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Zoning statutes lead
to legal hassles for
Chapel Hill realtors
By SPEED MAILMAN
After ignoring the planning department's
request to comply with town zoning stat
utes, a Chapel Hill condominium developer
may be taken to court, said Chapel Hill Plan
ning Director Mike Jennings.
At issue is a special use permit, which
must be modified if the status of a dwelling
changes, as in the conversion of an apart
ment complex to a condominium.
John A. Gates of Chapel Hill Realty,
owner of the University Garden Apartments,
is converting the apartments to condomin-.
iums and said that he "didn't have to do
anything" to remain within the law.
Jennings insisted that the law is clear in
this case and explained that "any time you
have more than two dwelling units on one lot
you have to get a permit It specifies that
any significant change, to a project requires
a modification to the permit Thaf s the at
torney's opinion," Jennings said. Town attor
ney Emery Denny was not available for com
ment Jennings said that he had written Cates to
advise him of the need to modify the permit.
Cates has not replied, Jennings said.
Asked about the matter, Cates said, "I
don't know anything. I just go by my attor
ney. I did exactly what they told me to do.
They told me I didn't have to do anything."
Cates said that he had a document signed
by "the development coordinator," whom
he declined to identify. The document stated
that a modification of the special use permit
was not necessary, Cates said.
However, Jennings speculated that the
document was actually a boundary survey
done by his department which has no bear
ing on this case.
"The modification is a fairly straightfor
ward one," Jennings said. "But any time you
violate the law it is a serious matter."
Cates said that he was following the 'let
ter of the law" with the blessing of his attor
ney. But Jennings said he believed that Cates
was actually going ahead with his conver
sion plans, because a legal permit modifica
tion would not be possible to obtain until
September 21, the date set for the public
hearing. Legally, Cates could take no action
until after that date, Jennings said.
Jennings added that another complex, .
Gastillian Villa, was going through the same
process of conversion and permit modifica
tion. But at the same time, the apartment
owners are appealing the attorney's decision
' that the conversion requires a modification.
Trie Oaks, a 124-unit apartment complex
in Chapel Hill, converted to condominiums
last year but has since reverted to apart
Local seats up for election
By ANN MURPHY
Four seats on the Chapel Hiil Town Coun
cil, three seats on the Carrboro Board of Al
dermen and the Carrboro mayor's seat will be
up for election this fall
A spokeswoman for the Orange County
' Board of Elections said candidates would be
able to file for positions from noon, Septem
ber 11, until noon, October 2.
Two town council members. Bill Thorpe
and Bev kawalec. have decided to run again.-
"I made that decision a long time ago." "
Thorpe said. "I hope the community will con
tinue to let me serve them in this capacity."
Kawalec has not made a formal announce
ment but she said she was planning to run
again. "There are more programs that I want
to enact more work to be done."
Council member Marilyn Boulton said she
had not made a decision to run again. "I'll
have to decide by the end of the summer, be
cause if I do run again, I'll have to get organ
ized," she said.
Council member Joe Herzenberg, whose
. seat will also be up for election, could not be
reached for comment. -;
E ight town council members and the mayor
make up Chapel Hill's governing body, and
all serve four-year terms. Mayor Joe Nassif's
term will not expire until 1933, along with the
terms of the other four council members.
Carrboro Board of Aldermen members Brax
ton Foushee, Doug Sharer and Nancy White,
whose terms will expire this fall, said they had
not decided whether they will run for reelec
The home-school coordinator for the Cha
pel Hill schools, HilJiard Caldwell, also said
he might run for a seat on the Board of Alder
men. , ..
Carrboro Mayor Bob Drakeford has not
made a definite decision about the Novem
ber elections. "I am leaning toward running
and I will make that decision early in Sep
tember," he said. He made no comments on
any issues concerning the elections.
Deputy Supervisor Carolyn Braxton said
special hours for voter registration would be
set by the county elections board in September.
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