effort into addressing this problem as well as the Botanical Garden, and there may be other local resources that the Council could invite to provide it with some advice.


Mayor Foy agreed, noting that Mr. Spalt’s company, Pested, as well as the NC Botanical Garden should be contacted to help address this issue.  Ms. Miller replied the staff would do so.


Information Reports were accepted as presented by consensus of the Council.


Item 6 – Concept Plan:  Chapel Watch Village Special Use Permit


Development Coordinator Gene Poveromo provided a brief description of the project, last before the Council on September 26.  He noted that the proposed Chapel Watch Village was located on the south side of Eubanks Road, north of the Larkspur Subdivision.  Mr. Poveromo noted the proposal was for construction of 120 multi-family dwelling units.


Mr. Poveromo then gave a brief summary of the history of this project, including the Council’s review of a Concept Plan for this project on March 17 and the public hearing held on May 16, at which time the Concept Plan was referred to the Transportation Board.  He stated that the Council had requested that the Transportation Board review and comment on two primary issues:  (1) Should the proposed Chapel Watch Village Concept Plan provide an extension of Maywood Road into the Larkspur development; and (2) Does the Chapel Watch Village Traffic Impact Study Reanalysis adequately address the issue of traffic using Maywood Road Extension through the Larkspur development.


Mr. Poveromo noted that on September 26 the Council received comments and questions from the Transportation Board as well as citizens, at which time those comments were referred to the staff and the Concept Plan review was continued until this evening.  Following tonight’s meeting, he said they anticipate that the applicant would submit a revised or modified Special Use Permit (SUP) application, and once that was received staff would conduct a full review of the proposal and prepare a recommendation.


Mr. Poveromo said tonight the staff recommendation was that the Council review this Concept Plan proposal, receive comments from citizens, and adopt a resolution transmitting comments to the applicant.


Phil Post, speaking for the applicant, Gary Buck and Crosland Associates, noted that the plan they had developed eleven months ago indicated the continuation of Maywood Road.  He said they thought the plan would be reviewed routinely, since the focus of the plan was to reduce the number of dwelling units from around 300 to 120. Mr. Post said they had thought the proposal would be well received, except that the issue regarding the continuation of Maywood was brought forth as a concern.


Mr. Post said about eight months ago they had come forward with a revised plan that noted instead of continuing Maywood, a pedestrian, non-motorized vehicle, and emergency vehicle only connection would be provided between Chapel Watch Village and Larkspur.  He said a number of reasons were noted in support of this, including their desire to work with the neighbors, and that the plan provided them with a chance to preserve much more valuable open space and arrange the units in such a way that they were pulled back from the boundary lines, creating additional buffers.  Mr. Post stated that by not continuing Maywood and providing only the pedestrian, non-motorized vehicle, and emergency vehicle only connection, the Resource Conservation District (RCD) would not be crossed.


Mr. Post stated their intention was to submit the SUP application and to follow the suggestions offered by Council Member Harrison which was to submit multiple plans.  He said he wanted to make it clear to the neighbors that their proposal would be to provide only the pedestrian, non-motorized vehicle, and emergency vehicle only connection.  Mr. Post said they would be happy to receive any further comments or suggestions from the Council.


Jon DeHart, speaking on behalf of the Larkspur Safety First Committee, said he wanted to address the collector road issue.  He noted that in the Council materials, Attachment 4 had inaccurately classified all of Old Larkspur Way as a collector road.  Mr. DeHart said it had correctly marked Maywood Court as not being a collector road.


Mr. DeHart also noted that Street Design Schedule within the Final Approved Plans for Larkspur showed that the northern half of Old Larkspur Way and all of Maywood Way were built to Town standards, which contradicted the statement in the materials for tonight’s meeting.  He said that the cut-through analysis of Northwoods showed that 50% of the traffic on a weekday morning peak period was cut-through, and even though the number was small it would increase the traffic coming to Eubanks Road.  Mr. DeHart said the study proved that the incentive already existed to avoid the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Eubanks Road.


Mr. DeHart, reading from page 22 of the Council’s materials, quoted the following: “Conversations with Town staff indicated that policy for vehicles using the Town Operations Center (TOC), whether they be buses, garbage trucks, police/fire vehicles, personal vehicles for workers, etc. …would be to use the major arterial routes for access to the TOC – and not cut through neighborhoods to get to the TOC.”  He expressed concern that over time, Larkspur would be seen as another road that could and should be used by anyone, including heavy bus and truck traffic, regardless of good intensions.


Mr. DeHart asked how such a policy would be enforced.  He also wondered if funding would be provided to post a police vehicle at the entrance to Larkspur.  Mr. DeHart commented that it would be practically impossible to know whether or not the maintenance vehicles have business in Larkspur or were cutting through.  He questioned how would you go about stopping “personal vehicles for workers” commuting to the TOC from cutting through.


Mr. DeHart said that he was formally petitioning the Council that, if it was determined that Larkspur required two points of full vehicular access, the second access point be the future intersection of Butterfield Court and Weaver Dairy Road.  He stated that intersection would be a safe access point given that it exceeded the line of sight minimum distance requirement of 257 feet in both directions.


Eleanor Howe, Chair of the Transportation Board, said she was confused about Mr. DeHart’s statements, because it was clear that Old Larkspur was classified as a collector road.  She said she was curious about the non-vehicular access noted by Mr. Post, and asked why it could not be widened so that it was a vehicular access.  Ms. Howe said stop signs could always be added to Larkspur Way to slow traffic down.


Ms. Howe, referring to issue #4 in the staff memo regarding the circumstances surrounding the approval of the Larkspur Subdivision as it related to the vehicular connection of Chapel Watch Village, said that historically that connection had been the plan, and for transit purposes it was a necessary connection.


Mayor Foy said it should be clarified whether or not this road was built to the standard of a collector road were it to be connected.  Mr. Poveromo noted that the 50-foot right-of-way was sufficient to allow that road to serve as a collector road.  He said that Attachment #3 to the memo listed the classifications required for a collector road, such as the number of travel lanes, location of sidewalks, on-street parking, anticipated traffic, etc.


Council Member Strom said according to the chart on Attachment #2, Old Larkspur Way between Maywood Way and Maywood Way (a loop road) had a right-of-way of 31 feet.  He commented that it was good if a road was built at 50 feet, but he believed that 31 feet was the local standard.  Council Member Strom said it appeared that the road had enough right-of-way to be a collector, but it had actually been built as a local road.  He said if that was the case, then he could not support the connector.


Mayor Foy asked if that was the case, and why it would be built to a local street standard if it was suppose to be a collector.  Mr. Poveromo said when this proposal was first brought forward the applicant had proposed a 60-foot right-of-way for that portion of Larkspur between Weaver Dairy Road Extension and Maywood Way, which was not required by the Town.  He stated that the roadway was functioning as a collector road.


Mayor Foy said for clarification, the road was built as a local street, but was functioning as and was classified as a collector street.  Mr. Poveromo said that was correct.


Council Member Strom asked for an explanation of the difference between the 31 and the 35 foot sections.  Mr. Poveromo said that was back of curb to back of curb.


Council Member Strom asked if this would be a collector for carrying traffic, why was the road built narrower in that section if we were anticipating that it would be operating as a collector street.  Traffic Engineer Kumar Neppalli responded the developer chose to build a 60-foot right-of-way with 35 feet back to back at the entrance of the neighborhood.  He said it was not required by the Town; the developer had been required to build 31 feet back to back and that was what had been built between Maywood Way and Maywood Way, which was the standard. Mr. Neppalli reiterated that the 35 feet was chosen by the developer, not by the Town.


Mayor Foy remarked that the question was would the road function the way it was built as a collector street?  Mr. Neppalli responded that it would.  Mayor Foy said then it would function adequately with buses and other large vehicles.


Council Member Ward asked if Mr. Neppalli was saying that the 35-foot-wide cross-section was a choice that the developer made, and was not designed larger because it had a different function than the rest of the interior roads.  Mr. Neppalli said that was his understanding.


Council Member Ward asked if they went to other parts of Town would they find existing 31-foot cross-sections functioning as collector streets.  Mr. Neppalli stated that was correct, adding you would most likely find some 27-foot cross-sections functioning in the same manner.  Council Member Ward asked how that pavement was divided, if it was for parking or just two traffic lanes, or something else.  Mr. Neppalli said it depended on the location, noting we had some neighborhoods that had parking on one side or on both sides.  Council Member Ward asked then this could serve as a collector street with parking on one or both sides.  Mr. Neppalli stated that was correct.  He added that was the case for existing neighborhoods, but newer neighborhoods had parking generally on one side only.  Council Member Ward asked if that was the assumption here, that there would be parking on one side only.  Mr. Neppalli replied that was correct.


Mayor Foy asked what traffic calming would be recommended if this connector was opened.  Mr. Neppalli responded that they had not looked into that in detail since this proposal was still in the concept stage.  He said if the Council were interested, they would work with the developer and the neighborhood to develop a proposal.


Mayor Foy asked the Attorney if this was opened, could the developer of Chapel Watch Village be required to place traffic calming in Larkspur.  Mr. Karpinos replied that could be discussed with the developer during the SUP process for the Chapel Watch Village application.  Mayor Foy said it was not necessarily confined just to the Chapel Watch Village section.  Mr. Karpinos said it could be negotiated with the developer.


