Memo from Manager Stancil re American Legion Property

06-15-15 Closed Session Partial Minutes
11-9-15 Closed Session Minutes
Summary of actions  (see below)
From: Roger Stancil

Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2016 12:38 PM
To: Jessica Anderson ; Michael Parker ; Nancy E. Oates ; Pam Hemminger ; Ross Tompkins; Roger Stancil; Donna Bell; Ed Harrison; George Cianciolo; Jeanne Brown (; Jess Anderson; Town Council; Michael Parker; Maria Palmer; Pam Hemminger; Sally Greene
Cc: Amy Harvey; Catherine Lazorko; Christina Strauch; Dwight Bassett; Flo Miller; Rae Buckley; Ralph Karpinos; Sabrina Oliver
Subject: American Legion property

Please find below and attached a recent history of the American Legion property complied by the Town Attorney and me.  Also attached are the draft minutes of the two closed sessions at which this was a topic of discussion.  If you have questions, please let me know.

Town Council, (April 5, 2005)
Council adopts Resolution 2005-04-05/R-9 pledging to not designate the Legion property as a potential school site on the Chapel Hill Land Use Plan in consideration of the Legion’s offering the Town a right of first refusal for the property.

McAdams Engineering Assesses site and opportunity. (Early 2015)

American Legion, (April 2015)
Agrees to solicit proposals for sale of their property.

Town Manager, Parks and Recreation Director, Business Management Director and Economic Development Officer, (April 2015)
Meeting to discuss potential Town uses and explore interest in Town acquisition
Bill Munsee, Commander of American Legion, (April 2015)
Economic Development Officer check-in with American Legion on the status of their seeking proposals on the acquisition of the property.

Woodfield Investments, (March 2015)
Economic Development Officer meets with prospect on the potential sale of the American Legion property.

Town Council, (June 15, 2015)
Town Council discusses this matter in closed session.  Council hears options regarding the American Legion property if an official offer is made on the property: 1) To exercise the First Right of Refusal, 2) Consider working with potential buyer of the property or 3) Other. The Manager notes that any development would come before the Council for approval.
Council considers possible acquisition of the property and authorizes Town Manager to negotiate with the proposer for the Town’s interest in the expanded park and a roadway to be built, prior to not acting on the first right of refusal.

At this point the Legion has not received an offer from a prospective buyer.  The Town’s right of first refusal would not become an issue until there is an offer to acquire the property from another party.

Chapelboro article, (August 2015)

Economic Development Officer, (August/September 2015)
-Checks in with Legion representatives on the status of any formal offer to purchase.
-Initiates property appraisal of property to determine value compared to the outstanding offer.

American Legion, (September 2015)
The Legion votes to accept the offer to purchase on the property.

Town Attorney, (September 16, 2015)
The Town Attorney receives an email from the attorney representing the American Legion Post.  He attaches a signed copy of the contract between the Legion Post and Woodfield Properties and requests further direction on how to secure an answer on the Town’s First Right of Refusal on the property.

Town Attorney by email advises Post’s attorney that the letter should be sent to the Town Manager.

Letter, Offering the Town an opportunity to purchase the Legion property, is sent Town Manager, dated September 30, 2015 from Rick Snider.  The letter gives the Town 60 days to respond to the First Right of Refusal.  Purchase Price is $9,000,000.

Thomas Forcella, Todd LoFrese and William Mullin, October 2015
Meeting with Town Manager and Economic Development Officer to discuss the Town’s Option on the property, the school district’s interest and the potential roadway adjacent to the school site. Manager agrees with Superintendent that any future roadway design would be coordinated with the schools

The School District’s response to our meeting: “There is currently a contract to purchase the American Legion property on Legion Road.  We understand that the Town has the first right of refusal on the property.  We also understand that the contract price is $9 million.  We understand that the Town is not interested in the property due to the cost of the land.  Similarly, the district does not have $9 million and we have over $160 million in currently identified projects that are our priority.  We would request that, where possible, the Town negotiate improvements to the property that would be beneficial to the school system, safety, and better support pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area.”

November 3, 2015 Bond Election
Voters approve bond referenda, including additional revenues that could be used to acquire property for recreational and park purposes.

Town Council, (November 9, 2015)
Town Council meets in closed session and authorizes the Manager to negotiate and execute an agreement to forego exercise of the right of first refusal to purchase the property in exchange for commitments regarding certain public amenities. The vote was unanimous.

Town Manager, (December 2015)
Closed session information shared with new Town Council members.

Roger L. Stancil
Town Manager
Manager’s Office
Town of Chapel Hill
405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-5705
Phone: (919) 968-2743
Fax: (919) 969-2063


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