Carrboro Considering Options for Dilapidated CVS-Owned Building

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen decided unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to move forward with a draft non-residential building ordinance. It would give the town more power over commercial buildings at risk for being a health hazard to the community.

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle says the draft ordinance is especially in reference to one building in town: the CVS-owned building on the corner of North Greensboro and West Weaver Streets.

Lavelle says the question she’s asked most by members of the public is about the future of the building.

“About once a week, ‘hey what’s going on with that building? Why is it abandoned? Why does it look so bad? What’s the plans?’”

CVS bought the building but did nothing with it after the board denied the request to rezone the property around it in 2013. Lavelle says the town has offered to clean the area up, but the company hasn’t responded.

“We’ve made some offers to CVS to tear everything down; we’ve made offers to use it for parking; we’ve made offers to maintain it while they decide what they’re going to do with the property. And it’s been met with really kind of, you know, crickets.”

READ MORE: That Building in Carrboro is Still Just Sitting There

She says in the building’s current state, it poses some health and safety concerns.

“You can see the ceilings are falling in. The ceilings are falling in, they might have varmints, you might have little critters kind of in there. You might have folks seeing it broken up and trying to jump over the fence to stay in there at night. You might be attracting rats.”

But with the draft ordinance, it will allow an administrator to enter a property if certain complaints have been made to the town. After that happens, the company will have a certain amount of time to repair any damages. If they’re irreparable, other plans may have to be made.

But Lavelle says there are certain protections landowners have under the proposal as well. And all she really wants is to clean up the property, and make use of the building somehow.

“It’s really our hope that this will start a conversation of some sort just to do something with the area.”

The “Town of Carrboro Non-Residential Building Ordinance” will be one of the items up for discussion at a public hearing set for October.

CPD Seeks Info For Fraudulent Prescription Case

CPD unsub-1The Carrboro Police Department needs your help identifying a man wanted for questioning after he presented a fraudulent prescription to the CVS Pharmacy in Car Mill last month.

The man presented the Oxycodone prescription on June 17. A security camera caught a picture of him; he is possibly from Raleigh; but no other information about him is currently known.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Brad Ward with the Carrboro Police at 919-913-2960 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.

CVS Project Paused As Developers Pull Permit To Rezone

CARRBORO – The developers for the proposed CVS on N. Greensboro Street withdrew their conditional use permit Tuesday night, meaning that the current version of the project will need to be drastically altered if it comes in front of the Board of Aldermen at a later date.

“They pulled their request for a public hearing on the conditional use permit and rezoning because I think it was clear to them that they were not going to be able to get the rezoning,” says Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton. “The conditional use permit that was proposed could not have been approved without the rezoning being approved. I think it was clear to them that this was going nowhere tonight.”

The project required a conditional use permit, or C.U.P., because the scope of the project necessitated the rezoning of three lots whose current zoning did not allow the proposed development.

The lots that the developers were originally requesting to be rezoned were planned as parking lots to help alleviate the transition from high-density commercial to the residential lots on Center Street. But Carrboro Planning Director Trish McGuire says the rezoning was still needed on those lots since the parking would have been associated with the development.

“If parking is needed for high-volume use, it is like a high-volume retail use from a use classification perspective,” says McGuire, “so it cannot go into a zoning district that does not support that use.”

While the most recent plan is all but dead, a CVS-based development at a smaller scale could still be proposed assuming it meets the zoning requirements at the same location, or potentially in another part of town. Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton says he expects the developers to have a new proposal soon.

“The board has decided to not consider any type of rezoning there,” says Chilton. “It might be possible for them to put forward an application for a drug store—several of those lots are currently zoned for commercial development—but it will have to be considerably different application than they have so far.”

But Carrboro resident Michele Rivest says that the main issues residents have with the project are not related to scale as much the impact of a CVS in that neighborhood.

“All of the issues of CVS’s business model, the 24/7 nature, and the traffic, noise and light pollution, they’re still going to be there. I don’t know where the smaller scale is going to matter. Most of what was going to happen on Center Street was the parking lot.”

The developers of the project, Kimley-Horn and Associatesasked the Board of Aldermen late Friday afternoon to postpone the hearing until April. That request was ultimately denied by the board, and the developers chose instead to not go through with the public hearing.

Carrboro Town Hall was packed for the meeting, with the entire main chamber full with several seated on the floor. The audience also filled the lobby while others watched the meeting on a television across the hall. Chilton says he wasn’t surprised by the turnout.

“One of the things I love about Carrboro is that we have a very active and involved citizenry—people are engaged with their local government,” says Chilton. “I think it’s great that so many people came to speak tonight.”

Chilton also cited the importance of the building’s location as another motivating factor for the increased participation.