The Downtown Development Initiative is a steamroller (in more ways then one). Check out this summary of comments from Nov. 20th’s public hearing. A little light and less nuanced than the opposition comments I recall. Good thing there’s a video record on-line.

So why introduce the following bias?

Potential Advantages of the Project

-Mixed use adds life to downtown
-Residents downtown year-round desirable
-Will stimulate other private development
-Residential development is the key to revitalization
-Will visit cultural facilities, businesses, increase tourist dollars
-Need diversity of pubic spaces and flexibility for uses
-Proposal could be a model for other developers
-Project embodies sustainability principles: economic, environmental, social
-Improves quality of life
-Reduces dependence on automobile
-Improves ability to work where live
-Helps prevent sprawl and retain rural buffer
-Removes surface parking
-Provides significant public open space
-Improves tax base
-Commend LEED certification and energy efficiency
-Improves public safety downtown
-Provides affordable housing
-Consistent with Downtown Small Area Plan
-Is right place for a taller building
-Downtown needs a multiple use center to attract people
-Quality of the design is high
-Public art will be center stage
-Supports vibrant, walkable, liveable community
-Economically a good deal for the Town
-Indirect public benefits make deal even better
-It is the right place for the project; keeps out of neighborhoods
-Will provide more people downtown to sustain retail downtown uses
-If we want to retain the rural buffer, we need more density in Town of Chapel Hill
-Thanks for keeping the affordable housing in the proposal

Concerns Noted Regarding the Project

-Make design fit in with Chapel Hill
-Financial risk too great for the Town
-Wrong place for this development; put in neighborhoods?
-Ruins spirit of Chapel Hill
-Principle of revenue neutral investment not being met
-Take more time to consider project
-Latest “magic bullet” that will not improve quality of life
-Will units be quiet and have firewall construction?
-Will it be family housing?
-Incorporate solar technology and be a model for energy conservation
-Is commitment to local businesses being met?
-What happens if the developer goes bankrupt?
-99-year lease is too long
-Buyout of rights in 50 years could be a concern for Town down the road
-Make sure underground parking is well-lit
-Make sure condominium association dues are reasonable for the affordable units

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