dvmurrell at nc.rr.com
Thu Dec 13 13:12:29 EST 2007
I really just love bragging about Pittsboro. I'm a big homer about that.
Yeah, you're right -- I just spent 50 minutes in the car running some
errands that, no matter how hard I tried alternatives locally, could
not be made here.
I'm both the problem and the solution, as I am also the Way and the
I keep hoping the iPhone will solve all my problems.
On Dec 13, 2007, at 11:08 AM, grady wrote:
> 2006 population of Chatham County: ~60,000
> Estimated 2006 population of Pittsboro: 2500
> Mean Chathamite travel time to work (in 2000): 27 minutes
> 2006 non-farm employment: 12,500
> % of county population between 18 and 65: 64% (~38,400 people)
> If we assume that the only Chathamites who can live a luxurious
> life like your own are residents of either Pittsboro or Siler City
> 8450), that leaves 49,000 Chathamites who aren't town-dwellers
> (depending on whether you count Moncure, I guess).
> If we assume a near-NC-average unemployment rate of 5%, that leaves
> ~36,000 Chathamites between 18 and 65 who're employed. If 12,500 of
> work in-county, that leaves 23,500 of them who work out-of-county,
> me. That mean-travel-time-to-work would seem to reflect that.
> I have no doubt that you, Mr. Murrell, are part of the solution, not
> part of the problem. But you are in the minority, my friend.
> But then you knew that, you cranky person.
> p.s. "music at several venues"? I suppose if you count Piedmont
> as a venue . . .
> Duncan Murrell wrote:
>> I live in Chatham and walk to work, you cranky person. So does the
>> spouse. We walk to church, five different restaurants, two
>> playgrounds, music at several venues, the community college, the
>> cooperative marketplace and the mill (where they put on theater
>> productions), the post office (if I'm in an energetic mood -- about a
>> mile away), two art galleries, soon to be a woodwright's shop, Steve
>> Carr's bar, a tienda, Tommy Edwards' s music shop, Tony Sullivan's
>> music shop, two fishing holes, a florist, three banks, and many of
>> friend's houses.
>> On Dec 13, 2007, at 8:02 AM, grady wrote:
>>> l.sward wrote:
>>>> Yes, Durham was in the works, but we got a house in Chatham Co.
>>>> Also, do you really think Chapel Hill will do mixed-use right? I
>>>> what I mean is will they make it affordable so people don't have to
>>>> move to the subs and use there cars?
>>> I dunno how many existing in-town residents will be displaced by the
>>> upcoming mixed-use developments (I know the older white apartments
>>> across from Breadmans will be replaced by the Shortbread Lofts,
>>> but I
>>> don't know if that's a net increase or decrease, and how the prices
>>> compare). It would seem like the total number of in-town residential
>>> units will be increasing, which has to be a good thing.
>>> Once the redevelopment makes it all the way down to Cliff's, all
>>> are off. But that'll be a while.
>>> Will the in-town housing be affordable? Depends on what you mean by
>>> affordable. People have to make tradeoffs, generally, when moving to
>>> urban mixed-use developments (proximity to work/downtown, in
>>> for living-area, for example) and it's not clear that peeps around
>>> are willing to do that in large numbers.
>>> People in the US in general, and in the south in particular, have
>>> conditioned to not accept the notion of compromise or trade-offs
>>> when it
>>> comes to their living situations. They want to be able to have
>>> convenience *and* two cars (with garage or on-street parking
>>> directly in
>>> front of the house) *and* plenty of room in their house/apartment
>>> walkability *and* etc etc etc.
>>> AND perhaps most importantly, they don't want to see any of the
>>> "village-like" atmosphere of their current towns sullied by
>>> and new infill construction. So thus far Chapel Hill's "mixed-use"
>>> developments (Meadowmont & Southern Village) have been failures, in
>>> sense that the people who live there by-and-large don't work there,
>>> because the ratio of commercial to residential space is screwy
>>> (and in
>>> both cases, the commercial mix isn't really even fully focused on
>>> meeting the needs of the residents nearby). There's nothing
>>> great about one group of people living in close proximity to the
>>> workplaces of another group of people, you know? And they're way out
>>> the edges of town because they couldn't disturb any existing
>>> stuff . . .
>>> and so far anyway, town hasn't grown out towards them to bridge the
>>> I shouldn't call them complete failures, because I'm sure there is
>>> percentage of residents at both places who actually work within the
>>> developments, but I can't imagine that % being very high. I wonder
>>> anybody has kept statistics.
>>> The stuff we're looking at now in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro core
>>> aside 54 East, which is going to take the place of the being-
>>> motel out there on 54, and may or may not suffer the same
>>> too-far-from-town problems as Meadowmont) is closer to what mixed-
>>> use is
>>> supposed to be, which is to say maintaining or increasing the
>>> density of the downtown core while increasing its residential
>>> But if the current experiments are any indication (the condos across
>>> from Nightlight, plus the gonna-start-construction any-day-now
>>> Greenbridge another 2 blocks up Rosemary), the developers are
>>> the "downtown condos! charge as much as you want!" model, same as in
>>> Raleigh. The notion being, I guess, that there are enough rich folks
>>> like the idea of a glamorous condo high above downtown Chapel Hill
>>> they'd be willing and able to pay $225-$350/square foot for the
>>> Affordability is a nagging issue, always, and Chapel Hill has
>>> to address that, but it's typically done on a unit-price basis (X
>>> need to cost less than $Y). Greenbridge initially tried to cope with
>>> this by making itty-bitty studio apartments (~600 sq ft) but the
>>> neighborhood balked.
>>> Nevertheless, that's the typical solution. Which brings us
>>> back to the notion I started with, which is that people seem loath
>>> compromise, or trade one convenience for another. So it's hard to
>>> sell a
>>> condo in town if it doesn't come with at least one dedicated parking
>>> space directly adjacent. And it's hard to sell a condo in town
>>> here, anyway, apparently) if it's less than 800 square feet.
>>> People look at the existing housing stock (which is mostly less
>>> than 5
>>> minutes drive away) and say "I could get a 1400-sq-foot house for
>>> you're charging me for 700 square feet," and honestly, it's hard to
>>> argue with them.
>>> So will Chapel Hill do mixed-use right? How about asking these
>>> questions: will ground-floor commercial rents in the new buildings
>>> any higher than in the existing older single-story structures? Will
>>> there be restrictions on the kinds of businesses that can operate on
>>> ground floor of a building with residential units on the upper
>>> If you answered "yes" or "probably," then it may or may not be
>>> but the character of the downtown core will definitely be different.
>>> People around here tend to be NIMBYs, so I would imagine there
>>> be much room for a rockclub below peoples' apartments. Even a
>>> could be problematic, with the smells and the noises & etc.
>>> Putting up
>>> with that is part of the point of urban living, but as I said,
>>> compromise doesn't seem to be as prevalent around here as it is in
>>> urban-for-150-years northeast.
>>> So if you're living in Chatham (which is where I currently live),
>>> part of the problem, driving your ass everywhere you go. How's your
>>> commute? And how much would you give up in order to shorten that
>>> and be closer to the stuff you actually like to do? (assuming that
>>> of what you actually like to do was still there by the time you
>>> into your new downtown apartment ;-) )
>>> -- ch-scene: the list that mirrors alt.music.chapel-hill --
>> -- ch-scene: the list that mirrors alt.music.chapel-hill --
> -- ch-scene: the list that mirrors alt.music.chapel-hill --
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