Here is the link to the final draft of the 2020 Comprehensive Plan http://www.townofchapelhill.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=14205. This will be presented to Town Council on Monday, May 21st at 7 PM in Council Chambers. You can (and are encouraged to) submit comments on the plan via the 2020 Website http://www.egovlink.com/chapelhill/action.asp.
On Wed., November 16th a meeting was held by residents of the Franklin-Rosemary Historic District regarding recent conversion of a single-family home on North Street into a student-occupied duplex with eight units. Another property on the street has been bought by the same developer and is expected to be similarly converted. While student rentals throughout the central Chapel Hill community are common, there is a point at which a residential area becomes student dominated and loses its residential character. Examples of this are seen in the on-going battles in Northside and the Cameron-McCauley area as well as Davie Circle. While we all love having students around, too much of a good thing leads to neighborhood decline with excessive parking, poor maintenance, trash and loud parties. The meeting generated interest in neighborhoods working together to address this issue with the Town, both through improved enforcement of existing ordinances as well as seeking additional ways in which the character of these in-town neighborhoods can be preserved. Continue reading
Chapel Hill Town Council has initiated a comprehensive planning process called Chapel Hill 2020. The final product is a new Comprehensive Plan for the Town. The process is designed to engage not only as many of the Town’s citizens as possible, but also business owners and those who, while not Chapel Hill taxpayers, are part of the unincorporated town. The kick-off visioning meeting included over 300 participants. Participant input was sorted into six theme groups in which citizens are invited to participate to discuss the issues and outcomes residents desire in the plan. A meeting schedule is found here. The Town is encouraging citizen participation at any stage of the approximately six month process, in person at the theme group or report out meetings or on the Town’s Blog called 2020Buzz.
The most important activity to hit town in 10 years is the creation of a new Comprehensive Plan for Chapel Hill, called Chapel Hill 2020. This plan will guide development activity in town for the next ten years. The process is designed to include as many citizens as are willing to participate and at any level of participation that they wish. The town reports 140 people have agreed to participate as Stakeholders – you could be one too. Continue reading
At the end of a grueling six hour meeting, Council ran out of time and energy to hear the Aydan Court agenda items which were then continued to Wednesday, May 25th. If you’re not familiar with this important development, click here to learn more about the positions, from the developer and from citizens.
The Town is once more faced with the dilemma of acceding to a developer’s demands for rezoning and special use permits that are not consistent to existing zoning and the Comprehensive Plan. This area, like Charterwoods and Obey Creek, could be developed with consideration to the expressed wishes of the citizens through the Comprehensive Planning process, the environment, the natural habitat they provide and their prominent positions as gateways to Chapel Hill. We’re hopeful that the developers will either revise their proposals to be consistent with existing ordinances, zones and regulations or that final approvals for these proposed developments, Aydan Court, Charterwoods and Obey Creek, will be voted down or deferred until the Town has the opportunity to consider them with an engaged public as part of the newly launched Comprehensive Plan.
Increasingly we are seeing developers’ proposals that fail to consider important town ordinances; tree, steep slopes, RCD. Council is desirous of increasing the tax base and is caught between the press to develop and harvest taxes and being responsible to the citizens by enforcing the ordinances that are so important to them. Unfortunately, granting these many exceptions undermines the validity of the existing ordinances and Council’s credibility. Ultimately, following our ordinances consistently is a basic principal of our organization and we believe for the entire community.
On January 23, 2011, Neighbors for Responsible Growth sponsored a public Meeting of Chapel Hill Neighborhoods at the former Chapel Hill Museum building. Nearly 60 residents from 40 area neighborhoods attended. The purpose of the meeting was to explore options for building upon inter-neighborhood cooperation and participation in Town governance, especially as it relates to growth in Chapel Hill. Continue reading
These comments were presented to the Chapel Hill Town Council on November 8, 2010.
In 1992 the Town of Chapel Hill developed a Small Area Plan that created zoning and development parameters for the area south of 15-501. The two year process included all stakeholders in that area of Town. The Plan balanced a dense urban development with the preservation of surrounding environmentally sensitive areas and open space.
Today, this area contains both dense urban development, Southern Village, and a largely undeveloped area east of Southern Village along Obey Creek. Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG) is opposed to the Town Council pursuing a radical change for this plan and to the Town undertaking a Development Agreement for the Obey Creek area which was intended to be protected with low density zoning. Continue reading