Julie McClintock | Indy Week

Julie McClintock 
Member since Jan 26, 2014

Recent Comments

Re: “Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding


Many folks in Orange County don't believe this super expensive light rail route will serve our transit needs. The Orange County vote was highly controversial but our Commissioners bought into the overly optimistic financial projections anyway and ignored the more realistic figures presented by their own consultant. Substantial state funding looks no more possible than before, but as your headline acknowledges the Federal funding looks to be more and more unlikely.

That said, taxpayers need to know more about the risks going forward with this project under these conditions. If the Federal Transit Administration approves the next stage of engineering in mid July, they will approve over 100 million dollars of LOCAL funding. If at the end of the line, Federal funding is not there, then the counties are out that money which could have gone toward schools and other needs. You might inform your readers about this June 26 letter from GoTriangle's Jeff Mann to his Board members informing them of this risk. See below.

Julie McClintock
Chapel Hill

Board Members:

As info, we have just been informed by the FTA that they now expect to make a determination on the DOLRT application to enter Engineering by mid-July. While the FTA is continuing to evaluate and advance CIG projects, it is important to note that the Presidents proposed FFY2018 budget does not provide funding for CIG projects that have not reached a FFGA. Therefore, any work that takes place is at our own risk and may not be eligible for reimbursement in the event that a FFGA is not reached, or if federal funding is not available which is true of all New Starts projects .

Please let me know if you have any questions. We will provide updates as soon as any new information is received.

Jeff Mann

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 06/30/2017 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Chapel Hill passes on potential parkland to let a developer do his thing

We don't need more luxury apartments - a trend that has made Chapel Hill more exclusive. We won't do better on affordability until the Town develops a sound targeted economic development strategy that won't make living in Chapel Hill more expensive..

Thanks to Mr Hudnall for his excellent investigative report. It's astounding that acquiring the property was identified as a town goal, but the concept was not shared with Parks and Rec or the public who might have been thrilled to see land acquisition added to the fall bond issue.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 01/22/2016 at 6:31 PM

Re: “With the rise of CHALT, Chapel Hill’s never seen an election quite like this

The Town cannot live on permit fees alone. Costs of serving the new development must be included in the net revenue. Check out the January 2015 Orange County Commission work session if you would like to hear our commissioners discuss their concerns about this project. Sure the town gets lots of money from Perry and company this year from the building fees -- but this is not sustainable growth.

One of the most annoying things about EF was the way Donna Bell and the mayor touted this a "good for us" when the great majority of those patronizing the shopping areas were unhappy with the changes proposed. Our pleas to include pocket parks, some green space, affordable housing and energy efficiency were ignored. The Council was in a hurry and they forgot to consider design and proportions - witness the monstrosity on Elliot Road.

It is not "good for us" when some of our favorite merchants have already left due to the high rents. Taxpayers will pay for the affordable housing, green spaces, transit, and road improvements. We are not happy when the developer could have paid his fair share.

1 like, 9 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 10/23/2015 at 7:14 AM

Re: “With the rise of CHALT, Chapel Hill’s never seen an election quite like this

Hi Mark

I know you are looking for some good aspects to this zone but there are not many. A lot of EF went on after you left you job as mayor's assistant and so you may not be familiar with the details. Many of your assertions are incorrect. I've repeated and responded to each of your numbered statements.

(1) DHIC is a response to the goal of providing 15% affordable units with new development in the Ephesus Fordham district.

The housing authority that is getting federal grants to put some housing on town cemetery land is a good project but in the wrong place. As jim Ward has said a number of time it is not part of EF and has always been a separate project. Many feel that the town should not have given up cemetery land at at almost no cost to a developer. This concern was raised at the Carol Wood forum yesterday. Even if one were to count this new project as a way to mitigate the loss of affordable housing lost in EF, there is still a net loss because the Code required NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING and Park Apartments offer reasonable rents and that housing will be lost in the EF plan.

(2) My understanding is density bonuses have been incorporated into Ephesus Fordham. Basically this means, if the development adds affordable housing to their building, they are allowed a denser zone to offset the cost of the affordable unit.

This is not correct. Surrounding residents presented a well formulated proposal along these lines and it was rejected by the mayor and council.

(3) Ephesus Fordham was intentionally form based coded to create a walk-able, dense mixed use development. ....Second, mixed use development is known to generate higher tax revenue that single family residential, and is cheaper to service....

Sounds good. But the developer funded transportation improvements are mostly interior roads. The new buildings actually destroyed the Booker Creek Greenway which will be rebuilt closer to the creek. Walking safety has not been improved as bike lanes run only in front of the new building. Many more cars and turning movements will make it more dangerous for pedestrians in the area. Yes there are major taxpayer financed "improvements" to 15 - 501, none of which are anticipated to relieve congestion.

Finally it is a gigantic myth that "mixed use" which turns out to be largely residential apartments pays for itself or makes money for the town. The Town's own analysis suggested a pay back within 20 years but that was without the the costs of transit included. The Council invited the County to participate and they declined because they did not feel secure becoming partners with the town. See editorial on costs of growth. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/com…

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 10/22/2015 at 10:21 PM

Re: “Vote! The INDY’s endorsements for races in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro

I am responding to the comments that schools have nothing to do with Town affairs. Mark McCurry is absolutely correct that one entity does not have authority over the other. But in fact, Town land use decisions and development approvals have everything to do with tax bill a Chapel Hill voter will pay. In fact the biggest chunk of our taxes goes to paying for schools and new school construction - a very big ticket item.

People move to our community most often for our good schools. Therefore is good economic policy for the Town through its land use decision to keep our schools strong. If our schools are overcrowded that hurts educational quality and also the desire of people who want to move here. That's why years ago town, county and school officials established a public facilities ordinance for schools. The idea was that if the school system could not build schools fast enough to accommodate growth, than the Town would agree to withhold a permit. Good idea. But is has not worked as a growth management tool and currently we have kids in trailers.

This past year, some council members voiced interest in a closer collaboration with the school system and for the first time the schools were asked for planning information. However, the Town Council has not identified next steps to bring meaningful progress to address how more collaborative planning could occur.

I am heartened that we have a thoughtful candidate in Jess Anderson who is raising this important issue. She cares - she has a young child who will be in our school system.

17 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 10/22/2015 at 8:00 PM

Re: “With the rise of CHALT, Chapel Hill’s never seen an election quite like this

I'll try to answer the question that was posed:

Can someone clarify whether ephesus fordham is mandated to have affordable housing?

None. For reasons that are hard to understand, the incumbent majority replaced the current zoning with a much more dense zone but with no requirements for affordable housing.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 10/22/2015 at 7:34 PM

Re: “With the rise of CHALT, Chapel Hill’s never seen an election quite like this

The biggest frustration of dealing with this Town Council is that they solicit input - often taking years - and then vote without paying any attention to their advisory boards and the public. Al Rimer another former council member voices the problem here better than I can. "To serve or not serve on a Town commission": http://chapelboro.com/?powerpress_pinw=150…

10 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by Julie McClintock on 10/17/2015 at 11:18 PM

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