Council Member Harrison said as preparation for a petition he planned to bring forward he had requested background on arterial and collector streets, noting that the list of collector streets included Main Street in Southern Village, Mallette Street, Market Street, Mason Farm Road, McCauley Street, and Meadowmont Lane. He said Maywood was not listed as a collector or an arterial street.  So, Council Member Harrison stated, he had concluded that it was not classified that way even though it was built, and he believed it would have to be classified as a collector if the Town were to require a developer to build a connection to it.  He said Maywood was not listed in the Comprehensive Plan, and was not on the list of collector streets.


Mayor Foy asked how streets were designated as a collector or not, based on our standards.


Council Member Harrison reiterated that Maywood was not shown on either the arterial street list or the collector street list provided to him by the Engineering Department.  He said the Town seemed to be treating it as a collector in order to require the connection in Chapel Watch Village.  Mr. Neppalli said the collector street plan was purely a staff-generated plan based on the functionality and the standards.  He noted that Maywood was not connected to a neighborhood yet; however, we had a plan for a future connection based on Council approval of Larkspur Subdivision.  Mr. Neppalli said when it was connected to a neighborhood they would be making that street a collector street.  He said the standard was just a standard, and not mandated by ordinance.


Council Member Harrison said, then, it was based on function, not standard.  Mr. Neppalli stated that was correct.


Mayor Foy, speaking to Mr. Post, stated that the Council that would decide this matter was likely not the Council sitting before him tonight (referring to the election scheduled in early November).  He said there would be two new members who were not here to comment on this, and two sitting members who were not present to comment, meaning there were four people out of the nine members who would be making the decision who were not present to give him guidance.  Mayor Foy asked if it was useful to continue the discussion, or would he rather wait to hear from the Council that was likely to make the decision.  Mr. Post said he believed it was best for the project to get moving again.  He said they had been waiting for some time and could wait no longer.  Mr. Post said they had heard the discussion, knew where they stood, and would like to move forward.


Mr. Post, referring to traffic calming, said they had analyzed what would happen if Chapel Watch Village was built, would there be traffic through Larkspur.  He said their analysis indicated it would be a very low volume, which would not indicate the need for any traffic calming in Larkspur due to the traffic generated by Chapel Watch Village.  Mr. Post said if the Town decided to bring buses and TOC traffic through that street that might change.


Mayor Foy emphasized that no TOC traffic would be brought through that street.  Mr. Post said there was a strong desire to bring Town buses onto this street, and that might necessitate the need for traffic calming somewhere, but that need would not be generated by some factor that was created by Chapel Watch Village.


Council Member Ward said that on page 11 of the memo, there was information provided regarding the standards for arterial, collector, and local streets.  He asked Mr. Neppalli to describe how the road that would be a collector through Larkspur fit the design standards, or how it did not fit.  Specifically, he said, he was interested in the intersection spacing and driveway spacing.  Mr. Neppalli said he was not sure about the driveway spacing in Larkspur, but believed the intersection spacing did meet the collector street standards on Larkspur and on Maywood Way. 


Mr. Neppalli said he wanted to make sure the Council understood the difference between standards and functionality.  He stated they had developed the collector street standards based on when a plan for a development was approved and whether any future connections were suppose to be made or already approved. Mr. Neppalli said some streets could be a local street but also function as a collector street in the plan.


Mr. Neppalli said that most of the time they do not recommend that a street become a collector street unless it connected to two different neighborhoods, which was the main different between a local street and a collector street.  He said the Council had approved the Larkspur Subdivision with Maywood Way connecting to the future development, and the developer was planning to build to a 25-foot standard throughout the development.  Mr. Neppalli said that a connection was recommended to that street, so the Town required them to build to a 31-foot standard.  So, he said, they had classified it as a collector street based on its future connection to another neighborhood.


Mr. Neppalli said the standards listed on the chart on page 11 that Council Member Ward had asked about were guidelines and some of them may fall into the Larkspur Subdivision, and may not fall into plans approved previously.  He remarked that the Council had approved these standards, and they had followed those standards for the past two years.


Council Member Ward said to be clear, these were not strict standards but were guidelines that generally were applied but were not absolute.  Mr. Neppalli said that was correct, adding that any deviation from these guidelines had to be approved by the Council.


Mayor Foy asked if it was safe to assume that a street would not be designated as a connector until it was actually connected.  Mr. Neppalli replied that it depended on the neighborhood and also on the street.  In Meadowmont, for instance, he said a street could already be connected to the route to the more popular places within the neighborhood and it could have already been designated as a collector street.  Mr. Neppalli stated that Maywood Way and Larkspur were just recently built, and the Council had already approved the connection.  He displayed a map indicating Chapel Hill collector roads, and pointed out the location of Maywood Way.  Mr. Neppalli said that Old Larkspur Way had already been designated as a collector road because the plan called for it to be connected to Chapel Watch Village.


Council Member Strom asked if Mr. Neppalli was saying that the standards could only be changed by the Council’s consent, and we were saying that driveway spacing on a local road was 50 feet and driveway spacing on a collector road was 100 feet. He asked if we had coordinated with the Larkspur developer to make that 100-foot spacing along that section of Maywood Road.  Mr. Neppalli said he did not know if these guidelines were implemented prior to approval of the Larkspur Subdivision.


Council Member Strom said if the driveway spacing did not meet the collector standard, he would find it difficult to support the connection.


Mayor Foy suggested that Mr. Post put forth plans with and without the connection, since the make-up of the Council that would make the decision would change.  He said this was still in the concept phase, and that this was not the time that anything would be settled.  Mayor Foy said if they brought back a plan with the connector, to make sure they had thought it out carefully with Mr. Neppalli’s input so that the Council that made the decision would understand the impact on Larkspur.  That implied traffic calming where necessary or any limitations on cut-through traffic that could be put in place, he said.




Item 7 – UNC Cogeneration Facility – Application for a

Special Use Permit Modification


Principal Planner Phil Mason noted the Council had last considered this issue on November 9 when several questions were brought forth.  He said those questions had been responded to and were contained in the Council’s materials.  Mr. Mason said there were also additional questions and comments received after the materials were distributed, and that supplemental material had been supplied to the Council.


Mr. Mason said they continued to recommend the adoption of Resolution A, and noted that the applicant had prepared a presentation for the Council.


Bruce Runberg, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning and Construction at UNC, noted that the University had responded to the questions raised at the November 9th meeting and that those responses were located beginning on page 17 of the materials.  He said they had met with the neighbors on November 14th to respond to concerns regarding the survey work on McCauley Street.  Although that survey work was not a part of this SUP modification, he said, Mary Jane Felgenhauer, a Land Use Planner at UNC, would share that information with the Council this evening.  Mr. Runberg said that Carolyn Elfland would then address other issues that had been raised since November 9, and he would make closing statements.


Mary Jane Felgenhauer, UNC Land Use Planner, noted that on November 9 two issues were raised by neighbors: survey flags on McCauley Street and soil borings on their stream tunnel corridor.  She said the information shared with the neighbors on November 14 was included in information on the Steam Tunnel Project and the Electric Duct Bank Project.  Ms. Felgenhauer said both projects had been presented at a May 18, 2004 neighborhood information meeting, which had been advertised and held at the Cogeneration Facility.  She pointed out that neither of these projects was connected to the SUP modification, and both would be constructed regardless of the outcome of that modification application.


Ms. Felgenhauer said the Electric Duct Bank Project provided a critical connection to the Manning Plant.  She said the second project, the Steam Tunnel Rehabilitation Project, replaced the deteriorating tunnel originally built in 1939.


Ms. Felgenhauer displayed a slide presented at the neighborhood meeting in May of 2004, which showed the electric duct bank route in the McCauley Street right-of-way.  She said this project began three years ago with higher education bond funds.  Ms. Felgenhauer said they were now in the early stages of design, and explained that the surveying that had recently taken place was part of their early efforts to locate existing utilities and to determine existing conditions around the proposed route.  She briefly described the proposed route, and explained that the surveyors were instructed to survey 20 feet on either side of UNC property.  Ms. Felgenhauer said the surveyors took it upon themselves to conduct surveying work along McCauley Street without prior authorization and survey 20 feet on either side of the right-of-way, although they were entering private property.  She stated that when the University became aware of this situation at the November 9th meeting, the surveyors were told immediately to stop the surveying.


Ms. Felgenhauer said at the meeting on November 9th, questions were also raised about soil boring investigations that had been underway since mid-October.  She said these borings, now completed, were related to the replacement of their 1939 steam tunnel.  Ms. Felgenhauer said it would be constructed entirely on UNC property.  She said they were investigating the possibility of locating the electric duct bank within the steam corridor, but did not yet know if it was possible.  Ms. Felgenhauer said locating the duct bank in McCauley Street remained their primary option, as presented in May of 2004.


Ms. Felgenhauer said they were in the early design phase of the steam tunnel corridor, and anticipated construction sometime in 2007.  She said the steam tunnel was being replaced due to its age, and was not required by the Cogeneration Facility project.  Ms. Felgenhauer said information regarding this had been shared via email for distribution to the neighborhood in June of 2005.  She said at the November 14th meeting with the neighbors, it was agreed that the appropriate time for a follow-up on both of these projects would be made in the spring of 2006 when preliminary design work was completed.


Carolyn Elfland, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services, noted she would address questions regarding energy conservation, renewable energy, lowering greenhouse gases, and carbon reduction.


