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Aldermen support same-sex marriage

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted 5-0 on Tuesday to support civil marriage for same-sex couples.

Board member Jackie Gist proposed a resolution of the board’s support of civil marriage for same-sex couples earlier this month in response to California’s Proposition 8 and other measures approved by voters in several states prohibiting same-sex marriage.

“The Election Day victories by anti-gay activists in California, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas were a painful reminder that the gay rights movement still faces many challenges,” the resolution states. “Civil marriage for same-sex couples must include all the benefits commonly bestowed upon opposite-sex couples, including, among other rights, health care coverage and related decision-making, privileges under immigration and naturalization law, survivor benefits, inheritance rights and child custody,”
Board members said they felt it was important to come out in support of gay marriage, despite widespread opposition.

“I’ve had other people ask me what good does it do for the town of Carrboro to come up with a resolution like this, when really all we can do is squawk?” board member Lydia Lavelle said. “But that’s what we do – we squawk.”

Mayor Mark Chilton said he’d heard similar questions.

“It was just a couple of college towns when we started in on the civil rights movement in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, and it was just a couple of college towns when we started the process of ending the war in Vietnam,” he said.

Board member Randee Haven-O’Donnell agreed.

“I think it’s really important for the municipalities to weigh in when they know they stand for civil marriage,” shw said. “I think it’s really important for Carrboro to stand firm.”

In other business, the board heard from Trip Overholt, developer of the Veridia Redevelopment, regarding his request for his project to be waived from affordable-housing requirements. The town requires that new developments consist of 15 percent affordable housing, which Overholt said is cost prohibitive.

The development would be located at 810 Old Fayetteville Road, the site of the 39-unit Pine Grove trailer park. According to Overholt, Veridia would be a LEED-certified development, with green features such as solar power and cisterns.

In addition, the project would include 39 1,350-square-foot homes priced at $289,000, considerably below the average price of new homes in Carrboro, according to Overholt.
Board members said they would waive the affordable-housing requirements given the lower projected prices of the homes and their green features.

Gist said that if the affordable-housing requirement is to be lifted, she would like to find a way to ensure that the houses are sold for around $289,000, noting that the trailer park the development would replace is affordable housing.

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  1. Sophie King

    Of course, NO ONE ON THE BOA CARES that these low income people living in the trailer park are getting booted out of their homes.

    More truly affordable housing is going to be lost in Carrboro.

    I wish the Carrboro Aldermen would wake up and realize what they are doing to the less fortunate among us by approving this “affordable” travesty.

  2. Jonathon

    Yeah, $289,000 is far from affordable housing..why on earth should they be exempted from the affordable housing requirement? They shouldn’t is the answer.

    LEED certification does not trump people. This is why everyone is moving to Durham.