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LETTER: Creative project needed for Greensboro/Weaver

As residents of Carrboro for 26 years on Oak Avenue, a downtown neighborhood that will be directly impacted by the proposed CVS development, we feel compelled to speak out so that the neighborhood perspective about this proposed development isn’t lost in all the recent uproar around the “Occupy CVS” movement.

First and foremost, the neighborhood residents are not opposed to development in downtown Carrboro. We want there to be a vibrant downtown with the arts, restaurants, entertainment and business all cohabitating together and diversifying the tax base.

We are opposed to the proposed CVS development because it is a 24/7 business that will bring dense traffic and cars that will be shining their lights and creating relentless noise pollution into our homes around the clock, day-in and day-out. We are opposed because we know that this project will create significant traffic problems and threaten pedestrian and bike-rider safety – a value we have all repeatedly upheld. We are opposed because the developer has all but ignored that much of the surrounding property in this block is currently zoned residential and that a residential home with office space will continue to be located like an island in the midst of the proposed commercial development. CVS developers want the town officials and all of us who live in the surrounding neighborhoods to forget about the Downtown Neighborhood Protection Overlay District ordinance, which we fought hard for, that protects neighborhoods from commercial development.

For more than a year, neighborhood residents have been working with the town and CVS developers to find a middle way in which the quality and character of Carrboro can be preserved, where neighborhoods in which people now live, play and work are protected, AND where compatible, community-friendly development can occur. We urge all who are concerned about downtown development to join us at the first public hearing on March 27 in saying “No” as CVS requests rezoning of this property to allow only commercial development. But let’s say “Yes” to being creative and unified in calling on our town leaders, developers and citizens to create a new partnership and unified vision that brings out the best in all of us for this vitally important block in the heart of downtown Carrboro.

Michele Rivest and John Alderson

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