The bike plan kicked off in May with a community forum. Work on the plan proceeded over the summer months with the creation of a crowdsourcing WikiMap and an online survey resulting in over 1000 responses about Chapel Hill’s transportation system.
Feedback from community responses along with a steering committee and a 15-member stakeholder group informed preliminary recommendations. When completed, the Chapel Hill Bike Plan will provide a “how-to-guide” for making Chapel Hill a place where more people can safely ride their bikes to more places in the community. A final plan is expected to be presented to the Council in November 2013.
“The vision for this Bike Plan is that Chapel Hill is a community where biking is a safe and convenient everyday choice for all types of riders throughout Town” said Jason Merril, a member of the Bike Plan Steering Committee.
The Bike Plan is part of DESIGN Chapel Hill 2020, the implementation phase of the community’s new comprehensive plan. “Connected Community” (including Chapel Hill Bike Plan) is one of the Big Idea initiatives that embody the essence of the Chapel Hill 2020 goals.
During the Chapel Hill 2020 planning process, residents expressed that they want more facilities and street design features that promote safe bicycling. People said there should be improved connectivity between important destinations and that bicycling can become part of a healthy active lifestyle.
Cyclists may also be interested in the “North Carolina Bike Summit” an event hosted by North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance (NCATA). This year’s summit will take place in Carrboro from Friday, Oct. 18 to Sunday, Oct. 20. For more information, visit: http://www.ncactive.org/content/nc-bicycle-summit
Please share your thoughts, and take the Central West survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/centralwest9-2013
The survey has seven questions and should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. The survey will be open until noon Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The Central West Steering Committee has been charged with developing a recommended small area plan for the Central West Focus Area which they will present to the Town Council for its possible endorsement on Nov. 25. For more information about the Central West process, please visit www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest
Thank you for your participation!
Over the past two weeks, the Obey Creek Compass Committee has heard from the Development Team, discussed economic and traffic impacts with Town Staff, and started a visioning process for the future of Obey Creek!
On August 28th , Roger Perry of East West Partners presented an overview of the history of the area, existing conditions, and community considerations. During his presentation, he described the development team’s desire to see connections to Southern Village, greenway possibilities, transit enhancements, public art, and green building design features. The discussion progressed to retail options (small, mid-sized, and large) and the possibility of building retail structures upwards, rather than outwards. Committee members asked the Development Team questions including what types of provisions would/could be made for town services.
Following the presentation, Dwight Basset, the Town of Chapel Hill’s Economic Development Officer, fielded queries about fiscal impacts and the types of jobs the development could attract.
Before the meeting adjourned, Kimberly Brewer, a member of The Design Impacts Matrix Subcommittee, reviewed the potential impacts and design relationships categories that the subcommittee developed. The Committee also committed to thinking through a vision for the Obey Creek of the future!
A video of the presentation and draft vision statements are available at the Obey Creek Compass Committee page at Town of Chapel Hill website.
On September 4th, the Compass Committee met with Staff Members, David Bonk and Kumar Neppalli as well as NCDOT representative, Chuck Edwards. The topic of the evening was traffic. The Committee asked questions that fell into several major categories:
• Traffic impact based on development on site
• Larger impact on Big picture of Traffic issues in Chapel Hill
• Connectivity to Southern Village and Throughout the Obey Creek Area, including pedestrian, bike, (bus) and transit
• Mitigation Factors
The next meeting will be held on September the 12th at 6:30 at the Public Works Building #1 located at 6850 Millhouse Road.
Join the Central West Steering Committee and your fellow community members at the upcoming Central West Community Session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the Fellowship Hall at Amity United Methodist Church, 825 N. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill.
The drop-in session will provide residents the opportunity to review the committee’s work to date, and to offer their thoughts and feedback.
The Central West Focus Area is located near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive and extends from Carrboro to the west, Franklin Street to the east, Homestead Road to the north, and Maple Drive to the south. For a map, please see below.
The Central West Focus Area was identified as a “future focus area” during the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive planning process due to the known development pressures in the area. The Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan states that this area needs continued community conversation about its future and the appropriate uses (such as residential, commercial, office, mixed-use, etc.); form (what the area and buildings should look like); and intensity (how many new uses and buildings are comfortable for the area).
In October 2012, the Town Council established a steering committee to create a small area plan for the Central West Focus Area. Since that time, the Central West Steering Committee has developed principles and objectives that are to guide the development of the small area plan and ultimately development in the area. The committee has also developed concepts that outline various uses in the area, including mixed use, residential, office and institutional/recreational.
For more information about the Central West Focus Area process, please visit www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest
For questions, please contact Megan Wooley, housing and neighborhood services planner, at email@example.com or 919-969-5059.
