The Chickens Have Roosted: Council’s Environmental Credibility Gap

We lost that argument when we passed parking lot#5 as designed.

One of the chief criticisms of the new Downtown Development Initiative (DDI) is that the Lot 5 building is setting a poor precedent for what is yet to come…


Councilmember Jim Ward tried to put the brakes on Council’s pellmell acceptance of “the new deal”. Failing that, he went ahead and proffered a friendly amendment to not only require LEED Silver certification but to meet NC State’s governmental building standards with the ASHRAE 90.1 %20 energy efficiency requirement.

Councilmembers Strom and Kleinschmidt, working against character and on behalf of “the deal”, watered down Jim’s request leaving RAM Development’s VP Cummings to deliver the final smack-down.

In spite of those environmental, financial and social concerns, Council went ahead and approved the next, and probably final, stage of the project.

Not more than an hour later, during a discussion of UNC’s requested modifications to their development plan #3, Chapel Hill Councilmember Jim Ward aptly describe the fallout from setting that precedent.

Now is not the time, it was about three agenda items ago was the time. You just..and others…just said fine with parking lot #5, which is going to have no energy savings. I think we lose our credibility when we pass that and say, “you guys have to do better than us” but our project is fine – it’s so SOP [standard operating procedure].

I don’t think we have any credibility…put your money where your mouth is…

We lost that argument when we passed parking lot#5 as designed.

Thanks Jim, I know it was tough getting crushed by the Lot 5 Jagannath.


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