Elizabeth Friend

CHTC Weighs Pros And Cons of B&Bs

The Town Council is pondering how bed and breakfasts might change the character of Chapel Hill’s historic neighborhoods. In some tourist towns like Asheville, bed and breakfasts have been hailed as a way to revitalize historic neighborhoods, but Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said he’s not convinced that’s needed in Chapel Hill. “Somebody earlier tonight said, ‘What problem is this solving?’, and I think for many of our neighborhoods it’s not solving any problem. It’s just potentially creating them,” said Kleinschmidt. The council heard from residents on the issue Monday night. Many, including Boundary Street homeowner Sally Sather, were opposed to the concept. “No one I have talked to in my neighborhood is in favor of allowing bed and breakfasts to start buying up our houses,” said Sather. “Allowing this kind of creeping commercialism would be a terrible precedent for this council to set.” Town planners told the council they don’t recommend wide-spread permitting of B&Bs either, but the council could consider allowing some neighborhoods to opt in. One example might be the Cameron-McCauley Historic District, where long-time residents say student rentals have taken over, destabilizing the neighborhood. Kurt Ribisl is the president of the Westside Neighborhood Association. He told the council new bed and breakfasts sound better than more of what his neighbors call “student-stuffers.” “Between having a rental property or a B&B, people would think that a B&B would...

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Chapel Hill Town Council and Mayoral Forum on WCHL Thursday Night

Candidates in the races for Chapel Hill Mayor and the Town Council will face off Thursday night in a two hour debate hosted by WCHL, the Sierra Club, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, the  Greater Chapel Hill Association of REALTORS® and the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties. Nine people are vying for four seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council this November. The three incumbents, Jim Ward, Donna Bell and Lee Storrow, face Adam Jones, David Schwartz, Jessica Anderson, Nancy Oates, Paul Neebe and Michael Parker. There’s also one open seat on the council that’s been vacant since Matt Czajkowski resigned in March. Incumbent Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt faces two challengers, Pam Hemminger and Gary Kahn. Kleinschmidt has served as mayor since 2009, and two terms on the council prior to that. Hemminger previously served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board and the Orange County Board of Commissioners. Gary Kahn has run for office twice in the past, both times unsuccessfully. Aaron Keck will moderate the discussion, exploring issues of development, growth, affordability and more. Bring your questions for candidates or submit them to us using Facebook or Twitter. You can join us live in the Council Chamber at Chapel Hill Town Hall, or tune in on the radio at 7 o’clock. The forum will be simultaneously broadcast on Chapel Hill Gov-TV and streamed on...

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