With a dozen meetings associated with DESIGN Chapel Hill 2020 scheduled this month, it may be a bit challenging to keep up with the implementation phase of the Town of Chapel Hill’s new comprehensive plan. A lot is going on!
Catch up on DESIGN projects in the September 2013 DESIGN 2020 Newsletter.
Town Manager Roger Stancil says: “Adoption of Chapel Hill 2020 as the comprehensive plan was not an end point, but a beginning. Adoption was a goal accomplished and the beginning of a journey to our preferred future.”
For more information or to receive email updates on various projects, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the August 7th Central West Steering Comittee meeting, please see below!
Central West Focus Area
August 7, 2013 Steering Committee Meeting
By: Michael Parker and Amy Ryan, Co-Chairs, Central West Steering Committee
The Central West Steering Committee met on August 7 at the Chapel Hill Public Library from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Copies of all meeting materials can be found at www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest All formal agreements of the Committee reflect the affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the members present.
1. Opening Remarks: Megan Wooley began by noting that Trish D’Arconte, from the town Stormwater Management office, would not attend the evening’s meeting as expected because of illness, but that she would be rescheduled at a later date. Julie McClintock requested that Chris Jensen, the Town stormwater engineer, also be invited and Megan said she would contact him.
Julie McClintock requested that the time scheduled for Trish be used instead for a status update on the work plan. After discussion, it was decided that the extra time would be used for our land use discussions and that a work plan update would be scheduled for a later meeting.
Megan noted that the September community event had been rescheduled to September 3 because of the Jewish holidays (this date has since been changed to September 10) and gave an update for plans for the area walking tour on August 25.
2. Community Participation: Several individuals from the community than shared comments/opinions with the Committee.
3. Land Planning Charrette: The Committee resumed discussion of land use issues in the area along the Estes corridor (areas A—F) and agreed on the following:
- Parcels B and C should have a mix of uses, including: incubator (create relationship with Carolina North), significant residential along northern section, non-residential uses along Estes (intensities that are lower than Parcel A), and institutional uses (such as a parks and recreation center). An alternative scenario for this area should also be tested that would call for residential uses only on these parcels.
- Consider a road connecting Somerset and the proposed road running along the south part of the YMCA property to MLK and have it tested for transportation impacts.
- For area E, to apply environmental language from earlier discussions of areas G and H, and test two options: one that is residential, and one that is primarily residential with institutional/office uses along Estes Drive frontage.
- Area J should be residential.
- Because of meeting time constraints, the group was not able to make specific building height recommendations for areas A–F. It was agreed that we would test on the range of heights suggested by a majority of committee members in the July 1st “homework” activity, with area C changed from 2-4 stories, with any decision that the Committee has already made to supersede the July 1st activity heights.
- The group decided to test continuation of the area A retail strip south of MLK onto D and F. For testing purposes, we would assume that D would be a synthesis of uses and heights for areas A and B, and that F would assume an expansion of its current institutional use. A low-end use for Parcel D — institutional with a small area of retail — would also be tested.
4. Community Comment: The meeting concluded with comments from five community members.
Thanks to everyone who attended for your continued hard work and interest in the Central West process.
The next Central West Steering Committee meeting will be held tonight, Thursday, August 29th from 6:00-9:00pm at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive.
The Town of Chapel Hill is seeking public comment on its recently completed draft changes to land use regulations for the Ephesus Church Road/Fordham Boulevard focus area. The draft regulations have been released for public review, and comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
Town of Chapel Hill Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett said: “The rezoning for the Ephesus Church-Fordham district provides an additional step in the implementation of this important vision for our community. We have spent the last two years working on functional engineering for the roads, studying the storm water issues and how we address affordable housing in this district. This rezoning moves forward the chance to improve on the quality of this district.”
The draft land use regulations are available at the Town’s website: www.townofchapelhill.org/ephesusfordham. The preferred method for commenting is via email to email@example.com with “Ephesus Church” in the subject line. Written comments may also be mailed to: Town of Chapel Hill Planning Department, Attn: Eric Feld, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
After the public review period ends on Sept. 17, staff will review and analyze the comments for consideration in the draft regulations. The community is also invited to attend the Planning Board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, when the Planning Board is expected to review proposed the changes to land use regulations and offer a recommendation to the Town Council.
The Ephesus Church Road/Fordham Boulevard focus area encompasses the area surrounding Ram’s Plaza near the intersection of Ephesus Church Road and Fordham Boulevard from South Elliott Road to the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. The Town Council adopted a small area plan in June 2011 for the Ephesus Church Road/Fordham Boulevard area.
