I agree with Griselda, I wish there could be more space for this story, although I'm sure the Indy will devote plenty of space to the project as it develops. Even if it is assumed that tiny Pittsboro can handle the zoning an annexing of such a monumental project involving fire departments, police, hospitals, schools, libraries, sewer/water, utilities, roads, waste management, taxes, mail and more (which is not at all a decent assumption), there are significant environmental concerns to consider. Preston Development has stated there will be an AVERAGE buffer of 200ft along streams and the Haw River. This buffer zone could very well be only 50 feet in some locations, resulting in major potential riparian zone disruption. The Triangle Land Conservancy (whom I am unaffiliated with) has performed an extensive study of the environmental impact. They recommend a buffer of at least 1000 ft in all locations, but so far Preston Development hasn't even made their own environmental impact statement.
The video announcing the project on Preston's website focuses on the river and the wide forests surrounding it, not on the vast swaths of asphalt and concrete that will soon blanket the area. Preston has set aside approximately 200 acres for parks. this represents less than 3% of the development's area. Preston Development needs to assure the public that they can be suitable stewards of the local environment and biodiversity before the public will come together in support of this project.
Sometimes we all need to take a step back and look at things objectively. Did people abuse panhandling to get alcohol or drugs? Yes. Did others use the money to feed themselves? Definitely. We need to work together as a community to find a better solution than reliance on either panhandling or independent welfare organizations.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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