Passing the buck

Roger Stancil’s solution to the deer problem? Starve ‘em to death.

That seems to be what the town will try next to address the dangers of Chapel Hill’s rampant deer over-population. On Monday night at Town Hall, Town Manager Roger Stancil is to present a staff report with the recommendations for dealing with the deer problem. The meeting is to begin at 7 p.m. Staff recommends that Stancil develop a packet, which includes information on deer-resistant plants, for residents interested in protecting their property, especially landscaping and gardens, from deer. The top recommendation? Fencing.

Fencing won’t reduce the deer population, and that is at the heart of the problem. How will fencing or an information packet keep deer off the roads and out of the way of oncoming vehicles? What fencing will do is increase the prospect of deer starvation.

Talk about cruelty to animals — Stancil seems content to starve the deer to death rather than cull them. I can hear Sally “No Way No How” Greene exclaiming, “Let them eat liriope!” Maybe it will take Laurin Easthom barreling into another deer before the council will address the problem in a serious manner.

Also at the meeting, the town will discuss changing the Land Use Management Ordinance to increase the cap on the number of people who can stay in a shelter for the homeless. That would seem to be a set-up to ease adoption of the Inter-Faith Council’s plan to build a two-story facility near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Homestead Road. Residents have been vocal in opposing the facility in their neighborhood, saying it would bring safety and crime issues.

On the meeting’s consent agenda (items that don’t have to be discussed) is a request to spend $595,000 in HUD money on renovations to public housing in the South Roberson neighborhood and replace appliances at apartments in the Eastwood and Caldwell/Church Street neighborhoods.

Another agenda item would reschedule a public hearing for a LUMO alteration that involves putting restrictions on what can be done to land where a historic building has been demolished. The town wants a two-year period to pass before considering any rezoning request. The hearing is to be rescheduled for May.

The consent agenda also asks the council to approve a petition submitted by residents of the Highland Woods neighborhood to begin Phase Two of the Neighborhood Conservation District initiation procedures. Council acceptance would refer the petition to the Planning Board for a feasibility review.

–Don Evans


4 Responses to “Passing the buck”

  1. Cousin Eddie Says:

    Heh – wait until they find out how much 8-ft anti-deer fencing costs, especially if they take the NCWRC suggestion and use top angle brackets in addition. And won’t pricey neighborhoods look so much nicer with that quaint military installation touch of chain link and/or monofilament cables.

    No, what fencing will do is that ever-popular Chapel Hill solution: push the problem off on someone else, especially nearby county residents.

    I am amused, however, that it seems to fulfill Jesse Helm’s dream.

  2. Mark Marcoplos Says:

    The town should organize a bow-hunting pilot project with a willing neighborhood. and see how it goes.

    • Terri Buckner Says:

      A neighborhood wishing to do that is what caused the staff response.

      How can a town that prides itself on its “values” and environmental ethics recommend starvation as a solution to anything?

  3. Joe Schmoe Says:

    This is the correct way to handle population problems: cut the food supply. Animals of all kinds (humans included) will keep breeding if there’s ample food. Killing them without reducing the food supply will just cause them to have even more offspring. Hunting them doesn’t solve anything but the short term symptoms, and the hunters desire for blood sport.

    An ecologist would be the right person to solve this problem: not bloggers, not politicians, and not good ol’ boys wantin’ to kill stuff.

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