Led by the Town’s Economic Development Division, the small area plan defined future land uses and offered solutions to the transportation network to encourage reinvestment. Community members identified the Ephesus Church Road/Fordham Boulevard as an area likely to change in the future due to vacant land, underdeveloped sites, and its location along transportation and transit corridors. To learn more about the adopted plan, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1518.
Ephesus Church/Fordham is within Area 5: North 15-501, one of six future focus areas outlined in the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan and the adopted small area plan. Future focus areas are portions of Chapel Hill most likely to change in the future due to vacant land, underdeveloped sites, and their locations along transportation and transit corridors. In total, these areas represent about 24 percent of the land in Chapel Hill, and they do not include the predominately single-family areas and neighborhoods of Chapel Hill.
The Town’s other focus areas are Area 1: Downtown Chapel Hill; Area 2: North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/I-40; Area 3: South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Homestead Road to Estes Drive; Area 4: Highway 54; and Area 6: South 15-501.
To be added to the email distribution list for the Ephesus Church Road-Fordham Boulevard Focus Area or to submit questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-968-2728. For more information, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/ephesusfordham. More information about Lee Einsweiler and Code Studio is available at www.code-studio.com/.
The months of July and August have been busy for the Obey Creek Compass Committee as they explore the potential for development in Obey Creek. At their August 8th “Obey Creek 101″ information session, the Committee dove into data! Guided by Town Staff, Committee members walked through the history of the area, including the South 15-501 Discussion Group Principles developed during the 2020 process, existing conditions in the area, transportation, and economic and growth considerations.
Click here to access the Obey Creek data book.
On August 12th, Victor Dover (Technical Team Member) and national chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism led a Special Topic Presentation called, “Design for a Changing World: The Practicality of Placemaking.” Following the presentation, Victor answered questions related to trends, best practices, and obstacles facing college towns and livable communities across America. Video and slides of this presentation are available on the Obey Creek Compass Committee page.
The next day, August 13th, the Committee sat down with the Technical Team to get to know more about the wide range of expertise and experience each team and Committee Member brought to the development agreement process and to have a facilitated discussion about the potential issues that the Town and developer would have to address if the Council decided to proceed into Phase 2 of the development agreement process, the negotiation phase. (The Technical Team is made up of experts in economic development, planning design and development, legal, and environmental and transportation planning. If you want to learn more about individual team members, see the Technical Team bios.)
On August 19th, the Compass Committee met to talk about the proposed work plan for the group. The Committee also took some time to review a document on design impacts and share their aspirations and concerns related to the proposed development.
Interested in attending a meeting? Visit the Committee page to view the proposed work plan and upcoming meeting information.
Have a question or comment you’d like to share with the Compass Committee? Time for public comment is reserved for the beginning and end of each meeting. We hope to see you at the next meeting which will be held on Wednesday, August 28 in Library Meeting Room A.
During the August 19th Central West Steering Committee meeting, the Steering Committee finalized their list of principles and objectives for the Central West Focus Area. These principles and objectives will help to guide the development of the small area plan for the Central West Focus Area and will guide future development in the area.
For a list of the approved principles and objectives, please click here.
Central West Focus Area Principles
PRINCIPLE 1: Create a Strong Sense of Place
The Central West Focus Area plan will promote the creation of a vibrant sense of place, respecting its character as a comfortable, tree‐lined residential community, home to important Chapel Hill institutions, and a major gateway to Carolina North.
PRINCIPLE 2: Ensure Community Compatibility
Development will provide a graceful transition between the existing residential and institutional uses and the new uses evolving around the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd./Estes Drive intersection near the Carolina North campus.
PRINCIPLE 3: Create Social Connections
Development should create places that foster a strong sense of community and allow people to meet, both formally and informally.
PRINCIPLE 4: Improve Physical Connections
Multiple means of moving within and through the planning area should be incorporated into new development; explore improving physical connections between the impact area and the Town as whole.
PRINCIPLE 5: Minimize Vehicular Traffic Impacts
Recognize the limited capacity of the existing road network and favor developments that minimize negative impacts on vehicular traffic and quality of life in the area.
PRINCIPLE 6: Enhance the Pedestrian/Bicycle Experience
Build a high quality bicycle, pedestrian, and greenway system that ensures safe, comfortable, and convenient access to school, residences, and other destinations for those of all ages and abilities.
PRINCIPLE 7: Improve the Transit System
Encourage uses and densities that will support improvements in transit service such as increased frequency, duration, and access.
PRINCIPLE 8: Encourage a Diverse Mix of Uses
Create a new mix of land uses that encourages walkable destinations.
PRINCIPLE 9: A Diverse Population
The area shall serve a broad socio-demographic range of Chapel Hill residents, students, workers, and visitors.
