One major way citizens can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to volunteer to serve on the various advisory boards and commissions.
Currently there are openings on the following advisory boards and commissions.
- Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee(two at-large positions) - Members are appointed by the Board of Commissioners to at-large positions. There is an initial one-year training term with subsequent eligibility for three additional two-year terms. This committee works to maintain the intent of the Adult Care Home Residents’ Bill of Rights for those residing in licensed adult care homes. The members of this committee also promote community involvement and cooperation with these homes to ensure quality care for the elderly and disabled adults.
- Advisory Board on Aging(three at-large positions) - These positions are filled by appointment of the Board of Commissioners with certain seats allocated to the Townships and Town of Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Carrboro. This board suggests policy and makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and the Department on Aging while acting as the liaison between the older citizens of the County and the County government. It is charged with promoting needed services, programs and funding that impacts older citizens.
- Animal Services Hearing Panel Pool(one veterinarian position) - The charge of the Animal Services Hearing Panel Pool is to hear appeals concerning violations of the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 4 (“Animal Control Ordinance”), as provided in the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Section 4-53 Appeals and also potentially dangerous dog appeals as prescribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1(c). It is the responsibility of pool members to conduct fair and impartial hearings for these appeals and they will receive training in both law and proper procedure from the Office of the County Attorney prior to participating in a hearing. Pool members are sought from the Towns of Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro as well as the part of Orange County that is unincorporated. Appeals panels will be convened on an as needed basis for hearings.
- Carrboro Board of Adjustment(one Carrboro ETJ position) - The Board of Commissioners appoints citizens to fill the two Orange County positions on this board. This board hears and decides citizen appeals from any order, decision, requirement, or interpretation made by the Zoning Administrator. It also hears and decides on applications. The current open position on the board is for a resident living in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) of Carrboro.
- Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment(three Chapel Hill ETJ and JPA positions) - The Board of County Commissioners appoints citizens to fill three County positions on this board. The Board hears and decides appeals from any decision or determination by the Town Manager, Council, or the Planning Board in granting or denying site plan approval, or of the Appearance Commission in granting or denying sign plan approval or of the Historic District Commission or Appearance Commission in granting or denying a Certificate of Appropriateness. There are currently three positions open representing the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and Joint Planning Area (JPA) of Chapel Hill.
- Chapel Hill Planning Commission(one Chapel Hill ETJ or JPA position) - The Orange County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) appoints representatives to fill two positions on the Chapel Hill Planning Commission. These positions represent the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and Joint Planning Area (JPA) of Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Planning Board develops a comprehensive plan for the orderly growth and development of Chapel Hill. It reviews all plans for buildings, projects and facilities to be located within the Town’s jurisdiction.
- Commission for the Environment(one water resources and two at-large positions) - The Board of County Commissioners appoints representatives to the Commission for the Environment. This commission advises the Board of Commissioners on matters affecting the environment with particular emphasis on protection. It educates public and local officials on environmental issues and performs special studies and projects. It also recommends environmental initiatives and study changes in environmental science and local and federal regulations.
- Mebane Board of Adjustment(one ETJ / Orange County resident position) - The Orange County Board of Commissioners appoints one citizen to fill the Orange County position on this board. The Mebane Board of Adjustment hears and decides appeals of decisions by the Mebane Zoning Enforcement Officer. It grants special use permits and variances. When no citizen volunteer(s) will serve, the Board of Adjustment consists of the Town Board.
- Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee(three at-large and two nursing home administration positions) - This committee helps to maintain the intent of the Residents’ Bill of Rights, promotes community involvement, and provides public education on long-term care issues.
- Orange County Parks and Recreation Council (one Chapel Hill Township position) - Each member of the Orange County Parks & Recreation Council shall be a County resident appointed by the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The Orange County Parks & Recreation Council includes representatives from each of the County’s townships plus its municipalities. The Orange County Parks & Recreation Council consults with and advises the Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation, and the Board of County Commissioners on matters affecting parks planning, development and operation; recreation facilities, policies and programs; and public trails and open space.
- Orange Unified Transportation Board (OUTBoard) (one Chapel Hill Township position) - This board provides information and comments on major transportation issues. The Board also provides recommendations regarding the overall planning and programming of transportation improvements in Orange County, including identifying and prioritizing the County’s roadway and transit needs along with associated costs and specific sources of funding. The Board assists in development and review of the transportation component of the Comprehensive Plan. A new initiative that is being addressed is bicycle safety.
If interested, apply on the Orange County website.
Orange County strives for diversity on volunteer advisory boards. Minorities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County. Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners have an opportunity to influence the way of life in Orange County.
For additional information, call Thom Freeman-Stuart 919-245-2125.