Regarding carbon reduction, Ms. Elfland stated that was being addressed through the Vice-Chancellor’s Sustainability Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Doug Crawford-Brown.  She stated that Dr. Crawford-Brown was present tonight and available for comment.  Ms. Elfland said that the goal of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was to make a 60% reduction by 2050, but making major changes in a few months time was not possible.  She said that the University addressed the issue when making improvements in new and renovated buildings, incorporating energy conservation technologies and features.  Ms. Elfland noted that existing buildings were operated until the end of their useful lives and were addressed upon renewal.


Ms. Elfland remarked that the Cogeneration Facility was opened in 1992 and was only 13 years old, and should have a useful life of 30 years or more.  She said that the University would increasingly link carbon reduction to its energy infrastructure over time, but would not be making major changes to the Cogeneration Facility at this time since it was relatively young.


Ms. Elfland said the University had taken numerous steps toward carbon reduction, many of which were started before carbon reduction became an issue.  She remarked that they were the only employer in the area that provided parking for only 40 percent of its employees, forcing the remaining 60 percent to seek public transportation or other alternatives.  Ms. Elfland said the University had spent over $18 million in the last few years on energy conservation projects.


Ms. Elfland stated the University had a Strategic Energy Plan that was updated annually, with a goal of reducing energy consumption.  However, she noted, they were building 5.9 million additional square feet on the campus which was a 42 percent increase, and were renovating many older buildings including adding central air and indoor air quality improvements to reduce the potential for old.  Ms. Elfland said it was impossible to conserve sufficient energy to meet the increased demand from the new and renovated facilities.


Regarding institutional energy strategies, Ms. Elfland commented that they often find that they must educate new architects and engineers who had no experience working in an institutional environment.  She said their central energy plants allowed them to manage and conserve energy from the supply side, stating they now have much more efficient boiler and chiller plants than the equipment in individual buildings, as well as central energy management control systems. Ms. Elfland said that their central plants allow them to have less energy capacity overall than if they had individual boilers and chillers in every building.  Ms. Elfland stated that central plants for cogeneration were recognized as the best method of providing energy in institutional settings. 


Ms. Elfland stated that the University also was committed to pursuing alternative and renewable energy technologies.  She remarked that Tom Henkel’s website references absorption chillers of 30 and 50 tons.  Ms. Elfland said the University had over 30,000 tons of chiller capacity, with units of at least 1,000 tons, and many 2,500 tons and more.  She said that some of these chillers were absorption chillers, operated by the steam from the Cogeneration Facility.


Ms. Elfland noted the University’s Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee had championed the installation of solar hot water at Morrison Residence Hall although the payback was 28 years, because of the educational value of the project.  She stated that the Committee continued to search for renewable energy projects, noting that costs analyses were received last week for two projects.  Ms. Elfland said that their district energy systems were so efficient that they found it difficult to identify viable renewable energy alternatives on the main campus.


Ms. Elfland noted that Carolina North was a totally different situation.  She stated they were actively exploring renewable and alternative technologies for Carolina North including the use of the landfill gas from the Eubanks Road landfill.  Ms. Elfland said the University was surprised that there was such concern over the SUP Modification which included the projects that conserved energy, reduced greenhouse gases, and insured the operation of a critical health care facility during adversity.


Ms. Elfland said the turbine generator improvements requested conserve energy, and without those improvements they would be generating steam for the growing campus but not able to simultaneously generate electricity.  She said they would need to purchase the electricity from Duke Power, resulting in a doubling of fuel usage and a doubling a greenhouse gas production, compared to generating electricity themselves.  Ms. Elfland said the turbine generator improvements increased efficiency, conserved energy, and reduced greenhouse gases.


Ms. Elfland commented that the discussion of renewable energy technologies and energy conservation ignored a major issue, which was the lack of sufficient generation capacity to serve critical needs such as UNC Hospitals.  She said they must have the ability to keep UNC Hospitals operating during situations such as hurricanes and ice storms, as they had during Hurricane Fran and the ice storm of 2002.  Ms. Elfland said that meant that the University must have all of the projects in the SUP Modification request: the turbine generator improvements, the cooling tower upgrades, the substation improvements, and the back-up generators.


Ms. Elfland said their capacity to burn coal was a function of the capacity of their boilers which were already permitted, both under their existing SUP and their air permit.  She said they were going to burn more coal, within the boundaries of the permits, because the campus was growing and they needed more steam for thermal energy.  Ms. Elfland said the project requested in this SUP Modification did not alter the amount of coal we would burn, nor would it alter their commitment to energy conservation, renewal energy, carbon reduction, and lowering greenhouse gases.


In summary, Mr. Runberg said with this presentation and other information already in the record of the hearings, the University had submitted substantial, competent and material evidence to enable the Council to approve this SUP Modification in accordance with the Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO). Furthermore, he said, they were in agreement with the Manager’s recommendations and stipulations before the Council at this time.


Mr. Runberg noted they had started this SUP Modification process in May of 2004, 18 months ago.  He said with current levels of construction escalation of 10 percent per annum, they needed to move forward promptly as they had several portions of the work ready on which to award contracts.  Mr. Runberg said the cost of delay would break out to approximately $250,000 per month, which was a significant factor.  Additionally, he said, part of the work was funded by the Higher Education Bond Program, which they were monitored on monthly and quarterly for execution of projects.


Mr. Runberg remarked that as Ms. Elfland had said, the University already was engaged in many efforts that address additional concerns being raised.  He said they continue to work on these important issues and remain committed to their goals for sustainable development.  However, Mr. Runberg said, they did not believe that this SUP Modification was the appropriate forum in which to further that discussion.  He said they had met all of the findings required by this permit modification.


Mr. Runberg said that since 1992, the University had demonstrated a history of good faith efforts to address community and neighborhood concerns regarding the Cogeneration Facility.  He said this request for an SUP Modification was both essential and time sensitive, and thanked the Council for its consideration.


Mayor Foy said the Council would now hear citizen comments, noting that four citizens, Joyce Brown, Tom Henkel, Dennis Markatos and Pete MacDowell, had signed up to speak as a group.


Joyce Brown said when she had requested that the University publish annually the Emissions Inventory in all local papers she was referring to the Emissions Inventory summary which was only several pages long.  She said though she was pleased that the entire report would be provided to the public annually, she still believed it was worthwhile that the general public be provided the summary in the local papers.  Ms. Brown said she would like to expand that request to include how each particular pollutant was determined.


Ms. Brown stated that her request for the publication of all greenhouse gas emissions remained the same.  She noted that these gases were the result of the amount of coal that was burned and were not part of the Emissions Inventory and therefore needed to be publicly available.


Ms. Brown said regarding the future of this plant, she had asked that after this SUP Modification was granted that there be a stipulation that no additional future expansions of this plant be allowed.  She said in each statement she had made regarding this plant she had acknowledged that this plant was better than what was there before, and better than others now in existence in the State. Even so, Ms. Brown noted, it was still a single, very large contributor of greenhouse gases and toxic materials in Chapel Hill, and a large power plant in a residential neighborhood.


Ms. Brown asked if that was what we wanted for the future, adding she hoped not. She stated she appreciated the efforts made by the University, particularly regarding noise and light pollution.  But, she stated, it was a real burden for her neighborhood to bear, and they were becoming increasingly aware of the significant world-wide global warming problems associated with the burning of fossil fuel.


Ms. Brown said when she and her neighbors had met to decide how they would respond to the University’s proposal for this “tremendous” new facility 20 years ago, one of the first things said was that they did not want that facility in their neighborhood, and so would not wish it in anyone’s neighborhood.  Instead, she said, they had requested that this then small coal burning facility be replaced with a small natural gas burning facility, and that each new building provide its own heating and cooling and incorporate renewable energy technologies or he built in such a way that renewable energy technologies could be added, and that each building on campus be made as energy efficient as possible.  Ms. Brown noted that our community was not ready for that 20 years ago.


Ms. Brown said she believed that the time had come that the Town was ready for considering alternatives to the way it builds and powers buildings.  She said the Council had the opportunity tonight to help turn in a different direction. Ms. Brown said it was clear that the University had made a beginning in incorporating energy efficiency into its program, but more could be done, noting that renewable energy had been incorporated only in the smallest way to date.


Ms. Brown said that Chapel Hill would be moving forward with a carbon reduction program next year.  She said the Council would also be asked to consider other stipulations which Mr. Henkel would highlight.  Ms. Brown said while most of those present tonight would not be here in 50 years, this Council could set the direction so that in the 50 years mentioned several years ago the serious dilemma this Council was facing tonight would not be one future Councils would  have to face.


Ms. Brown said she was asking for a delay to consider asking the University to join the Carbon Reduction program and to consider the new stipulations that Mr. Henkel would bring forth.


Thomas Henkel gave a brief description of his qualifications, and noted that the Town does have the capability of providing solar driven absorption chillers in the thousands of tons category, a lot more than the 30,000 previously mentioned. Mr. Henkel agreed with much of what the University had said, noting they had an excellent energy conservation program, and that the existing Cogeneration Facility was “state of the art” and very efficient.


Mr. Henkel stated that his concern and the concern of the neighbors was the burning of coal.  He offered a list of nine stipulations for considering that focused not only on the burning of coal but on an improved and extended conservation program for the University.  Mr. Henkel offered background on the following suggested stipulations:

  1. Every UNC-CH building has had, or will have, a comprehensive energy survey completed or upgraded within the past five years, and these surveys include an assessment for the use of renewable energy technologies with the respective building energy systems and water conservation measures.

