Missed opportunity in Northside
Regarding “Habitat for Humanity raising new homes in Northside” (CHN, Oct. 5)
The CHN’s coverage rightly celebrated new affordable housing in Northside, and I’m thrilled for homeowner-to-be Tiffany Watson and others who will soon be able to live in my neighborhood.
But the development is also a tragic missed opportunity. The site at 605 Craig St. is a full half acre, with only three houses being built on it. With better design and modern planning concepts, the site could have been built as a cottage cluster, with six or more houses nestled around a central green. This design would have fostered a sense of community missing in the suburban-style, widely-separated plan that’s being built, and would have allowed at least twice as many families to live in the area.
Buildable land is hard to come by in Chapel Hill. We should be using it as intelligently as possible, and not be tied to outdated, 1970s-style urban planning concepts.
What the 140 West plaza needs
Regarding “Study: Will color, chairs and plants enliven 140 West Plaza?” (CHN, Sept. 28):
I live there and know first hand what is wrong with the plaza. There is no grass or large shade trees because there is a weight concern being the fact it is built over a parking deck. We hired an engineer to assist us in the placement of large trees on the Rosemary sides, one of the few areas that belong to the association.
Also, the cheese-grater sculpture is a cool piece but in the wrong place! It should have been a vertical sculpture so the area was clear for benches, etc. this would have greatly improved the performance area and visibility. Nice tables and umbrellas would greatly improve the area.
I don’t think you will ever have what is in Carrboro. That area thrives around a great market with wonderful food and drink. Old Chicago is not a Weaver Street Market!
Lastly, the Friday night events have had to compete with activities on the porch at the Carolina! Sometimes 140 has a sound technician and a vocalist and maybe two in the audience.