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RENA community center to close

By Taylor Sisk
Staff Writer

CHAPEL HILL – A community center on Purefoy Drive operated by the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) has been told it must close its doors by Aug. 11 because it never applied for proper permitting.

Penny Rich, a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council and a committee to provide mitigation to the Rogers Road community for having lived in the midst of the county landfill for more than 40 years, said that while on a tour of the Rogers Road community it occurred to J.B. Culpepper, the town’s planning director, that RENA had never applied for a permit to operate a community center. The house in which the center operates is in the Town of Chapel Hill’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“It’s zoned residential,” Rich said on Wednesday, “but that’s not really the problem. The problem is with the permitting.”

RENA has used the facility to provide afterschool programs, run a children’s camp and distribute food to families in the community, among other activities.

RENA representative Robert Campbell has indicated that the organization will not go to the expense of applying for a permit and meeting code; rather, it will focus its efforts on creating a permanent center. One option is moving the historic Hogan-Rogers house to the site to be used as a community center, with financial assistance from the county as part of landfill-mitigation measures.

  1. Russ Dula

    Obviously this was spurred-on by the new AME entity (Village) that is locating in the same vicinity. This has really nothing to do with a permit but politics and maneuvering. It has been rumored that other small churches in the area have had to close. What a shame!