  2. All energy conservation measures identified in the building energy surveys cited above that have a simple payback of ten years or less, when computed by using energy rates paid to outside provides of electric power, natural gas, and fuel oil, shall be implemented by UNC-CH.  All water conservation measures shall be implemented.

  3. All renewable energy applications identified in the building energy surveys cited above that have a simple payback of 10 years or less, when computed by using energy rates paid to outside providers of electric power, natural gas, and fuel oil or which can be financed through energy services companies that can take advantage of federal and State solar energy tax incentives to reduce the simple payback to 10 years or less, shall be implemented by UNC-CH.

  4. UNC-CH annually report to the Town of Chapel Hill the total annual energy savings that are possible by the energy conservation measures identified in the above-cited comprehensive surveys, and the total projected annual energy savings expected from the energy conservation measures that have been or are scheduled to be implemented in the following year.

  5. UNC-CH annually report to the Town of Chapel Hill the total annual energy savings that are possible by the renewable energy measures identified in the above-cited comprehensive surveys, and the total projected annual energy savings expected from the renewable energy measures that have been or are scheduled to be implemented in the following year.

  6. All future construction undertaken by UNC-CH that is supplied by power from the present Cogeneration Facility shall incorporate energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation technologies as specified above in #2 and #3.

  7. The present coal-fired boilers in the Cogeneration power plant shall either be upgraded to include the latest emission control technologies that reduce mercury and other emissions to the lowest levels that are technically possible, or else they shall be replaced with boilers that burn natural gas and/or low-sulfur #2 fuel oil or biofuel.

  8. UNC-CH will annually publish in all local newspapers the Emissions Inventory and the greenhouse gases with amounts emitted by the Cogeneration power plant and any other facilities operated by UNC-CH that might emit greenhouse gases.

  9. UNC-CH will use only its current property for any new underground lines for Cogeneration power plant activities.

Mr. Henkel stated he did not personally believe that it would slow up the procedure to ask for a delay while these stipulations were considered by both the University and the Council.


Mayor Foy said the University was asking for modifications to the SUP that would allow them to enhance the coal burning that they were already doing, in other words to generate more energy from that coal burning.  He asked if Mr. Henkel agreed that what the University was asking for by this request for an SUP Modification was cogeneration, which was the ability to increase the electricity they generated through the coal.  Mr. Henkel responded that primarily the University needed more steam due to campus growth.  He said they could produce more steam without increasing the size of the boilers, but they would burn more coal to make more steam.  Mr. Henkel said the steam used on campus was lower pressure steam than that used through the generators, so if they produce more steam but do not also use it to produce more electricity then they would have to reduce the pressure of the steam in order to use it on the campus.  So, he said, it made sense to increase the generating capacity to use the more steam you would need, and he supported that concept.


Mr. Henkel said his concern remained regarding how good the emission control system was on the plant.  He said several years ago when he had asked if the plant had “state of the art” emission controls the answer had been no.  Mr. Henkel said he would hope that the University would install the most efficient emission control system so they could burn the coal as cleanly as possible.


Dennis Markatos stated that the Town had become a national leader in municipal climate responsibility by committing to the Carbon Reduction (CRed) goal of 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2025-2050.  He said he believed the upcoming vote on the coal plant was an opportunity to encourage the University to join that effort.  Mr. Markatos said that CRed was a great pact to commit to because it did not give the exact prescription of energy efficiency, renewables use, or mass transit.  But, he said, it was a respectfully flexible conceptual plan that could be sculpted by our institutions to fit our community’s needs.  Mr. Markatos said with this SUP Modification application to expand the University’s model Cogeneration plant, it made sense to begin talking now about how the Town and the University could work together to design and implement the best strategies of greenhouse gas emission reductions.  He stated that the process would necessitate both groups to be visionary and realistic to achieve their common goals, and conversations should begin as soon as possible.


Mr. Markatos said the Town and the University, along with Carrboro, already had good examples of such collaborative achievement, noting the public transit system.  He said resolving to work together to achieve CRed and other goals and increased economic viability could give each body the higher potential to achieve its goals.  Mr. Markatos stated that energy efficiency and local renewable energy production that CRed would help move the Town to achieve were important shifts not only in an environmental sense, but also economically.  He said the community’s dependence on fossil fuels sent tens of millions of dollars all over the world to provide ourselves with electricity and transport for work and play.  With the rapid increase of fossil fuel prices over the last few years, the future of local energy security and accessibility was not certain, said Mr. Markatos.


Mr. Markatos said the more we reduced our precarious dependency the better.  He said that more innovative programming from more use of daylighting and passive solar building design to future bio-diesel and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure could move the Town a long way toward maintaining economic stability through the “roller-coaster ride” of world energy community markets.


Mr. Markatos remarked that he was a member of SURGE – Students United for a Responsible Global Environment.  He said they had interns, volunteers and groups on the campuses of UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill High, East Chapel Hill High Schools, and throughout the community that would like to help in this process.  Mr. Markatos said he looked forward to talking more on these important issues as collaboration began to achieve an energy future that was beneficial to all.


Pete MacDowell pointed out that what they were asking for was to delay consideration of this until the January meeting, noting that two Council members were not present.  He said they believed there were enough questions that this could begin to be resolved in conversations with the Town and the University.


Mr. MacDowell said this proposal placed the Town in a “tough” place, noting that the coal-fired power plant was the biggest emitter in the State.  He noted the Town’s recent receipt of an award for pledging to reduce its carbon emissions by 7 percent by 2012.  Mr. MacDowell stated that the University had indicated it expected to generate about 25 percent more emissions, that is, burn 25 percent more coal, by the 2009-2010 fiscal year.  And, he said, the Town had signed on to the CRed program.  Mr. MacDowell stated that “does not compute.” He said you could not achieve the Town’s goals with the plans that the University had for burning more coal.


Mr. MacDowell said his second point pertained to the statement made by Ms. Elfland suggesting that meeting the goals for carbon emissions was a long-term process, and that they finish the useful life of buildings before they recommit to more efficient technologies.  He remarked that emissions placed into the air were cumulative, and one does not wait for the end of the useful life of a building when the effects were cumulative.  Mr. MacDowell said those cumulative effects must be reduced, starting now, and that was the reason for asking for a one-month delay so that further conversations could take place and arrive at the goals set by the Town.


Daniel Morris, a member of the Orange Global Warming Coalition, said he believed the risk from CO2-driven global warming was widely underestimated.  He said that global warming was the lesser risk compared to the human-driven return of climatic instability.  Mr. Morris also noted that his attitude of what was a justified payback was somewhat different from that of the University, as well as Mr. Henkel.


Mr. Morris said that last week during a presentation by the University’s Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee, it was suggested there were still systematic barriers to energy conservation measures at the University.  For example, maintenance related to energy conservation costs were difficult to budget and generated opposition, he said.


Mr. Morris asked the Council that if they did not ask the University to rationalize energy conservation and usage and provide projections on CO2 emissions then, how the Town could possibly meet its own CO2 emissions goal.  He raised the issue that if the payback standard was the economic one, was that even possible.  Mr. Morris stated that maybe there had to be a point where the Town asked the University to go beyond a ten year economic payback.


Savi Horne said she was speaking for her five-year-old daughter who had endured the demolition of the silos when she was one.  She stated for a year she had to travel often so that her daughter’s asthma would not flare out of control.  Ms. Horne said she was “rendered speechless” about what could happen if the University continued to pump out more particulates, especially as it sought to increase the coal burning capacity.  She said she understood the need.


Ms. Horne stated she had just experienced the arrival and departure of a woman who had come to help her care for her daughter, but who had been forced to leave because after 15 years of no flare-ups of her asthma, the woman had difficulty breathing and suffered to the point of being placed on steroids while at her home.  She said as the mother of a daughter who was now going through further asthma management, she had many concerns regarding the particulates.


Ms. Horne said she had security concerns as well, noting her car had been broken into and a year later her suitcase was found on the University side of the vanity fence that separated her neighborhood from the University, not far from the parking lot.  She said as she sat in her living room, paying close to $5,300 a year in taxes to the Town and the County, her view was of trains going by.


Ms. Horne asked the Council to “open its eyes” and interrogate some of what the University purports to do and to look closely at the issue of particulates and emissions, adding she was forced to clean her car every other day because of the soot.  She said she was concerned about the University’s statements regarding the cleaner burning of coal.


Evette Horton said she also had a child with asthma, and she had been following the air quality issue.  She said she was alarmed by the University’s proposal, and wanted the Council’s assurance that approval of this SUP Modification would not affect her son’s asthma more than it already has.


Adrian Helpern said he believed the McCauley-Cameron Historic District was bearing significant adverse impact from the University’s expansion, largely due to the power plant expansion.  He stated that a University spokesperson had tried to separate the electric duct bank work from the power plant expansion, implying they were not related.  However, Mr. Helpern stated, the proposal before the Council that added to the Cogeneration Facility’s electric output must be transferred in some way, thus the need for the electric duct bank.


