Carrboro aldermen approve Shelton Station project

CorrespondentApril 5, 2013 

  • Seils takes seat

    Tuesday’s meeting was the first Board of Aldermen members with seven members since Dan Coleman resigned in December, two years before his term expired.

    Damon Seils, a Planning Board member who ran uncontested in the March special election, was sworn in Tuesday night.

    With Seils, Orange County has four current elected officials who are gay or lesbian, including Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill Town Council member Lee Storrow and Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle.

    “A few months ago, for the first time, I got the opportunity to tell our former (Carrboro) Mayor Mike Nelson that he was partly responsible for me ending up in Carrboro,” Seils said Tuesday night.

    “When I came to North Carolina, one of the few things you could learn about Carrboro online was that the town had an out mayor and an out police chief...And it seemed like the place I ought to live.

  • More information

    Correspondent Sarah Mansur

— The past few years of planning and revising paid off in the end for Belmont Sayre developer Ken Reiter, who can finally make his vision for 500 N. Greensboro St. a reality.

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the Shelton Station conditional-use permit.

The 2.64 acre site on North Greensboro Street will contain 119,000 total square-feet of commercial and residential space.

The two-story, 24,000 square-foot commercial building facing North Greensboro Street will house retail and office space. Behind this structure, developers will build a four-story L-shaped residential building with 94 apartments.

Affordable housing

Board members raised concerns at the first public hearing that Shelton Station’s affordable units wouldn’t serve those in greatest need.

At the last meeting, Mayor Mark Chilton suggested that the affordable housing units be off-limits to local graduate and undergraduate students.

The revised permit application gives preference to families without students that qualify for affordable housing over families that include graduate or undergraduate students.

The residential building will provide 20 affordable housing units, instead of 19, with 10 percent of the units rented to households making up to 60 percent of Carrboro’s median family income and another 10 percent to those making up to 80 percent.

Unbundled parking

The aldermen revisited the possibility of unbundled parking, which makes parking spaces optional for apartment owners and renters, at Shelton Station and discussed whether it is consistent with the Land Use Ordinance’s parking provision that requires that developments provide enough parking to accommodate the parking demands generated by the development.

Town Attorney Mike Brough said unbundled parking is consistent with the ordinance if the number of spaces reduced due to unbundling roughly corresponds to the reduction in the number of cars owned by the occupants of the development.

He said it is consistent with the ordinance unless the unbundled parking policy results in tenants who own cars but seek parking in undesignated on-site spaces or other off-site spaces rather than renting on-site spaces.

The unbundling policy would be consistent with the ordinance if tenants were allowed to park in on-site undesignated spaces without purchasing a spot, said Brough.

“But it seems likely that fewer and fewer residents would choose to rent spaces if free parking is available to other tenants, and eventually the unbundled parking arrangement would be abandoned,” he said in an email.

The board chose to postpone any decisions about unbundled parking at Shelton Station, and in Carrboro, until a later meeting.

Shelton Station will include 170 parking spaces, which could be unbundled depending on the board’s future decisions.

Construction plan

Reiter also prepared a construction management plan at the board’s request that minimizes the impact to nearby local businesses, residences and pedestrians.

His proposed construction management plan would limit major deliveries from occurring during peak commute hours. It also creates a Community Liaison Officer to communicate with neighbors and members of the surrounding area.

At the meeting Tuesday, Alderwoman Jacquie Gist requested that Reiter amend certain parts of the plan to ensure safety for Carrboro pedestrians, including a covered walkway if pedestrians are unable to access the sidewalk and haul truck routes that avoid residential streets.

Reiter couldn’t provide start and end dates for the construction or an informal timeline of anticipated progress.

Mansur: sarah.mansur91@gmail.com

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