Maria Palmer

Synthetic Turf Causes Community Concerns

In June, the Chapel Hill Town Council agreed to move forward with new synthetic turf for the Homestead Park soccer field. But since that decision, community members have expressed concerns about dangerous carcinogens in the rubber that could endanger the athletes, contaminate storm water and harm the environment. In response to these concerns, Parks and Recreation Director Jim Orr released a “Frequently Asked Questions” document. He addressed many of these points during the June town meeting, including the main reason for the project. “There’s a variety of reasons, and one main reason is that you can play on the surface...

Read More

Chapel Hill Town Council Delays Obey Creek Vote

The Chapel Hill Town Council chose not to vote on the approval last night of the 120-acre Obey Creek development near Southern Village. Instead, the council used the meeting to hear further public comment and pushed the vote until next Monday. The council’s decision not to vote seemed to come as a shock to Obey Creek’s developer Roger Perry. “Damn! I got all dressed up,” Perry said. Town staff had recommended the council approve the rezoning and development agreement, which would clear the way for construction to begin. But at the meeting, the council said it needed more time...

Read More

Chapel Hill Development: What’s Working, What’s Not?

It’s been a decade since Chapel Hill leaders began to push for more commercial growth to balance the tax base. But David Schwartz, co-founder of Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, says in that time, the town has failed to move away from residential development. “We cannot make up for a deficit in commercial by doubling down on the amount of residential that we build,” says Schwartz. Town Council Member Maria Palmer says that’s not a fair assessment. “You can’t say we’re not building enough commercial if every commercial proposal that is put forward is attacked by the...

Read More