Central West Focus Area

Join the Public Information Meetings on Tuesday, August 28th from 7-9 PM at the Orange United Methodist Church, 1220 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Chapel Hill, and repeated on Wednesday, August 29th from 8-9 AM.

Background:  During the 2020 Comprehensive Plan, a number of potential growth/redevelopment areas in Chapel Hill were identified.  Among these was a broad area that centers on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd./Estes Drive/Estes Extension intersection.   The Council has asked the Town Staff to create a study group for this area and to develop a plan for its growth and redevelopment that will meet the needs of the neighbors, the property owners that wish to develop this land, the University, and the broader community.

This area is important and was chosen for several reasons:

- it is impacted by the development of UNC’s Carolina North Campus

- currently undeveloped, restricted land on the northeast corner of this intersection will be available to develop when Horace Williams Airport is eventually closed

- a number of properties along MLK are ripe for redevelopment due to rising property values and the age of the buildings

- MLK is a major north/south car and bus transportation corridor linking I-40 as well as remote parking lots with downtown and the campus.

- the vital Estes Drive corridor is congested and one of only three streets that connect Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Currently Estes Drive is heavily traveled and close to gridlock during rush hour and school opening/closing times.  The street is bounded by two schools and the library, which bring additional heavy traffic during the day, yet it is otherwise totally residential all the way to Franklin Street.  It is also an access route to large, adjacent neighborhoods.  Other neighborhoods that are fed off of MLK are either self-contained cul-de-sacs or access other major roads only through neighborhood connections.  Any development in this area will have far-reaching effects and the impacts must be carefully viewed within this broader context.

Neighbors in the potentially affected area have been meeting to identify their concerns and criteria for a successful outcome.

The Town is working with the community to develop a process for this planning activity.  Please attend a meeting to learn and contribute your ideas.  If you can’t attend but wish to share ideas with the neighbors, please use the Contact Us link at the top of this page to send a request.

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