Jeanne Brown delivered this thoughtful petition before the Council broke for the summer. Food for thought.
June 27, 2011
Mayor Kleinschmidt and members of Town Council:
Good Evening: It is exciting to hear that the Initiating Committee report will be reviewed tonight – setting the stage for public discussion and formulation of Chapel Hill’s new Comprehensive Plan.
This year Council has faced many ad hoc development decisions. Based on recent comments by developers, council members and citizens, I believe that everyone agrees that the new Comprehensive Plan will provide an updated guiding document for council, developers and citizens.
But creating a new Comprehensive Plan is not all that is needed. As citizen groups watched Aydan Court and similar development decisions unfold, it has become clear that the Concept Plan and Development Application Review processes need to be improved and strengthened in order to avoid similar situations in the future.
To begin with, a publicly created and vetted Comprehensive Plan is only effective if it is used as the basis for guiding staff, council and developers from initial Concept Plan discussions through building of approved projects.
Council Woman Donna Bell expressed the concerns many of us share when she observed that the Aydan Court project had first been proposed as a project that “spanned the entire property” and then had been “whittled down” from there. Continue reading
Thanks to your help, on Monday night, June 20, the Chapel Hill Town Council voted to protect Jordan lake and to adhere to our land use ordinances.
In a 5-4 vote, Council members Bell, Greene, Ward, Rich, and Harrison rejected the proposed rezoning change for the Aydan Court 90-condo luxury development. The video tape of the many hour public hearing can be seen here.
We won this close vote because of your willingness to get involved by signing the petition and emailing their concerns to the Council. Our community spoke loud and clear that this was the wrong project for such an environmentally sensitive area, and our voices were heard.
We thank the Council members who recognized that this project was poorly conceived, and voted to protect our wildlife and drinking water: Donna Bell, Sally Greene, Jim Ward (all three of whose seats are up for re-election this year), Penny Rich, and Ed Harrison (who most forcefully advocated against the rezoning).
The story in the Chapel Hill News captured the story. However, one statement was not correct. A second vote will not be required since the rezoning was denied.
Together we have made a difference!
The Town Council is considering the Aydan Court proposal tonight at 7:00pm at the Town Council chambers. A number of citizens have raised concerns about this proposal and will be speaking out against it tonight. Today’s Chapel Hill News published a guest column by Jan Smith and letters to the editor (Snavely, McClintock) outlining concerns about the proposal to develop this environmentally sensitive area near Meadowmont.
The Town website has the latest information on the process to develop a new Comprehensive Plan to determine the shape of future growth in Chapel Hill. If you are interested in participating in the process, sign up as a stakeholder.
The process for developing the new Comprehensive Plan has not yet been worked out. The initiating committee will make recommendations to the Council about how the process will work.