Creating Affordable Housing - Town-Owned Land

Frequently Asked Questions

What action did the Town Council take on February 8, 2022, to advance affordable housing goals for Carrboro? 

The Town Council approved a multi-step, sequential process to create affordable housing on selected town-owned parcels.  

The first step in this process is to conduct a comprehensive site analysis of the identified parcels to determine what is (and isn’t) possible on the property. This information will inform community engagement discussions and workshops, which will be scheduled during the second step in the process.  

The Town Council has not approved a development plan on either the Crest Street or the Pathway Drive parcels.   

You can review the Town Council Agenda item here

How were properties selected for possible affordable housing locations? 

A preliminary review of Town-owned properties was conducted in 2015 by staff and members of the Affordable Housing Task Force.  Parcels were excluded if they were designated for another use, or if they met any of the following criteria: 

  1.  Within a conservation easement 
  2.  Inside a Long-Term Interest Areas for future utility development 
  3.  No water or sewer nearby 
  4.  Within 100-year floodplain 
  5.  Within dedicated right-of-way 
  6.  Parcel completely developed 
  7.  Inside Rural Buffer zoning 

You can view the related Town Council agenda item here

A map of Town-owned properties can be found here.   

How many units will be built? 

The site analysis must be conducted first to determine what is (and isn’t) possible on the parcels, including the number of units.  Any numbers that have been noted to date are theoretical and based on current zoning. The actual design/plans, and number of units, will be developed/determined in partnership with the community. 

What’s included in a preliminary site analysis? 

A preliminary site analysis is an evaluation of the site's physical characteristics and a review of local, state, and federal regulatory requirements, both of which will identify issues that could affect development. For example, this analysis will test soil samples to provide information on soil erosion and soil-bearing strengths; define buildable area based on wetlands/setback requirements; and evaluate the topography.  

More details about what’s involved in a preliminary site assessment can be found here.  

Re-Advertised - A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) notice for a site analysis has been published on the Town's website, on the Historically Underutilized Businesses site, in the Triangle Tribune, and in the Durham Herald Sun.  The RFQ will be posted August 28, 2022 and can be found here.  Submissions are due to the Town on September 23, 2022.

How can I stay involved? 

The first step in the process is to conduct a site analysis to determine what is (and isn’t) possible on the properties.  Once the analysis is complete, the next step is to reach out to the neighborhood and Carrboro community to schedule community engagement opportunities.   

Working with a design consultant, the community will be very involved in creating the goals for and design of future development based on information from the site analysis, the comprehensive plan, ongoing community engagement, property factors such as location, unit potential, and other Town priorities such as racial equity and climate action.  There will be multiple opportunities for the public to engage in this process and affect the final design of the development.  Additionally, a public hearing(s) will be held before the Town Council considers final approval. 

We encourage residents to sign up to receive news and information that is sent directly to your email inbox. Visit for Carrboro This Week (a weekly digest) and Carrboro Town News (more frequent updates). Included in the email newsletters are Town Council meeting agendas. The Town also publishes these same updates on Nextdoor, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Additionally, Carrboro Town Council meetings are conveniently available on YouTube/CarrboroNC -- as well as the Town’s legislative portal at

How long will the development process take? 

The length of the process depends on a variety of factors such as site analysis results, community engagement, site work, the RFQ process, etc.  The Town Council did approve exploring the use of an expedited review process that would prioritize affordable housing projects in the Planning, Zoning and Inspections (PZI) Department while maintaining compliance.  This review is technical in nature and is one of the last steps in the process, occurring after multiple community discussions and design workshops. 

How will future development impact stormwater issues and trees? 

The initial site analysis will include an environmental assessment which evaluates many features and issues, including stormwater and a catalog of trees and their location.  

You can learn more about what’s involved in a preliminary site assessment here.  

What is the Town doing to further affordable housing?

The Town is actively engaged in furthering its affordable housing goals through dedicated resources and robust community partnerships and collaborations.  You can learn more about the Town's affordable housing work in the FY22 Year in Review.

You can read the FY22 Year in Review here.

You can learn about the Town's latest projects here.

You can learn about the Town's affordable housing collaborations here.


 Fall 2023

Summit Design and Engineering was selected to conduct the site assessment.  Survey work is underway on the Town’s Pathway Drive and Crest Street parcels.  Flagging of different colors will be seen, denoting objects like trees, property corners, or areas such as streams, wetlands, and other features. Paint markings will be used to identify underground utilities marked by NC 811.  The purpose of this survey is to: 

  • Verify property boundaries and easements. 
  • Assemble available map data (floodplain/floodway limits, stream buffer limits, topography, or GIS property lines).
  • Identify/locate above ground and subsurface utilities and easements, noting conflicts, if any.
  • Locate and measure trees, per Article XIX of the Land Use Ordinance.
  • Use Carrboro zoning regulations to determine setback requirements and available buildable area.

In the new year, site assessment activities will include geotechnical investigations, environmental investigations, and site walks to observe on-site and off-site drainage patterns. The Town will continue to update this page as the timeline for these activities is determined.

Quick Links


Contact Anne-Marie Vanaman, Housing and Community Services Director.

Last Updated 11/20/2023.