Friends, neighbors, and supporters:
Happy New Year! It’s been a busy year in Chapel Hill, and I wanted to write you at the conclusion of the year with updates about my work on the Town Council in 2012.
Since council reconvened in September, we have:
- Begun implementation of Chapel Hill 2020, with the creation of the Central West and Ephesus/Fordham Focus Areas.
- Approved changes to our taxi ordinance to create more consistency regarding fares charged by taxi companies.
- Approved the Charterwood Development along Martin Luther King Boulevard. I voted against this development, and believed it was inconsistent with the standards laid out for the property in the Northern Area Task Force. A group of neighbors are engaged in litigation regarding the site, and it may take many more months before a final resolution.
I’m particularly proud of my work on our stormwater management requirements for individual single-family residential projects. I heard from many residents during the campaign and since taking office that requirements were onerous and burdensome, and I asked our manager to put this item on council’s agenda this summer. In December the council increased the land disturbance threshold that triggers stormwater requirements for single-family residential projects.
One of the most important votes I will take this year will be to appoint a new council member to fill the vacancy resulting from the resignation of former Council Member (now County Commissioner) Penny Rich. Applications must be received by January 7th, and the council will appoint someone later this month.
Our community has engaged in a serious conversation this fall about our transit advertising policy and what types of advertisements we should allow on our buses. During our discussion on the matter on December 3rd, I voted to designate our buses a public forum which would have allowed the broadest array of advertisements. I’m proud of standing up for free speech; however there was not majority support for that policy. Ultimately, the council supported a policy that allows most religious and political advertisements, with some limitations.
This month, I’ll again be hosting open office hours and meetings with residents in diverse neighborhoods across Chapel Hill. Please stop by one, or give me a call at 919-914-0311 if you have issues you would like to discuss.
In the years ahead, Chapel Hill faces many opportunities and challenges. I look forward to working with all members of our community to achieve a shared vision for the community we call home.