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Family Dollar decision postponed

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer
CARRBORO – After several hours of applicant presentation, the Carrboro Board of Adjustment on Wednesday postponed a decision on a Family Dollar store proposed for the intersection of Alabama Avenue and Jones Ferry Road.

The board continued the public hearing until next Wednesday due to the late hour and the fact that more than 30 members of the public who were signed up to speak had not yet had the chance to do so.

A number of residents who showed up to speak against the project – an 8,100-square-foot store accompanied by 26 parking spaces on one acre – were disappointed that they were not given the chance to respond to the applicant on Wednesday. Residents have said the development would bring increased traffic, noise pollution and unsafe conditions to their neighborhood while decreasing values of surrounding properties.

The applicant, Raleigh-based Stronach Properties, had previously requested that certain materials expressing opposition to the project, including letters from Sen. Ellie Kinnaird and residents, be excluded from the materials presented to the board. In an email to members of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, Town Attorney Mike Brough said that the applicant had the right to make such a request based on the fact that proceedings regarding whether the board should grant a variance to the town’s land-use ordinance – necessary because of the ephemeral stream on the property – or issue a special-use permit are quasi-judicial in nature, requiring that the board make its decision based on “competent” evidence submitted at the hearing and not “hearsay,” defined as statements not made at the hearing used to prove a matter asserted in the statement. For letters or emails to be considered by the board, the author must appear in person before the board to read it, Brough said.

In addition, he said that applicants typically don’t object to the inclusion of hearsay evidence, so the exclusion rule seldom applies.

The public hearing will continue on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Carrboro Town Hall.

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