Curious Chatham: How will Chatham Park impact home prices?

A lot of you have been asking about Chatham Park. We hear you. 

This week’s question comes from Jo Ann Beal. She asks “What are the pros and cons of Chatham Park as related to other Chatham County property values/appreciation in the next five years?”  

In terms of home prices, the news seems to be good. 

According to data from Zillow, the online real estate database company, home prices are expected to rise by 2.9 percent in the next year, from the current median of over $293,000 to more than $301,000. 

Linda Jacobs, a 29-year real estate agent for Advantage Commercial in Pittsboro, is optimistic about home prices. 

“Chatham Park is going to cause the real estate values to just absolutely jump big time in Chatham County,” she said. 

One way that Chatham’s home prices may increase is if the demand for these homes remains higher than the supply. Jacobs said Chatham Park will provide the community some homes priced between $300,000 and $425,000 – which are currently in high demand – as well as lower- and higher-priced options. 

“There’s just not enough of it to supply the demand,” Jacobs said. “When you get something that you can list for that range, before 24 hours is up, you will have a laptop full of offers that you have to comb through with your seller.”

Despite the positive numbers and outlook, some residents, like Moncure resident Brian Moore, still remain skeptical of the development. 

“For us, [Chatham Park] does nothing good,” Moore said via text message.

Pittsboro BOC examines budget, Chatham Park buffers in long meeting

The meeting began at 7:03 p.m. and kicked off with Mayor Cindy Perry pointing out Evan Crouch, an Eagle scout candidate who hopes to eliminate plastic bags from local grocery stories. Two minutes later, the board approved the consent agenda and moved on to a public hearing for a proposed concrete plant, which would be built near Potterstone Village.Edward Fowler, Lisa Meeker and Charlie Cox, all Potterstone residents, spoke to the commissioners about concerns over noise, dust and potential health risks generated by the plant. Later, during Citizen Public Expressions, Fowler criticized members of town staff, at one point saying, “This isn’t about saving face, Jeff Jones,” referring to the county’s planning director. Jones said earlier, in response to a question from Commissioner John Bonitz, that it was not the staff’s job to ask why the particular site was chosen for that location.The commissioners also heard a proposal from Kevin Cox from Capital Ready Mix, a concrete supplier in Chatham, to allow the proposed concrete trucks to load at their existing facility.After nearly 45 minutes of public speeches, the commissioners moved on to commissioner and manager updates, which dealt with road widenings, sidewalks and crosswalks, and affordable housing. After the updates, the commissioners launched into an incredibly technical discussion of Chatham Park’s Planned District Development. The discussion, which largely focused on various different types of buffers, featured several times of silence when commissioners read their materials or formulated their thoughts, ending at after almost an hour. After a comparatively short discussion of a property rezoning for 196 N. Hillsboro St, which commissioner Farrell refused to support because of his belief that the street should stay residential, the commissioners called for a five-minute break, which lasted for almost 12 minutes. After more than two hours, the board finally moved on to a discussion of Town Manager Bryan Gruesbeck’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The budget would add funding for one position each in engineering, planning and police; allocates $2,500 for affordable housing; increases the fire department budget by almost $5,000; and budgets $66,300 for a generator for the existing town hall structure.

Class-action suit over opioids in works by Chatham County

A class-action lawsuit being prepared for Chatham County is likely to ask for millions of dollars in damages, according to Casey Hilliard, a county health policy analyst. 

Hilliard, who helped with determining a figure using publicly available research, declined to give a more specific amount. Still unknown are the targets of the lawsuit, but unlike some other similar lawsuits, Chatham’s will name both manufacturers and distributors of the substance. Gary Whitaker, a Winston-Salem based attorney, part of a team representing Chatham, declined to name any of the parties they intended to sue. But he did say the list of manufactures was “fixed,” whereas the list of distributors was based upon who was operating in the area at the time. 

The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to give the green light to pursue the suit during their May 20 meeting. 

“Rather than stand on the sidelines, we are seizing the opportunity to lead a class-action fight against the opioid crisis as we combat the personal devastation we see right here in our community,” BOC chairman Mike Dasher said in a news release. County spokesperson Debra Henzey said the suit is an attempt to recoup some of the costs of dealing with problem. 

“(The opioid problem) affects the court system, it affects social services, it affects mental health services, which provides substance abuse treatment,” she said.

Pittsboro This Week: Chatham Park’s tree protection plan, rezoning on Chatham Business Drive, and more

Notes from the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, April 8

A crowd of roughly 50 people gathered in Town Hall for the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners meeting Monday. The meeting, which lasted nearly three and a half hours, included discussions of the Chatham Park tree protection plan, a town ordinance which prevented glass containers from being used for special events, rezoning for a property on Chatham Business Drive, a preliminary plat approval for a property on Cedar Lane and sewer allocation for Mill South Homes. The meeting began shortly after 7 p.m. with a prayer, the pledge of allegiance and a public comment section. Several residents from Potterstone Village came and spoke out against the proposed concrete plant, citing its noise and potential environmental and health risks. One of the speakers provided the commissioners with a petition from 250 voting-aged residents of the development, asking for the concrete plant to be moved.

What’s up with impact fees in Chatham County?

There’s an invisible target on Chatham County’s back. A threat looming, with potential to damage the county’s ability to fund schools and provide for its children. They saw what happened to their neighbors. The lobbying. The secret politicking.