From correspondent Tammy Grubb
A decision Thursday night by a homeowners association board sets a 90-day deadline for the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Human Rights Center to find a new home.
A Nov. 16 letter from Abbey Court HOA attorney Tina Frazier Pace charged the nonprofit HRC with operating a commercial enterprise in a residential area and displaying signs without the board’s permission outside the group’s two condos in the Jones Ferry Road complex.
Since Nov. 22, the HRC has gathered more than 2,000 signatures on an online petition opposing the HOA’s decision. The group had hoped to stay the move until May 15, Director Judith Blau said.
However, the three-member HOA Board of Directors voted 2-1 Thursday in a private meeting held in Raleigh to forgo a proposed $100 per day fine for each violation. The board instead gave the HRC until March 1 to move.
The HRC has operated a variety of community services at Abbey Court since opening in 2009. Director Judith Blau said recently the group has been working with Community Realty to find a house nearby where it can continue to provide afterschool tutoring and other programs related to health, human rights, financial independence, education and language. The group’s work is supported by community volunteers and UNC students, many of whom learn about the center through Blau’s sociology classes.
“We have a zoning variance from the town of Carrboro. We’re a 501(c)3. Somebody lives there. We have many, many programs,”Blau said. “We do so many things, and we don’t deserve that treatment.”
HRC supporters have planned a 3:30 p.m. march Saturday from the Free Market at the Carrboro Town Commons to protest the Abbey Court decision.
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