Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chapel Hill 2020 Public Hearing Draft Released

Read all about it! Read all about it! The Public Hearing draft of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan is now available! http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1950

On Monday, May 21, 2012, a Public Hearing will be held to receive the community's comments about the most recent Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan draft.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill.

The draft Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan includes Council policy guidance; input from the theme groups, including goals and action items; information about the future focus discussion areas; and an overview of the process and outreach efforts and a data summary.

We look forward to your continued contributions to Chapel Hill 2020! Please visit the Council page http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=110 for information about the public hearing.

¦ Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan - Draft - May 16, 2012
¦ Appendix 1: Process and Outreach Summary - Draft - Issued May 16, 2012
¦ Appendix 2: Data Summary - Draft - Issued May 16, 2012

For more information:

Watch the recording of the public information meeting about the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan which was held on May 14, 2012.

¦ May 14 video, news release and powerpoint link http://chapelhill.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1471
¦ Streaming video page (all presentations, including public information meeting) http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1850

Past Drafts: http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1950


Chapel Hill Receives Highest Bond Ratings

Two national bond rating agencies have assigned the highest possible bond ratings to the Town's $1.7 million in two-thirds bonds and $5.5 million of general obligation refunding bonds. The bond ratings are key indicators of the Town's financial strength.
As a part of the process for the sale of the bonds, the Town was evaluated by bond rating agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Standard & Poors. Since 2006, the Town has maintained the highest possible rating, a triple A, from both bond rating agencies.

The rating reflects the quality of Council leadership reflected byas evidenced by the Town's solid financial health, management, overall planning and strength of the local economy. The combined ratings will allow the Town to borrow funds at the best possible interest rates, saving tax payers money for years to come.

"Triple A ratings by both agencies reflects the wise stewardship of our financial resources by the Town Council and our staff," said Town Manager Roger L. Stancil. "Such an achievement by a Town our size is especially noteworthy."

Whenever the Town issues general obligation bonds or other securities, rating agencies re-evaluate the Town's current and future ability to repay debt. The two-thirds bonds, which are expected to be sold on May 15, will finance improvements to streets, bridges and parks and recreational facilities. The refunding bonds will reduce the cost of existing general obligation debt by approximately $390,000 over the next 13 years.

Moody's cited the Town of Chapel Hill's strong financial position with adequate reserves, stable economy and affordable debt profile. Moody's also cited factors that could make the rating go down, including "multi-year trend of structural budget imbalance," "reduction of general fund balance and other reserves" and "deterioration of the Town's tax base."

For more information about the Town of Chapel Hill budget, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/budget.

Chapel Hill awarded grant from Mayors Innovation Project

The Town of Chapel Hill has been awarded a technical assistance grant from the Mayors Innovation Project.

The award will allow the Town to pursue an innovative way to turn the ideas of Chapel Hill 2020 into next steps. The $20,000 grant will provide the Town of Chapel Hill with technical assistance toward the development of a hybrid form-based and performance-based zoning district, an idea that came out of the Chapel Hill 2020 visioning process. Form-based codes are an innovative alternative to conventional zoning that focus on the form of buildings rather than the land use (e.g., the physical character of buildings, and the relationship of buildings to each other and to the street). They are regulations, not mere guidelines. They are adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes are an alternative to conventional zoning. Performance-based zoning measures regulate effects such as traffic, density, noise and density. Performance measures typically support other types of zoning.

"This grant will allow us to pursue a promising policy innovation," said Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. "We are grateful to be among only six member cities to receive much needed technical assistance from the Mayors Innovation Project."

The assistance to the Town of Chapel Hill could involve basic assistance such as gathering information on examples of other municipal governments that are using form-based or performance-based zoning and providing sample metrics and information on comparable metrics with other communities. The Town may also receive templates and decision support tools for use in appropriate areas of Chapel Hill. Other tools that could include a data base with sample metrics, specifications for a scope to produce a full blown code, a webinar for introduction and training purposes, and a powerpoint presentation to explain Chapel Hill's potential use of form-based codes.

The Mayors Innovation Project (MIP) is a learning network among American mayors committed to "high road" policy and governance, shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. The Mayors Innovation Project Technical Assistance Program was launched in 2011 to provide more customized and hands-on assistance to mayors and their staffs on particular innovations or problems through a combination of applied research, policy analysis, evaluation, and recommendations for action.

For more information the Mayors Innovation Project, visit www.mayorsinnovation.org.

1st Annual Orange County Peace Officers Memorial Service

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as "Police Week." Every year since, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In keeping with the spirit of National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, the Chapel Hill Police Department, in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Orange Correctional Center, Mebane Police Department, UNC Department of Public Safety, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Carrboro Police, Hillsborough Police, and UNC Hospital Police, hosted the 2012 Orange County Peace Officers Memorial Service.

Honored were those Orange County and North Carolina Officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. The service was held Thursday, May 24, 2012 at Chapel Hill Bible Church.