Mr. Helpern pointed out that the University wanted approval of its power plant expansion before its engineers had conclusively determined where the new electric duct bank would go.  He noted they had told neighbors a week ago that they still did not know whether the existing steam line corridor could accommodate the new electric duct bank or whether they would have to use McCauley Street for that purpose.  And, he continued, the University did not know if they could use McCauley Street for that purpose but they thought they could, although they did not know for sure.


Mr. Helpern stated that surveyors had spent three days placing purple surveying flags twenty feet on either side of the right-of-way on McCauley Street on private property of all the landowners down to the power plant.  By mid-morning the day after the November 9 discussion, he said that all of these flags were gone and neighbors were told that the three days spent placing the flags on private property was a big mistake.  Knowing that the University does not know for sure where its new electric duck bank would go, Mr. Helpern said, obviously causes concern among the neighbors.


Mr. Helpern stated that while the University had produced information on the power plant’s future emissions, it had not done anything to study the adverse impact this expansion would have on the McCauley-Cameron Historic District, which was home to the power plant and immediately adjacent to the University’s northwest side.  He said the University’s Development Plan showed that the northwest quadrant of the campus was home to nearly 31 percent of the University’s employees, yet the Development Plan’s Traffic Impact Analysis failed to study the traffic impact on Ransom and McCauley Streets which have long been used by University employees going to and from work.


Mr. Helpern said he would like to know what the projected increase was in automotive traffic and its pollutants under the University’s Development Plan. He noted that the increased traffic was substantially worse for young children who were in increased danger because of the presence of more cars traveling faster than posted limits.  Substantial traffic calming devices need to be installed on Ransom and McCauley Streets, Mr. Helpern noted, to protect younger citizens as well as older ones.  When this was brought before University officials last week, he stated, basically their response was it was not their concern but the Town’s responsibility.


Mr. Helpern said in his view the University had a responsibility to study and remedy the detrimental traffic situation it had created in the neighborhood. If the University would not do it, he said, then the Town should step up and do so.  Mr. Helpern said that unfortunately the Town had long ignored the traffic problem in the Cameron-McCauley Historic District, and because no traffic data had been collected for Ransom and McCauley Streets the neighbors’ complaints could not be readily verified.  However, he said, based on what little data was available from the Mobility Report Card of 2004, it appeared that their complaints of increased morning traffic in the area was true.  As well, Mr. Helpern stated, the bicycle and pedestrian counts at the corner of Ransom and McCauley Streets had gone up 10 percent and 14 percent in 2003 and 2004, respectively.


Mr. Helpern said before the SUP Modification was approved, the Town should require concrete answers to two questions.  First, he asked, exactly where would the new electric duct bank go, and second, what would be done to mitigate the adverse impact of the expansion on the Cameron- McCauley Historic District? Mr. Helpern said he believed the concerns raised warranted the postponement of the approval of the expansion until these questions were addressed.


Sammy Slade asked, regarding rising fuel costs, had the University taken that trend into account and assessed the viability of the economics and sanity of continuing with fossil fuels?  Referring to the application for the SUP Modification, he said though it might comply with the standards of LUMO, there was no mention in the application of its relation to the Town’s goal of achieving a 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2025-2050.


Mr. Slade said he understood that the CRed program did not have the weight or significance that LUMO had, but Resolution A was thorough in its stipulations relating to all kinds of issues.  He asked that the Council provide more time so that the issue of global warming could be addressed, as it had committed to do when it signed the CRed program.  Mr. Slade said this was a perfect opportunity to act on the CRed program, and asked that at a minimum the Town include stipulations in the resolution to that effect.


Mayor Foy said he believed a good point had been made in that the Town over the last few months had placed an emphasis on carbon reduction.  He said the University was also making a commitment, and it was his understanding there were ongoing projects on campus.  But, Mayor Foy stated, it was clear that the Town could not reach its carbon reduction goal without the cooperation of the University. He asked if the University was willing to make a commitment to participate with the Town in the carbon reduction effort it had entered into with Dr. Crawford-Brown.  Ms. Elfland responded she thought that had been clarified earlier, and reiterated that the University was in the process of doing a carbon inventory on campus with the goal of identifying where they could make plans for carbon reduction.  She stated their plan was to evaluate their situation and then establish their goal.


Mayor Foy said what he had understood was said tonight was that the University had made a commitment to carbon reduction on the one hand, but on the other hand was looking at a large carbon generator.  He said even setting that aside, how would the University and the Town move forward together in the carbon reduction effort, not necessarily with this plant itself but in the overall system in Chapel Hill.  Mayor Foy stated if the University’s efforts were not incorporated into the Town’s efforts, then the Town would be deceiving itself.  He said he believed that was the main message citizens were sending, that is, asking if the Town was being hypocritical.


Mayor Foy asked Dr. Crawford-Brown to comment on whether he thought the Town and the University were collaborating or not, and, if not, then how could they do so. Ms. Elfland clarified that the University would be happy to have a dialogue with the Town regarding carbon reduction and whether or not they should partner in that effort.  She stated they did not think that the carbon reduction initiative was relevant to the projects they had requested in the SUP, which were solely related to electricity, capacity, and reliability improvements at the Cogeneration Facility.  Ms. Elfland said they were not related to the fuel capacity at the facility which was where carbon reduction came in.  She said if the Town was interested in a dialogue regarding some joint carbon reduction effort, they were willing to do so.


Professor Doug Crawford-Brown, a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering in the School of Public Health and Director of the Carolina Environmental Program, and a professor in the Department of Public Policy in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that although he thought it was too soon as a Town to make carbon reduction commitments, this particular issue was not connected.  But, he said, the fact that carbon reduction was a part of this discussion was promising, and did see this as an opportunity for the Town and the University to say together that carbon reduction was important and that they think carefully about the large projects that would involve issues of significant carbon reduction.  Dr. Crawford-Brown reiterated that this particular case was not a very important one for dealing with the issue of carbon reduction.


Dr. Crawford-Brown stated that he co-chaired the Vice-Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee, and last week they had decided as a committee that they would no longer be an advisory committee, but would be a committee that would begin to set policy for the campus and move the campus forward on these particular issues.


Council Member Ward said the relevance he sees between the carbon reduction goals they were setting for the Town and this particular modification was that with the approval of the modification the amount of coal they would burn would increase, although their capacity would not.  Ms. Elfland responded that the amount of coal they burn would increase whether or not the Council approved the SUP modification in order to provide more steam to the growing campus.  She said the purpose of the modification was to allow them to match their electrical generating capacity with their thermal generating capacity, so that while they were producing the additional steam they could also produce electricity.  Ms. Elfland said in that way, it was actually a carbon reduction method on its own.


Ms. Elfland stated that if the SUP modification was not approved then they could not produce that additional power, and it would have to be purchased from Duke Power who was burning an equal amount of fuel to generate electricity for them, when they could be burning half the fuel if they were doing it all themselves. Ms. Elfland said again that this was a carbon reduction program in itself.


Council Member Ward said that if the system at the Cogeneration Facility did not work better with these modifications then that would be an incentive for them to burn more coal.  Ms. Elfland said they were burning more coal because they needed the thermal energy regardless of whether they could produce the electricity or not.


Council Member Ward said then the electricity potential would get wasted in the steam. Ms. Elfland said the steam would just go to the campus through the steam system to be used for heating, cooling, sterilization, etc., whereas if they had the additional electrical capacity turbines would be used to reduce the pressure of the steam.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins asked, regarding the amount of particulates and soot being emitted, with this increased capability of generating electricity the University was requesting, would there be any improvements in reducing the emission of particulates?  Butch Smith, the University’s Air Quality Engineer, responded that the air pollution control systems for the control of particulate matter at the University were Backhouse systems, which were rated at 99.8 percent for particulate control.  He said the systems were state of the art, and the best that could be done regarding particulate control.  Mr. Smith said they had about 3.9 tons of total particulate at this facility in 2004, which was a very small amount.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins said occasionally she heard neighbors of that area talk about soot, and asked if there was a soot problem in connection with the Cogeneration Facility.  Mr. Smith replied not that he was aware of.  He stated again that the soot from the plant was controlled to a level of 99.8 percent, meaning there was very little particulate matter associated with the coal facility. Mr. Smith remarked that 99.8 percent particulate control was way above the industry standard and was the best you could get.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins said she had heard the University representatives say that they were ready and willing to continue the dialogue about how to work with the Town to participate in the CRed program and perhaps in other ways, to reduce the University’s dependence on fossil fuels.  She said that satisfied her, because she did not think future Councils would allow the University to renege on that, and she did not think the University would make that commitment without a sincere intent to do that.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins said she had understood that the University’s bottom line was to have more electricity available in emergencies.  She said she had lived through both of the mentioned weather events when citizens, UNC Hospitals, and the campus did not have electricity for several days.  Mayor pro tem Wiggins said she was aware that when the University had some electricity and many people in Town did not, the University had made its facilities available at no charge for citizens to sleep, shower, and eat.  So, she said, the University’s ability to function in an emergency was not only for the benefit of the hospitals and the campus, but many citizens could benefit from the University having electricity when others did not.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins said much of this issue was very technical, and the University had done an excellent job in its presentations to make it easy for citizens to understand.  She said they had cooperated in answering the many questions, and for her it boiled down to the University saying it did not need any additional coal at this point to create the additional electricity that was needed.  She asked if her understanding was correct, in that the University would not need to burn additional coal at this time but would need to in the future, which she saw as two different issues.  Ms. Elfland stated that was correct.  Mayor pro tem Wiggins asked if Ms. Elfland had also said that they needed to produce electricity from the coal that was being burned now.  Ms. Elfland replied that was also correct.


