Town of Chapel Hill header
File #: [23-0432]    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Discussion Item Status: Filed
File created: 5/3/2023 In control: Town Council
On agenda: 5/17/2023 Final action: 5/17/2023
Title: Update on the Legion Property Project
Attachments: 1. Draft Staff Presentation, 2. Draft Consultant Presentation, 3. Consultant Report, 4. Consultant Presentation, 5. Staff Presentation

Update on the Legion Property Project

Chris Blue, Interim Town Manager
Town Manager's Office
Ross Tompkins, Strategic Operations Manager

Overview: On December 7, 2022 the Town Council approved the Legion Property Committee (LPC) recommendations and authorized the Town Manager to proceed with next steps. In doing so, the Council designated 8-9 acres along Legion Road for affordable housing, with the remainder of the Legion property combined with Ephesus Park for a Town park. Based on the LPC recommendations, next steps include developing refined recommendations for the pond and starting work on the park and affordable housing uses.

This item provides Council with an update on the project and proposed next steps. The Town hired Garrett & Moore to produce a preliminary engineering report on the dam and the consultant will review this report with the Council.

That the Council receive this update and provide guidance on the proposed next steps.

Decision Points:
* Proceed with the affordable housing development partner selection process
* Proceed with pond recommendations

Key Issues:
* There is some risk associated with leaving the dam as-is.
* The question of whether an underground water source feeds the pond cannot be answered until the pond is drained. The existence of an underground water source will impact whether a stream (and what type of stream) might form if the pond is removed.
* A reduced-size pond on the same location would need to go through a regulatory approval process and could require other steps to be taken elsewhere on the site.
* The housing affordability gap continues to widen for the most vulnerable community members.
* Affordable housing along Legion Road is likely to be very competitive for outside funding.
* Park planning may be two years away.

Pond Options and Recommendations:
To apply for a dam maintenance permit, the Town will need to decide whether to pursue a dam repair proje...

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