Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary
The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners met Monday, March 14. Following is a brief summary of noteworthy actions. It does not include all actions taken at the meeting and should not be viewed as official minutes. The meeting took place virtually with online conferencing software and is available for view on the town’s YouTube channel.
Proposed Crisis Diversion Facility ― A presentation about Orange County’s plans for a behavioral health crisis diversion facility was given by Tony Marimpietri, chair of the county’s behavioral health task force. Caitlin Fenhagen, Orange County’s criminal justice resource director, said the county has contributed $250,000 to the next phase of the planning process for the facility. The facility needs to be located near an emergency room and may be located near the UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus. The board did not hold discussion or take action related to this topic.
The board made the following appointments for three-year terms ending March 31, 2025:
- Sherra Lawrence to the Planning Board.
- Hannah Peele to the Historic District Commission.
- Wendy Kuhn to the Parks and Recreation Board.
The board received letters of interest for annexation of two properties located in two areas near Waterstone. It is custom for the board to receive a letter of interest and hear a brief, informal overview of a project idea before a property owner or developer pursues a more formal process.
Approximately 30 acres adjacent to Harmony at Waterstone townhomes, with some frontage on N.C. 86 —This would be a contiguous annexation, and water and sewer service is connected to the site. The future land use plan shows the parcel as Mixed Residential Neighborhood. The developer proposed potentially building 150 townhomes on the property. The board directed staff to conduct a fiscal impact analysis and receive details from the applicant on the project including details about options for including affordable housing. Commissioner Kathleen Ferguson voted against moving forward with next steps in the annexation process because no commercial development is proposed as part of the project.
Approximately 60 acres intersected by Cates Creek Parkway with frontage also on Old N.C. 86 — A portion of the parcel is within the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and is zoned Economic Development District. The full parcel is shown as part of the future land use plan as Mixed Use. Annexation would be contiguous, and water and sewer lines are on the site. The developer proposed 300 to 400 built-to-rent, single-family residences with neighborhood retail, office or medical office space. A fiscal impact analysis was prepared per board direction. The board directed staff and the town attorney to pursue an annexation agreement or similar development agreement in conjunction with the annexation that would provide for an affordable housing element. Ferguson voted against moving forward with next steps in the annexation process because of concerns about the long-term quality of build-to-rent housing, the applicant's experience with a previous property not in Hillsborough, and the lack of planning for the longevity of the neighborhood. The next step in the process is for the applicant to pursue filing formally for annexation and zoning which would be heard at public hearing.
Public safety discussion
The board continued discussing the recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force on Re-imagining Public Safety and the Hillsborough Police Department’s response to those recommendations. At this meeting, the board covered the recommendations and responses related to use of force. On Feb. 28, the board covered the recommendations and responses regarding mental health crisis response and traffic stops.
Multiple discussions are expected to thoroughly discuss the recommendations, and the public will be provided an opportunity at a date still to be determined for input on the recommendations and draft actions. Public comment is allowed at the board’s regular meetings, which take place the second Monday of each month.
The board decided not to continue the discussion at its scheduled work session on March 28 because the mayor will not be able to attend. Discussion is expected to resume in April. For more information, visit the Mayor’s Task Force on Re-imagining Public Safety webpage.
The board agreed to resume meeting in person. The board next meets at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, for a budget retreat. The meeting will be held in the Board Meeting Room of the Town Hall Annex, 105 E. Corbin St.
Upcoming work session
The board may not meet on March 28. The meeting will be formally canceled if no urgent matter arises.