Project is out of place
Readers of last Sunday’s paper saw a rendering of the proposed apartment/retail high rise to be built on South Elliott Road. During the Eastgate-Fordham meetings, the concept of building a high rise in the general area was discussed, but now citizens have seen the harsh reality of what such a structure might look like.
All around this area, we have examples of buildings built to conform in design and size with the surrounding area. The proportions of the new building are excessive, and the design and height seem out of place for this area.
Those of us living near North Elliot Road (named, for Stephen Elliott, the “Father of Southern Botany”) wonder, what would Elliott say about placing one of the town’s tallest buildings, not on a main, four-lane thoroughfare, but on a two-lane, gently curving, tree lined-street ?
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What will the addition of 260 occupants in one- and two-bedroom apartments do to traffic in this area and the safety of schoolchildren in this area who bike or walk to school? Will traffic be backed up on Elliott Road now, as it is too often on Estes Drive? How will water mitigation be handled? The fire station on the corner of Elliott and Franklin is being considered for sale because of current water and moisture problems. If the town can’t solve the water problems at the fire station, how can they be solved by a new development on Elliott Road? Where are the generous setbacks that define our community and give support to the designation of our town as the Southern Part of Heaven?
We are not against development, per se, but we do oppose poorly planned projects that do little to help our tax base. We ask for developments that will serve the community and benefit the town’s finances. There already appears to be too much unoccupied housing in town, and this proposal does not address the need for low-cost housing. Although the proposal includes a bocce ball court (whoopee), there is no proposal for walkways that would connect to other areas of town by walkways or bike paths.
Since this is the first proposal being reviewed as part of the town’s new form-based code, let’s get it right, beginning with protecting our environment and an accurate understanding of the finances. A building with a design and purpose of lasting benefit to the community and to all taxpayers, rather than one that seems so wildly out of character for the rest of the area.
Jill Blackburn, Barbara Graham, Ave Lachiewicz, Fred Lampe and Janet Kagan
New role for retired faculty
The UNC Retired Faculty Association will hold a Fall Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 16, to discuss plans for an organization that will give the retired UNC-Chapel Hill faculty the opportunity to continue their research, teaching and service to the community and receive support for their academic pursuits.
The UNC Academy of Emeriti Scholars is designed to promote “a continued productive life for retired faculty and to afford continuity for the intellectual legacy of the university. The academy recognizes our retired faculty’s sustained intellectual achievements, ensures the inspiration of future scholars and enhances the University of North Carolina’s ongoing pursuit of excellence,” according to an article in the association’s current newsletter.
The meeting will run from noon to 3 p.m. at the William and Ida Friday Continuing Education Center.
Bruce Cairns, professor of surgery and director of the Jaycee Burn Center, will speak at the kickoff luncheon, describing his goals as the newly elected chair of the faculty. Sessions will follow on the plans for the academy and on the results of the recent Odum Institute survey of the retired faculty .
Charge for the luncheon is $16. To save a luncheon seat, send a check to Treasurer, UNC Retired Faculty Association, 2119 Markham Drive, Treasurer, 2119 Markham Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-2122.
Donald J. Stedman
Not just ‘older readers’
Sometimes I feel like a prisoner being “sealed off from the digital age” as Ned Barnett wrote in his Aug. 10 column “Thank you for your letters.” (N&O, bit.ly/1AyPIWU). The truth is many rural North Carolinians are sealed off from the digital age and the technology of the 21st century because broadband service has not been extended to our homes.
We live in an area of Chatham County where there is no DSL or cable and weak cell signals. The best service one can get is satellite or a trip of 10 to 15 miles to a library when it is open (excluding Sunday).
Our incumbent provider promised DSL for years then later stated in a letter to the FCC that it had no plans to serve us. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that Randolph Telephone Membership Cooperative is seeking funding through the broadband experiments to extend fiber into rural Chatham. There is still a wide span of rock to blast through before the light can be seen.
I know you prefer email, but endure one written in pen on lined paper a little longer. It’s not just your “older readers” who are not digitally connected, but school-age and college-age, too.
Re EcoEternity Forest provides resting place among the roots (CHN, bit.ly/1skdhlI)
The Green Burial Council considers cremation LESS eco-friendly than green burial, I’m certain. Cremation is a good option for many but if there's one place where it gets dinged, it’s fossil fuel use.
Still, what a beautiful and romantic notion is presented by Eco-Eternity: to be re-united after death with your loved ones – in a tree! Thanks to them for their good work here in the Triangle.
Piedmont Pine Coffins