Equity

You are not subhuman because you live in multifamily housing.  As a human being you deserve a nearby green space where you can clear your head and relax after you work hard.  A natural space that will clean our air and cool it on hot summer nights.  If you are too busy to walk through it, then it is certainly refreshing to walk or bike past it!

There could be many reasons why you live in an environmentally efficient condo or an apartment south of Main Street and not in a wasteful single family home situated in exclusive zoning north of Main Street.  The common theme among us is that you probably don’t have the time or energy to vote or participate in Town Hall hearings.  Maybe you are a grad student or a postdoc slaving away for 60 hours a week keeping your mice alive.  Maybe you are a resident in the hospital working 80 hours a week.  Maybe you are divorced, it isn’t financially feasible to support two houses, and you spend much time driving your children back and forth.  You could be retired and preoccupied with health problems, you could be struggling with neurochemical issues, or you could be challenged by a substance dependency.

If you do have a short time horizon here because of a temporary UNC appointment then please consider speaking up for your successor, who will move into your rental when you leave for your next appointment.  They will be grateful to you for donating an hour or two of your time.

So you are not married with a minivan and a 10 year old red-headed boy who loves Little League baseball.  These are the folks for which our current 3 big green parks north of Main Street are intended:  Wilson is 8 acres (plus 27 acres of adjoining woods in Adams), MLK is 10 acres, and Anderson is 55 acres.  We are asking to keep our 5.5 acres of meadow & woods, which have around 500 people living within a 5 minute walk (and perhaps another 500 people within a 10 minute walk).
 
There is no reason we should accept a compromise that would involve extending the graveyard past the driveway in any fashion.  After already hosting 2214 graves, why will our neighborhood be under any obligation to host more of them?  The land past the driveway was never considered for expanding the cemetery before 2018.  The history of this tract is that it’s always been thought of by town officials as a private land piggy bank with which they can do as they please, without consulting our neighborhood.

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We certainly shouldn’t accept any bones, either.  For an official to regard the Farmer’s Market site as being a park for our neighborhood would be an insult.  Almost any tiny portion of Wilson, MLK, or Anderson parks would be far superior to this “bone” we have been tossed.  The Farmer’s Market is immediately bounded by two busy streets, a noisy car wash, and a large, hot, and busy parking lot.  Over half of it is either pavement, bark chips, or weeds creeping through the concrete blocks around the periphery of the pavilion.  There are only a few medium-sized trees and no large trees.  It is not available for half of Saturdays and Wednesday late afternoons.  The children’s play area is tiny.

The Town is spending $180,500 on the Carrboro Connects process and it has persuaded dozens of volunteers to donate thousands of hours to it.  Many passages in that draft plan indicate that it should be a “slam dunk” decision for the Council to preserve 100% of the land east of the driveway for an open space or a park.  If locating more graves and cemetery facilities within city limits is a high enough priority for the Council to overrule those comprehensive planning goals, then the Council should locate those graves and facilities within Anderson Park.

Anderson Park has almost no Carrboro residents living near it.  Using only 5% of its 55 acres would provide as much land for a graveyard as using 100% of our meadow would provide.  To preserve the dog park there (rather than converting it to a graveyard) the Council would be valuing the dogs of the people who are well-off enough to own a dog and a car over the lives of our hard working postdocs and hospital residents.

Given all of the priorities stated in numerous campaign brochures for Town Council candidates in recent years (diversity, equity, walkability, environment, affordability, mass transit, bikeability) it is amazing that the Council is so close to degrading our neighborhood.  Our qualities are exactly what they have been claiming to seek for all of these years:  We are ethnically and economically diverse, some of our housing is relatively affordable, our dense housing is near bus lines and on excellent bike paths, and we can walk to downtown.  We still have some public green space in our neighborhood!  Why on earth are they so close to making it inaccessible us?  Doing so will exacerbate our urban heat island.  UHI Page


If providing more cemetery plots is such a high priority for the Council and they refuse to use just 5% of Anderson Park, then they ought to be willing to pony up the “couch cushion” spare change of $90,000 to buy 3 acres of land in a far more beautiful setting on Damascus Church Road.  It could be as little as 6 minutes away from Fidelity & Davie.  Solutions