Council Member Strom asked Dr. Crawford-Brown to provide a clarification.  He asked, regarding the CRed model that the Town had agreed to build and use to track its successes in reducing its carbon emissions, would Dr. Crawford-Brown explain what and who was in that model?  Council Member Strom said it was his understanding that the University was not willing to enter into that model when it was presented to the Town.  Dr. Crawford-Brown said there were actually two models, and he wanted to separate the carbon reduction model from the carbon reduction program.  He said you need the carbon reduction model in order to figure out what to do in the carbon reduction program.


Dr. Crawford-Brown said the University had made a commitment to the carbon reduction model being built for the University campus, scheduled to be completed during the spring semester by the student team.  He said already the University staff had been working with the graduate student team and an undergraduate honors student to build that model.  Dr. Crawford-Brown said sometime during the spring semester they would be able to take a look at where all the carbon dioxide was coming from, from the University and University employees who travel to the University.  He said they would have finished the Town model by that time as well, and that the Town model would be the carbon inventory for the entire Town and one part of that would be the University releases within it. Dr. Crawford-Brown said the University had stepped forward in helping them to build that model.


Dr. Crawford-Brown said a separate question was when you have the model, what do you do with it.  He said the University had decided that through the Vice-Chancellor’s Sustainability Advisory Committee they would start to use that model to identify beginning at the end of the spring semester where the University could get the greatest “bang for its buck” in terms of carbon dioxide emissions on the campus.  Dr. Crawford-Brown said this would be a long term strategy, and the first step was to find out where your carbon dioxide emissions were.  He said he was glad to see that the Town and the Town Council would be watching, and this issue of what the Town would approve on campus and throughout the Town would increasingly be controlled by how it matched the model and where you think you were going with carbon dioxide emissions and where you actually were.


Dr. Crawford-Brown said one of the strategies on the campus was to every year compare where they thought they were going with carbon dioxide emissions against what the new inventory showed them.  He again stated that he was pleased to see the Council saying that carbon dioxide reduction was an important issue, but he did not see a particular carbon dioxide emissions issue in this SUP Modification request.


Council Member Strom said then there were two models and two programs.  He asked if it would be more effective to merge the models and the programs.  Dr. Crawford-Brown replied he would stand before the University and the Town and say yes, and there needed to be a mechanism for doing that.  He said it was his understanding that the University and the Town had now started to form that mechanism.


Council Member Greene commented that it was important to the University and to the Town that the project move forward.  She spoke in support of delaying action until more constructive dialogue could take place and all questions could be addressed.




A straw vote resulted in a 3-4 vote, with Council Members Greene, Strom, and Ward voting yea, and Mayor Foy and Council Members Harrison, Verkerk, and Wiggins voting nay.


Mayor Foy asked the Attorney if a simple majority vote would defeat the motion to delay, or were five votes necessary.  Mr. Karpinos responded that if the Council took no further action, then the issue would be delayed until January 9 regardless of the vote, because no further action would result in no resolution.  He said effectively to this point no action had been taken by the Council, not because the motion to delay failed but because it would automatically carry over to the next meeting until further action was taken.


Mayor Foy said he was willing to ask the University to delay until January 9, because he believed they would be willing to participate with the Town in the carbon reduction effort, which was what the Town wanted.  He said they had heard Dr. Crawford-Brown say that this application was not critical to the carbon reduction effort, and had heard Ms. Elfland say the University would continue to burn coal and would continue to increase the amount of coal that they burn. Mayor Foy said what the Town loses by not letting the University have the requested additional capacity was the steam that could be generated while they burn that coal.


Mayor Foy said if the Town could get the University to agree to participate with the Town in the carbon reduction program, which was one of the Council’s long-term goals, then he would be satisfied.  He said he did not believe he would hear anything additionally on January 9 that would convince him whether or not to vote for the permit.  Mayor Foy said he was in favor of granting the University the permit, but he was not in favor of continuing on and pretending that we were not destroying our environment.


Mayor Foy said we could ask the University to agree to place in the permit a stipulation that they participate in the Town’s carbon reduction program so that it was binding, which he believed was progress.  He said he did not believe anything would be gained by delaying until January 9.


Mayor Foy formally asked the University if they would agree to a stipulation being included in the SUP Modification that the University would work together to reduce carbon emissions on campus and in Chapel Hill, and specifically to participate in the CRed program with the Town.  Mr. Runberg responded that they would be willing to agree to that.  He reminded the Council that a delay would cost the University $250,000 a month, and that was a significant cost to the University and to the taxpayers of the State.  Mr. Runberg agreed with Mayor Foy’s earlier comments, noting the real issue was to allow the University to increase the electricity-generating capacity and not waste that energy.


Council Member Greene withdraw her motion to delay.


Council Member Ward said he was not clear whether that motion articulated that the two models would be merged into one.  He said he would like to have further input from Dr. Crawford-Brown regarding merging the two models and whether or not that made the most sense.  Council Member Ward said that because of the nature of how the University would continue to do business, then maybe there was some value in having a separate model as well as a merged model.  Dr. Crawford-Brown responded that there did have to be two models simply because there were two administrative units involved, so each had to have its own model to work on. He said his earlier remarks were intended to convey that there needed to be a Town-University liaison or organization that was responsible for periodically looking at both groups toward reaching the goals of the program.


Council Member Verkerk said she wholeheartedly supported the motion, noting this was her last Council meeting and she and Mayor pro tem Wiggins had been working hard on environmental issues.  She said the CRed program had come from the Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental Committee, so this was a nice capstone to see the University and the Town collaborate on this issue.


Council Member Harrison stated that the stipulations offered earlier by Mr. Henkel were worthy of consideration, and he did not believe they would delay the project. He said many of the suggested nine stipulations may already be things the University was doing, but he did not want to lose them.  Mr. Runberg replied that regarding those nine suggested stipulations, the University did not believe those stipulations were relevant to the project under consideration this evening, noting they raise institutional issues.  He said they were happy to have a dialogue outside of this forum on energy conservation and renewable energy, but did not believe they were a part of the basic request for a cogeneration plant modification.  Mr. Runberg said they would prefer not to include those suggested stipulations in the permit.


Mayor Foy asked Dr. Crawford-Brown if he had read the nine suggested stipulations, and would it be appropriate to refer them to his sustainability committee.  Dr. Crawford-Brown said he would be happy to look at them with the committee, adding he believed the stipulations already contained in the resolution under consideration were a major step forward.  He added that the issues raised by the suggested stipulations were ones that his sustainability committee would have to consider in the long run.








Mayor pro tem Wiggins commented at times it appeared there was tension between the University receiving approval of its applications and the Council’s attention to detail and adding stipulations to that approval.  She said she had heard a high-ranking University official state that that process produced a higher quality product.  Mayor pro tem Wiggins said she had that same feeling about what had happened this evening, noting that the CRed program was very important to the Town.  She said it was very encouraging that the University had said it would cooperate with the Town, and she believed the University and the Town would be better served by having that stipulation added to the permit.




Item 8 – Response to Petition from the Mason Farm Road Neighborhood

Association Requesting Consideration for a Neighborhood

Conservation District and Moratorium


Principal Community Development Planner Loryn Clark noted that tonight’s discussion was in response to a petition from residents of the Mason Farm Neighborhood Association requesting designation as a Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) and requesting immediate neighborhood protection.  She said they recommended that the Council adopt the Resolution R-19 authorizing the Manager to request proposals from consultants in July 2006 to develop an NCD for the Mason Farm neighborhood.


Ms. Clark stated that the petition also requested immediate protection from subdivision of lots and remodeling of existing units that would create units with more than one dwelling unit per lot.  She said in response to that request, they were recommending that the staff complete an analysis of the neighborhood to determine if rezoning to a district with a larger minimum lot size would address the concerns raised by the Neighborhood Association.  Ms. Clark said that analysis would be presented to the Council on January 9, 2006.


Mayor Foy said he believed that was a good plan.


Council Member Greene agreed that the plan was good, and asked if this would have any impact on the Rogers Road plan.  Ms. Clark responded it was their intention to continue to move forward with the Rogers Road small area plan in July, 2006. Council Member Greene said then this would not slow that work down.  Ms. Clark replied it would not.




Item 9 – Council Committee Recommendation regarding

Conservation Easements on Town-Owned Open Space Along Morgan Creek


Mayor Foy commented that Council Member Ward was Chair of this committee.


Council Member Ward provided background on the Committee’s efforts, noting that the Committee had worked well with Johnny Randall of the N.C. Botanical Garden Foundation as well as two members of the staff of the Triangle Land Conservancy.  He stated that both groups had been identified as likely holders of any conservation easements that the Town might place on its lands.  Council Member Ward said after long discussion, it became clear that the N. C. Botanical Garden Foundation would be best suited for that purpose.


Council Member Ward said they were at a point where it was necessary to conduct some survey work and to go through an analysis of what the cost would be to ask the NC Botanical Garden Foundation to hold these easements.  He said they anticipated a cost of approximately $1,500 a year, which would provide for two site visits a year by Botanical Garden Foundation representatives.


