Ken Larsen's website - Trailer Park issue in Chapel Hill


The January 24, 2018 Chapel Hill Town Council had some very poignant moments.  The owner of Lakeview trailer park wants to sell his property, and a developer wants to buy it and build "Hanover Apartments".  This gentrification will kick out 120 low income people.  A lot of children are among them.


Here is a screen shot of the meeting:



Here is the link to the Town's video of the meeting.


The applicant's plan is for 303 apartments (each 5 stories high), 18 townhomes (each 3 stories high), and one 5000 square foot office building.  The concept plan application says that there will be 822 parking spaces [Ken:  This needs to be checked.  It sounds bogus.]  of which there will be 387 surface spaces for vehicles.  There will also be underground parking for bicycles.  


The CDC said that there is too much surface parking.  [Ken:  Students living off-campus bring their cars and double up ... two or more students/apartment.  Don't skimp on parking!]


The applicant pledges to provide $ 75,000 towards relocation of the trailer park residents, but admits that $ 75,000 might not be enough to relocate all of them.  Additional relocation money would have to come from other sources.  [Ken:  taxpayers]  Relocation would begin on June 30, 2019.


Construction of the project will take two years.


Public Comments


Video of all 70 minutes of public comment


Here are seven selected comments:



Here are some posts I made in response to a Facebook post by Town Council member Jessica Anderson:



During the Town Council meeting is was divulged that the Town can do nothing to stop the property owner from selling.


The property will have to be rezoned to accommodate the developer's plan. 


  Question Answer
1 What is the current zoning?  
2 What zoning is needed to accomodate the developer?  
3 Can the rezoning be stopped? Yes
4 Who has control over that? the Town Council
5 What would happen if the property is not rezoned? The property owner only has to give most of the residents 30 days notice, and he will want to get them off the property if they are standing in the way of him selling it.   There are a lot of logistics and complications here, so there is not going to be an easy solution.

What are the consequences if the property is not rezoned?

7 How much Town money would be spent in infrastructure to support the developer's plan?  


In my opinion, UNC is part of the problem.  They keep growing and more and more students want to live off campus.  This drives up property values.  UNC needs to be at the table to help solve this problem.


Although currently prohibited by state law, I assert that impact fees must be assessed to developers.  The more Chapel Hill grows; the higher the impact fees should be.  Unbridled growth is ruining our town.  This gentrification project is one of the sad consequences of growth. 


Some post-meeting comments that I received via email


(January 27, 2018, Del Snow) Here is the quote from the Northern Area Task Force report under follow-up actions: "Conduct a census of mobile home parks in order to provide for increased affordable opportunities if those sites are redeveloped." Dated: August 30, 2007.   They may be doing it now, but it's 10 years too late.


(January 27, 2018, Del Snow)  Exiling the poor and brown Spanish people to the outskirts of town where there is no shopping does NOT translate to making CH an economically diverse town.  It seems like you just want them to come into town to do their low-paying jobs.



Newspaper articles





Article:  Reclaiming "Redneck" Urbanization:  What urban planners can learn from trailer parks


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