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On September 19, 2012 Town Council held a Concept Plan hearing to discuss proposed development at the Obey Creek site in southern Chapel Hill.
During that meeting, 23 individuals raised questions about important community concerns including: traffic, schools, the environment, quality of life and property values.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Kleinschmidt requested that town staff present a proposal for a Development Agreement at the November 5, 2012 Town Council meeting.
Given that a vision for development at this site has not been established a decision to initiate a Development Agreement at this site is inappropriate.
Citizens are asking town council to move forward using a transparent, data-driven approach to evaluate costs, benefits and impacts of development at this site as well as it’s adherence to the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan.
Additionally, we are asking that changes to Chapel Hill's development application/review process be made through an objective, evaluative process that is not tied to a specific development proposal.
As residents of the Central MLK-Estes Focus Area, we have made a long-term investment not only in our own homes but also in our communities and in the future of Chapel Hill.
The planned development of Carolina North provides us with a valuable opportunity to develop a design for our focus area that meets the high standards that the University and the town have established for this new gateway to Chapel Hill, and to further enhance Chapel Hill's reputation for high quality of life.
From this perspective, we wish to offer our strong support for the following principles:
Landmark Properties of Athens, GA seeks approval from Chapel Hill Town Council to build The Retreat -- a large-scale student housing complex on Homestead Road on the South side of Homestead between Weaver Dairy Extension and the railroad tracks. The Retreat calls for 799 college students.
Chapel Hill Town Council rejected a very similar development, The Cottages, in November 2010. Many reasons were cited, but chief among them was the burden 800+ cars would add to an already congested Homestead Road. The Retreat calls for just 49 fewer parking spaces than The Cottages, or 849 total. It calls for 799 students vs. The Cottages 855. Town Council's rationale for rejecting The Cottages applies equally to The Retreat.
The Cottages required a zoning change, while Landmark seeks approval under the current R-2 zoning. How can this be if the plans are so similar? A few reasons: 1) Landmark added 5 acres to the development, and reduced the number of dwelling units (DUs) by 8. Together, this enables them to meet the R-2 requirement of 4.6 DUs per acre. However, R-2 governs more than just units per acre. It also governs the type of residences allowed on the land. Specifically, R-2 requires the DUs be "single-family or duplex residential". 4-6 unrelated college students living in a house or townhouse, each renting their room separately, is not R-2 single family residential.
We support development of this land that conforms to R-2. We invested in our homes and neighborhoods with the understanding that this land would be developed single family residential. Allowing Landmark to build The Retreat would betray the trust neighboring homeowners have placed in our town government.
A developer is proposing 90 condominiums on Highway 54 east of Meadowmont in a state-designated Significant Natural Heritage Area and adjacent to the Upper Little Creek Wildlife Impoundment.
The Town of Carrboro Board of Aldermen is considering a proposal to construct a ten-foot wide, concrete transportation route from Estes Drive to Homestead Road along Bolin Creek.
The most likely source of funding for this project will be monies administered by the N.C Department of Transportation. N.C. DOT mandates a ten-foot wide concrete surface with extensive grading requirements.
Designating the creek as an alternative transportation corridor, as the Town of Carrboro may do, will fail to protect the creek valley as a natural area. We favor measures to preserve permanently this unique, natural creek valley.
Our goals are ecosystem protection, wildlife-habitat preservation, and nature appreciation for future generations. We further support identifying an alternative route for a bikeway that will connect northern neighborhoods to our downtown areas. Please sign below if you agree with us that we should preserve, not pave, the Bolin Creek valley.
Please sign the petition below by Wednesday at 5pm October 21, 2009 for your name to be included in a pre-election announcement ad to run in the Sunday edition of The Chapel Hill News.