Council Member Ward said they were asking for the Council’s support of Resolution R-20 that would allow them to take these next steps.  He added that he believed that was a “fantastic” and necessary step for the Town to take as a commitment to the long-term protection of natural areas, as it wanted to be an example for other large landowners in Chapel Hill and hoped that they would be inclined to do the same


Council Member Strom remarked that this far exceeded his expectation of the scope and outcome, and thanked the Committee for its work


Council Member Harrison, who had served on the Committee, noted it had been a lot of fun.




Item 10 –Concept Plan:  Dobbins Hill Phase II and Wilson Assemblage


Mr. Poveromo provided a brief background on the two proposed developments.  He displayed an area map and pointed out the location of the two projects.  Mr. Poveromo stated that when the Wilson Assemblage SUP was approved it included 149 units, 48,000 square feet of office and retail space, and 402 parking spaces.  He stated that the Dobbins Hill SUP approved 32 tax credit affordable units.


Mr. Poveromo noted that the Concept Plan for Dobbins Hill Phase II appeared to propose no changes to the approved SUP Modification.  He stated that the Concept Plan proposal for Wilson Assemblage included a proposal to offer a $500,000 letter of credit in lieu of the Dobbins Hill Phase II affordable housing component, to delay the stipulation requiring completion of the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Superstreet project on US 15-501, to reduce the number of residential units and office floor area, and to construct the project in four phases.


Mr. Poveromo stated they recommended that the Council receive comments and adopt Resolution R-21 which would transmit Council comments on the Concept Plan proposals for both projects to the applicant.


Phil Post, representing Crosland Associates, stated they had previously been before the Council, and hoped that tonight they would receive answers to their questions so that they might move forward with the SUP Modification.  He displayed an area map and offered a brief description of the projects.  Mr. Post then exhibited the approved site plan, pointing out the location and route of the new proposed public road.  He also pointed out the location of the stormwater detention pond on Wilson Assemblage, noting that the current pond was located to the north of that.  Mr. Post stated that if they build the proposed affordable housing units at that location, then the pond would need to be moved to that new location.  Mr. Post displayed a map showing the public road on Wilson Assemblage that provided access to the parking for the affordable units. 


Mr. Post stated that the “clouds” that had developed over the last several months were in two areas.  He said the first involved the NC Housing Finance Authority, noting there was stiff competition for affordable units, and a situation had developed because of the competition for State-wide tax credits. Mr. Post said the tax credits were awarded to projects that were ready to go, so what had to happen was if one were awarded these tax credits one had to be able to begin the project almost immediately.  He said 10 percent of the funds had to be expended within the first 90 days, meaning if the tax credits were issued today that three months from now one would have had to expend, on the ground, 10 percent of the money that was related to the project.  Mr. Post said that meant for Dobbins Hill Apartments, some work on Wilson Assemblage had to proceed Dobbins Hill in order to qualify for the State tax credits.


Mr. Post said the second issue was the linkage of both projects to the construction of the Superstreet.  He said that NCDOT had delayed the opening of bids on that project until late spring or later of 2006, and it appeared that due to lack of funding the project could be delayed even more.


Mr. Post noted that the Wilson Assemblage had been approved for 158,000 square feet of residential space.  He said once they laid those units out, which included the space necessary for elevators, breezeways and the like, it became apparent that they would have to reduce the number of planned units from 149 to 129. Mr. Post said the office and mixed retail square footage would stay the same.


Mr. Post briefly said the stipulations that needed to be addressed this evening included #4, #5, and #21, which created the linkages between Wilson Assemblage, Dobbins Hill, the NC Housing Finance Agency, and NCDOT.  He said they needed some relief to create a new scheduling regime.


Mr. Post said also at issue was the Wilson Assemblage development density, noting that even though the number of units dropped the same square footage was necessary due to the provision of elevators, breezeways, etc.  He said regarding the Affordable Housing guarantee, it was incorrect to call it a payment-in-lieu.  Mr. Post said what they wanted was two chances to gain the State tax credits, the first of which would take place in January 2006, and the second 14 months from now which would only occur if the January 2006 application failed.  He said they needed to have those two good-faith chances to gain these tax credits.  Mr. Post said in order to allow Wilson Assemblage to proceed what they were offering was a good faith showing of funds so that if these tax credits were not issued, there would be something to back up their intention to proceed with Wilson Assemblage with these good faith funds.


Regarding Stipulation #4, Mr. Post said they could not begin Wilson Assemblage until the NC Housing Finance Agency approved the tax credits, and could not begin Dobbins Hill until Wilson Assemblage was approved.  He said that kind of linkage could not happen in today’s environment.  Mr. Post then offered a brief description of the NC Housing Finance Agency’s schedule and requirements.


Mr. Post said that Stipulation #21 had to do with the linkage through NCDOT, which prohibited the granting of a Zoning Compliance Permit for Wilson Assemblage until NCDOT signed a contract for the Superstreet intersection improvements.  He said that did not happen in 2005 as planned, it was scheduled for the spring of 2006, but it may not happen until 2007.  Mr. Post said they needed to find a way to allow these projects to proceed even though the Superstreet project was delayed.


Mr. Post said they were proposing a construction phasing schedule that, if the stipulations noted were amended, would allow Wilson Assemblage to begin in June through August of 2006.  Then, he said, if the tax credits were received, Dobbins Hill would begin in September through November of 2006.  Mr. Post said they would allow them to meet the December 1 deadline for expending 10 percent of the funds.  He said they would project that July 2007 they would have 32 affordable units on the ground at Dobbins Hill and at about the same time they would have 36 market units on the ground at Wilson Assemblage.


Mr. Post explained that during Phase I, the construction of the new public street would allow them to be independent of the Superstreet project, bringing all traffic out by way of the new street to Sage Road.  He said the Sage Road intersection could absorb this modest amount of traffic.


Mr. Post exhibited a slide showing the proposed development schedule, and explained the timing of the projects.  He then displayed a slide showing the approved square footages of Wilson Assemblage.  Mr. Post said they had been asked how they could get the unit count and density back up to the 149 originally proposed. He commented that if they could increase their floor area, they could return to their original number of units by increasing the building footprint area in a portion of the site.


Mr. Post then displayed a slide that described the critical path schedule to meet the NC Housing Finance Agency requirements and achieve the 2006 approval of tax credits for the Dobbins Hill Phase II project.  He said if they got the signal from the Council this evening that they were headed in the right direction, then they would submit the formal SUP application next month.  Mr. Post said that would allow them to proceed to public hearings and SUP action by early May of next year, allowing them to do the engineering and get the permits to start the Dobbins Hill and Wilson Assemblage projects in the summer of next year.  He reiterated that it was very important that they know they could proceed with their applications next month.


Mr. Post explained that they were asking for three things this evening:


1.                  Modify Stipulation #4 to permit a Zoning Compliance Permit for the Wilson Assemblage prior to NC Housing Finance Agency approval and issuance of a Zoning Compliance Permit for Dobbins Hill Phase II.

2.                  Modify Stipulation #21 to permit a Zoning Compliance Permit for the Wilson Assemblage without connection to the NCDOT action to sign a construction contract.

3.                  Modify Stipulation #21 to allow occupancy of both Dobbins Hill and Wilson Assemblage dwelling units prior to completion of US 15-501/Erwin Road intersection improvements based upon a traffic pattern that requires all traffic from Dobbins hill and Wilson Assemblage to exit onto Sage Road until the intersection improvements are completed.


Mr. Post noted that their good faith commitments in return for the new proposed stipulations would be:


·                     Posting a $500,000 letter of credit for affordable housing, executable by the Town to support affordable housing if the NC Housing Finance Agency does not approve Dobbins Hill Phase II.

·                     Development of a staging plan that will direct all traffic from Dobbins Hill and Wilson Assemblage until NCDOT improves the US 15-501/Erwin Road intersection, regardless of the year of completion, estimated to be 2007 or 2008.


Mr. Post asked the Council for their comments on the proposed changes to stipulations #4 and #21, the proposed increased square footage of residential development to permit 149 dwelling units on the Wilson Assemblage site, and adopting a public hearing schedule that would permit the Council to make a decision on a modified SUP by May 2006.


David Ravin, with Crosland Associates, commented that they understand that two Council members were not present tonight, but it was important that they receive comments tonight so that they could move forward as quickly as possible.  He said that the letter of credit would potentially fund the 32 affordable units if the NC Housing Finance Agency did not grant them the tax credits, although they were confident that they had a good chance of receiving those tax credits.


Mr. Ravin remarked that what they had proposed was that 18 to 20 percent of the project would be dedicated to affordable housing, depending on whether they were allowed to build 149 or 129 units, and those units would be targeted at those earning 50 percent of the median income rather than 80%.  He stated that both of those were much higher than the stated Town goals, and he hoped that the Council would cooperate with them so that the project could proceed.


Dr. Harvey Krasney, a neighbor of the proposed development, stated he believed Crosland’s intent was to remove the safety net that the Council had granted to the neighbors and the Town that no construction would begin on this property until the Superstreet contract was let and that no Certificate of Occupancy would be granted until the Superstreet was completed.  He said that was their safety net and Crosland was asking that the Council throw it out.


Dr. Krasney asked the Council to look at the impact on the traffic in that area. He said there would be 65 fewer vehicles, but Crosland had forgotten to remind the Council that with the addition to Dobbins Hill there would be 54 more vehicle parking spaces, and when all was added up they would get 385 new vehicles added to their neighborhood instead of 450 vehicles.  Mr. Krasney stated that was still a lot of vehicles added to an area that suffered almost daily waiting in long lines at peak hours, burning fuel and spreading fumes.


