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A Brief Hello, Carrboro Considers Sewer Extension, and a Record Year at RDU

A Brief Hello, Carrboro Considers Sewer Extension, and a Record Year at RDU

Good Afternoon Chamber Members,

I’m thrilled to be the newest member of the Chamber’s team and excited to be part of this incredible community. The Chamber’s Campaign for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro sets ambitious goals around workforce development, small business growth and support, and housing supply and affordability. I am inspired by the plan’s vision and look forward to working with you to advance these shared priorities and advocating every day for local businesses.

As you wrap up the work week, here is an update on one of the Chamber’s most pressing advocacy priorities – water and sewer expansion – and a few other informational items from across the region.

In Partnership,

- Ian (Click here for Ian's background)

Carrboro Considers Sewer Extension 

Carrboro Town Council received a briefing this week about the proposed extension of water and sewer service roughly one mile south along 15-501 to the Chatham County line. Based on a 2001 agreement, changes to the service boundary must be approved by all five parties – Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsboro, Orange County, and OWASA. Chapel Hill Town Council voted 8-1 to approve the service boundary change in November.

Why it Matters: The Chamber petitioned for the service boundary change last summer to accommodate new affordable and missing middle housing. Water/sewer connection is essential to support the densities required for any affordable housing development. This transit-served corridor is close to UNC Hospitals, campus, and Chapel Hill and Carrboro downtowns, making it an ideal location for affordable housing our community desperately needs.

Key Facts: The proposed extension is entirely within the jurisdiction of the Town of Chapel Hill and outside the rural buffer. Approving water/sewer service extension does not change underlying zoning or greenlight any new development. Any new development in the area would be subject to Chapel Hill’s design standards, affordable housing requirements and, approvals process.

Next Steps: Expect Carrboro Town Council to vote on this service boundary change at their Feb. 6 meeting. Similar briefings and votes are expected by Hillsborough, Orange County, and OWASA in the coming months. Chamber staff are engaging with elected officials, planning staff, and community stakeholders on this issue. Expect additional updates over the following weeks.

Connecting Transit

The steering committee for the Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) met this week. Biggest discussion item was the ongoing Freeway and Steet-based Transit (FAST) study to link our region’s transit options, including Chapel Hill’s planned North-South BRT line, to each other and to RDU Airport. The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro is a proud founding member of the RTA, a regionwide business leadership organization to get our region moving faster. The RTA will hold their State of Mobility 2024 annual meeting on Friday, Jan. 26.

Record Year at RDU

Raleigh Durham International Airport last year posted a record 14.4 million passengers. That’s a 22% year-over-year increase and 1.4% higher than the airport’s pre-pandemic high watermark. 65 destinations were served with by direct flights last year, matching 2019 service levels. Just this week, RDU announced new service to San Diego and Westchester, NY on Breeze Airways and more exciting international destination announcements are pending.

Regional Skills Analysis Preview

Also this week, our friend at the Raleigh Chamber previewed findings from their third Regional Skills Analysis, conducted by Research Triangle Institute. The 2023 study includes responses from more than 3,000 businesses across the Triangle about their talent needs and future hiring plans. This third iteration of the study highlights some significant changes to the talent landscape by sector. More specifics after embargo is lifted and data is published publicly.

Meet the Chamber's Government Affairs Committee, read the policy platform, contact your local officials, dive deeper into the issues, and contact The Chamber's Vice President for Advocacy Ian Scott for questions or concerns.

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