PRINCIPLE 10: Respect Existing Neighborhoods
Development patterns will respect the integrity of the well-established neighborhoods and enhance their character and quality of life.
PRINCIPLE 11: Employ Environmentally Sound Practices
Development will emphasize environmentally conscious design, maintenance, and operation of buildings and sites.
PRINCIPLE 12: Feature, Repair, and Enhance Natural Resources
Development will protect and relate to the area’s significant and character-contributing natural features.
PRINCIPLE 13: Consider Economic Impacts in Development Decisions
As part of the planning process, consider the fiscal impact and economic viability of proposed development in the area.
For more information about the Central West Focus Area process, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest
During the Central West Steering Committee meeting on Monday, August 19th, the Steering Committee reviewed the work plan for the Central West Focus Area process. This work plan sets the dates and tasks for the meetings from August to November 2013.
For the schedule for the upcoming Steering Committee and Advisory Board meetings, please see below.
For a copy of the work plan, including dates and tasks, please click here.
- Thursday, August 29th – Steering Committee Meeting - 6:00-9:00pm in Meeting Room B at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive
- Tuesday, September 3rd – Steering Committee Meeting - 6:00-9:00pm in Meeting Room A at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive
- Tuesday, September 10th – COMMUNITY EVENT - Time and location TBD – This will provide the community with an opportunity to offer feedback about the plan More information coming soon.
- Wednesday, September 11th – Greenways Commission Meeting- 7:00pm at the Chapel Hill Library – The Greenways Commission will review the draft Central West Focus Area concept and provide comments.
- Thursday, September 19th – Steering Committee Meeting - 6:00-9:00pm, Location TBD
- Tuesday, September 24th – Steering Committee Meeting - 4:30-6:30pm, Location TBD
- Tuesday, September 24th – Bicycle and Pedestrian Board Meeting- 7:00pm in the 3rd Floor Planning Department Conference Room, Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – The Bicycle and Pedestrian Board will review the draft Central West Focus Area concept and provide comments.
- Thursday, September 26th – Transportation Board Meeting- 7:00pm in the Human Resources Training Room, Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. – The Transportation Board will review the draft Central West Focus Area concept and provide comments.
- Tuesday, October 1st – Planning Board Meeting- 7:00pm in the Public Works Building 1, Training Room 131, 6850 Millhouse Road – The Planning Board will review the draft Central West Focus Area concept and provide comments.
- Thursday, October 3rd – Steering Committee Meeting - 6:00-9:00pm, Location TBD
- Tuesday, October 8th – Steering Committee Meeting - 6:00-9:00pm, Location TBD
- Monday, October 21st – Council Public Hearing- 7:00pm in the Southern Human Services Center Complex, 2501 Homestead Road – This will provide the community with an opportunity to offer feedback about the plan.
- Thursday, November 7th – Steering Committee Meeting - 6:00-9:00pm, Location TBD
- Monday, November 25th – Town Council Meeting- 7:00pm in the Southern Human Services Center Complex, 2501 Homestead Road – The Town Council will consider possible adoption of the Central West Focus Area small area plan.
For more information about the Central West Focus Area process, visit http://www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest
On Monday, January 13th the Chapel Hill Town Council voted to accept the Obey Creek Compass Committee’s report, proceed with the Obey Creek development process, and add in a new checkpoint. During Phase 2, the Technical Team will work with developers and Town staffers to continue to revise the proposed development plan and study how it will impact the surrounding area. The study will explore potential effects on traffic, school capacity, the environment and other concerns. At the end of that phase, the Council will review the data and vote whether or not to enter into direct negotiations with developers at East West Partners.
During the meeting, The Council praised the Committee’s work, which included participating in 22 meetings starting in July, serving as a conduit to the public and, producing a valuable report. Council member Donna Bell, the Council liaison to the Obey Creek Compass Committee, expressed her appreciation of their work. Thanks Obey Creek Compass Committee!
Enjoying the new art sculpture with colorful lighting and fog effects at downtown Chapel Hill’s new public plaza at 140 West Franklin.
“Exhale” consists of a folded and layered perforated metal skin that allows for fog to emanate through the textured surfaces of the piece. The amount of fog emanating from the sculpture is controlled by a sophisticated computerized weather station that reads the wind velocity and adjusts the amount of fog accordingly.
Artist Mikyoung Kim states: “Exhale moves beyond art as object, and suggests a point of transition, interaction, and activation – a place to observe people utilizing the various zones of the plaza, making them an active, integrated part of the art piece.”
To view the schedule of events at 140 West Plaza, visit http://www.townofchapelhill.org/140west