Dr. Krasney said the Council had said no more than once, that is, no more additions to the traffic problem in this area until the Superstreet was a reality.  He asked that the Council please not renege on this promise to the neighborhood and to the Town, and especially to those near the area where the cut-through to Wilson Assemblage was being proposed again by the Community Design Commission.


D`r. Krasney said he had recently discovered that very soon the University would again be asking the Council to amend the SUP for the Chapel Hill Bible Church to allow them to add a park-and-ride lot to the Church property, amounting to 240 more vehicles to this same area.  He asked that the Council say no to Crosland’s request to eliminate the Superstreet requirement in Stipulation #21, and to any more vehicular parking spaces in this area until the traffic problems were addressed and solved.


Council Member Ward asked if the fact that Crosland now had to move forward quickly because of the tax credits was a new issue, or had they know about that beforehand.  Mr. Post said the new elements were that there was now a limitation on the State funding of those tax credits so that had cut down the number of grants, and at the same time the competition for those limited number of grants had grown.  He said that obviously projects that were ready to go with no impediments would be first in line to receive those funds, rather than projects that were still in the planning stages.


Council Member Ward requested a clearer explanation of the traffic flow with the proposed new public road.  Mr. Post displayed a slide showing the roadway system within the developments and explained the routes.  He also pointed out the construction entrances that would not be available to normal traffic, the one-way islands, and the new public street and its connection to Sage Road.  Mr. Post explained how the traffic would be directed to the new public street.


Council Member Ward suggested that the western entrance marked as a construction entrance might be a left-turn only out of the development so that it would not exacerbate the traffic at Erwin Road.  Mr. Post responded that was a possibility, and they would welcome that type of refinement.  He said they would be amenable to any circumstances that would improve traffic.


Mr. Post clarified a comment made by Dr. Krasney.  He said that their proposal in no way changed the McGregor connection.


Council Member Verkerk stated that there was a potential that the two additional buildings would not be possible in Dobbins Hill.  Mr. Post said the tax credits were not guaranteed, although they were confident they would be successful in their pursuit.  He said at this time they met all of the requirements, except for the ability to start the project immediately.


Council Member Strom said the Dobbins Hill affordable housing component was very attractive to him, but he also knew the applicant had worked hard to avoid having to request a rezoning.  He said he believed the project could be much better, much different, and much more the type of project the Council had talked about in the Comprehensive Plan and much more similar to the type of project that warranted an increase in floor area.  Council Member Strom commented that the Council had recently doubled the requirement for floor area for a development on NC 54 and Hamilton Road, because that project was more in character with the type of projects the Council was looking for.


Council Member Strom said he was not inclined to lift the requirement for connection to the Superstreet, and he would much rather see Crosland come in with an approach that was significantly different than what was now proposed if they were not able to live up to the existing permit.  Mr. Post said they could easily increase the floor area that would get them back to the original 149 units.  He said they had room for 40 more units, making the total 190, if there was a way to allow them to get started making these applications in January and get started on the ground with the units.  Mr. Post said when they come back with their SUP modification they could come back with 40 additional units.


Mr. Post remarked that their process required that the developer make contact and “look into the eyes” of their neighbors which they had done, and they had said “no rezoning.”  He said if they had to come back with a rezoning request it would be breaking a promise to the neighbors, so someone would have to help us with that issue.


Council Member Strom said that he and others on the Council had encouraged that rezoning in the beginning and it was unfortunate that they were now at this point.  He said he did not feel inclined to support these significant changes at this time.  Mr. Post asked if he would be more inclined to support it if the 40 additional units were added.  Council Member Strom responded that if the proposal was in a similar configuration as it now was.


Council Member Greene agreed with Council Member Strom that the issue of a rezoning was not off the table, noting this was the third appearance before the Council with a Concept Plan.  She said she was mystified as to how the applicant had taken away from those meetings that they should not ask for a rezoning.  Council Member Greene said she was disappointed that they had not asked for a rezoning the last time they appeared before the Council.


Council Member Greene said she wanted to focus on how this plan had gone from one the Council could barely live with to one that she personally could not live with, much less remove its connection to the Superstreet.  She said at the last meeting she had had difficultly reconciling this development with the Town’s definition of mixed use, although technically it fit.  Council Member Greene said the project looked even less like mixed use now, noting it looked more like a suburban apartment complex.  She said she did not believe that was what they wanted in this part of Town.  Council Member Greene said they wanted a project in that area that worked and was consistent with their goals, and this project was moving farther from those goals rather than closer to them.  Mr. Post said he appreciated her comments.  He said this was the second time tonight he had appeared before the Council with a project that reduced density rather than increased it, and it had not been well received.


Council Member Verkerk said it appeared that this project, from the very beginning, had been skirting things and not confronting what the Council had been saying.  She said perhaps they should consider scrapping a great deal of their plan and coming up with something that was truly transit-oriented.  Council Member Verkerk said this project was sitting in a major transit corridor already supported by buses, and she would rather be able to go to the developer and ask for more buses rather than a new road because their project would overload the bus system.  She said she was not sure what that would look like, but they should think about that because that was what this Council wanted.  Council Member Verkerk said that might mean rethinking who they were marketing this development to as well.


Council Member Harrison said each time this project had come before the Council they had discussed rezoning.  He said he had commented previously that anywhere else in the Triangle this project would have been a rezoning.  Council Member Harrison said Mr. Post had just shared with the Council that they had told the neighbors they would not request a rezoning, and the Council did not know that.  He agreed with other Council members that a rezoning might be the way to go.


Council Member Harrison said regarding the Superstreet, he had spent a lot of time thinking about it.  He said an intersection change such as that was suppose to have an area-wide impact, and that it dealt not only with turning motions but with the through traffic on US 15-501.  Council Member Harrison said he did not know if funneling the traffic off to Sage Road would reduce that impact on the through traffic, so it was not decoupling it completely from the Superstreet project.  He said he had hoped the Superstreet would be built on schedule, but the fiscal situation had not been good.  Council Member Harrison said he was not comfortable decoupling this project from the Superstreet construction.


Mayor Foy remarked that the project at NC 54 and Hamilton Road had been mentioned tonight, and he encouraged Mr. Post to look at that so he could get an idea of what the Council was referring to.


Council Member Verkerk commented that in that project, the percentage of workforce housing was 30 percent.


Council Member Ward commented that a strong aspect of this project was that it would be targeted to those earning 50 percent of the median income, which was sorely needed.  He said he would hate to have to give that up.


Council Member Ward said he could not comfortably vote to approve this project without the certainly of the Superstreet, particularly in these economic times that make it less likely that it would get built in a timely fashion.  He said that US 15-501 and Erwin Road perform so poorly now that he could not comfortably say to start building without the improvements to that intersection.  Council Member Ward said if that meant giving up the 50 percent or 80 percent median income housing, which was incredibly important to the community, then he would lament that but would have to do it.



Item 11 – Appointments


11a.     Continuing Concerns Committee.


The Council appointed Justin Coleman and André Wesson to the Continuing Concerns Committee.  Mayor Foy noted that this Committee had grown out of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Street naming efforts, and more members were needed.  He encouraged citizens to apply.



Council Members



Continuing Concerns Committee











Vote for 2 applicants






















Justin Coleman











André Wesson






















Other; please list:














11b.     Historic District Commission.


The Council appointed Diana Crawford to the Historic District Commission.




Council Members



Historic District Commission











Vote for 2 Applicants






















Diana Crawford











Keith Freeman











Mark McGrath






















Other; please list











Mary Ann Kasarda














11c.     Orange Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors.


The Council appointed Gordon Merklein to the Orange Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors.



Council Members














Vote for 1 Applicant






















Ralph Beisner











Thatcher Freund











Floyd Fried











Gordon Merklein











James White






















Other; please list:















Item 12 – Petitions


12a.     By the Mayor and Members of the Council.


12a(1).       Mayor pro tem Wiggins.


Mayor pro tem Wiggins said when she saw that Justin Coleman had applied to the Continuing Concerns Committee, she thought that the Council might ask him to be acting convener or chair, and then those three members could give some thought to how to stimulate interest among the community.


Mayor Foy agreed, noting that three members were now committed to this effort, and they could get started now.


Council Member Greene suggested that this committee might assist with the Rosa Parks Celebration in December.  Mayor Foy agreed, stating he would contact Mr. Coleman and relay the Council’s thoughts.


12a(2).       Council Member Harrison.


Council Member Harrison asked that the Attorney begin a process with the City of Durham to amend the annexation boundary agreement between Chapel Hill and Durham on the eastern edge of Town.  He said there was a situation where there was a sidewalk on the edge of Town that the Town had required be built, and now there is a situation where the speed limits were different for the northbound and southbound lanes because the City of Durham had lowered the speed limit in the area under their jurisdiction.  Council Member Harrison said this may be just the beginning of concerns, and should be corrected now.


Council Member Harrison said he would place this issue on the agenda for the Durham-Chapel Hill Work Group for discussion.




12a(3).       Council Member Strom


Council Member Strom announced he would represent the Council as a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Board Work Group by attending a materials recovery facility tour in Charlotte and Greensboro on November 28, leaving at 7 a.m. and returning at 5 p.m.  He invited any interested Council members to join him.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 p.m.