Candidates for Carrboro Board of Aldermen showed slight differences in a question on growth at last week's forum. The Sierra Club does not let all the candidates answer all the questions at their forums. Here are answers from those who were allowed to answer. (Remember, the Sierra Club holds a forum for candidates for Chapel Hill Town Council at 7 p.m. this Wednesday in Chapel Hill Town Hall.)
Do you support more high-rise buildings in Carrboro? [Background: Carrboro has a five-story limit, half as tall as Chapel Hill, where the Greenbridge condominiums will rise
seven and 10 stories, the planned 140 West Franklin condos, eight
Amanda Ashley, running for mayor, called for a moratorium downtown until the town sees the effects of the five-story projects already approved. Several of those projects are on hold because of the recession. "Let's digest the pig before we go slithering after any more," she said.
Mayor Mark Chilton said he would supports high rise development in the Harris Teeter/Carr Mill Mall area because the infrastructure supports it. "I don't know if I would call five-story 'high rise,'" he said.
Sharon Cook said she was glad the town limited development to five stories and would evaluate projects case by case. "If I wanted to live in a big urban city I wouldn't have been living here," she said.
Incumbent Jacquie Gist said she voted against five stories when the board set the limit and would do so again. The only place she believes that height is appropriate is in the ArtsCenter/Cat's Cradle shopping center, where Gist publicly agonized over the planned redevelopment before ultimately supporting it. She questioned the premise that higher-rise development in the downtown area will keep pressure off the town's outskirts. She also said 'I am terrified about what the rents in those [high-rise projects downtown] are going to be, not only for the residents but for the businesses."