Four years ago, in the Ides of March, those of us living in or around the Glen Lennox Apartments were shocked and awed as Grubb Properties presented plans to destroy most of the apartments and trees, build many big-story buildings, tunnel one of the streets and place a large grocery store across the street from the Church of the Holy Family. We got busy.
We talked, schemed, organized and hustled up “Save Glen Lennox” t-shirts. We met with town planning staff and found out that we could, with hard work, set up a Neighborhood Conservation District. About a year and a half ago, after over two years of street work, two signed petitions by the majority of area home owners, and with the planning board’s approval presented to the Chapel Hill Town Council, the Glen Lennox NCD Committee was appointed.
I was hopeful.
The Committee first worked deliberately and established responsible regulations for those of us who own family homes in this NCD. On March 13, the planning staff, NCD Committee and Grubb Properties presented to the public what Grubb Properties expects to do, with Committee endorsement, replacing most of the 440 current units.
I am very disappointed and no longer hopeful.
What was presented with minimal modifications is this: Grubb Properties plans to build four, five, six and (gasp) even a mixed-use eight-story building along 15-501.
They have apparently dropped plans to set up a large grocery store across from the Church of the Holy Family.
My disappointment is over the apparent quasi love affair that has been established between the Chapel Hill planners, Grubb Properties and the NCD, as the Committee lauded Grubb Properties for all that they did.
I left the meeting with dashed hopes.
So while the answer remains blowing in the winds of what the Chapel Hill Town Council will do someday, my disappointment remains, along with the shock and awe of folks accepting corporate greed.
Beware these Ides of March.