Ed Harrison

Harrison: Light Rail Likely to Move Forward Amid DOT Change-Up

A former mayor of Durham has been named acting secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Tony Tata resigned Tuesday from his position as secretary of the North Carolina DOT. Tata says he plans to focus on his career as an author of military thriller novels. While the governor searches for a permanent replacement, Tata’s Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson will take his place. Chapel Hill Town Councilman Ed Harrison has a long history with Tennyson. “I’ve known Nick since we were teenagers,” Harrison said. “We came to college together and met the first day way back in...

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Town Approves Obey Creek

Developer Roger Perry has been waiting on approval for Obey Creek for six years. And Monday night, he finally got his payday. The Town Council voted seven to one in favor of an agreement that would allow a 1.5 million-square-foot development to be built across from Southern Village. The development will include housing, retail and commercial space, and it’s been a point of contention at town council meetings over the past several years. That tension was palpable Monday night as resident Arthur Finn spoke during the public hearing before the vote. “How can a person who makes a living putting up 90-foot buildings talk about what’s good for Chapel Hill?” Finn asked. The town has been working with an independent consulting firm and a council-appointed compass committee to vet the development agreement. But despite these efforts, many citizens at the meeting, like Esther Miller, shared lingering concerns about size, building heights and traffic mitigation. “Traffic is bad, and it’s going to get a lot worse,” Miller warned. The council members who voted for the agreement expressed a shared belief that Obey Creek had been thoroughly vetted and would provide needed housing and retail. “I believe that the balance has been struck between a really dynamic wonderful, new area of Chapel Hill that supports many of our goals that have been mentioned, including new housing,” Councilwoman Sally Greene said. Councilman Ed...

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