Rosemary’s Recap of the Feb. 7 Report-out

We had a full house again last night with over 100 people checking in on the 2020 Plan.  As the boy’s basketball game dunked their way to a final win, we heard from our theme group leaders and answered questions about the project.

Our Theme Group Co-Chairs of Chapel Hill 2020 summarized the goals their groups have developed for the draft 2020 Plan . The goals for each group and the draft outline are with the meeting materials.  We also talked about the Council’s conversation at their annual planning retreat this past Friday and Saturday (Feb. 3 and 4).

For those following the 2020 process but unable to attend last night, I wanted to pass along key points about schedule and the conversation George and I had with the Mayor and Council.

On the schedule:

Stakeholders last night asked that we make both the March 20 and April 12 meetings into theme group working sessions. Consider that done. Times and locations remain as published.

After speaking with the Mayor and Council, George and I have decided that we will try to get a draft visioning plan to the Council in June, as originally planned; however, if more time is needed, we will take more time and schedule more working sessions.

If you haven’t looked at the schedule and timeline for community involvement and participation in the 2020 process, please do so now. You will note that our current period of “Sustained Community Engagement” extends through June. After June, there is ample opportunity for 2020 stakeholders and other citizens to help with more detailed components of the Comprehensive Plan. Don’t consider the list of topics under “Maintain Public Engagement” as final; some may disappear and others may be added, depending on priorities established by the Theme Groups.

On our conversation with the Mayor and Council:

George and I were impressed by the Mayor and Council’s level of interest in 2020 and their questions. They are expecting this process to give them guidance in their decision making. In fact, they developed a specific list of areas they want guidance on from the 2020 Plan:

  • Rezoning (proactive zoning to achieve the vision)
  • Improvements to the current development review process, specifically the Special Use Permit process
  • Roles of advisory boards
  • Funding strategies for proposed goals from 2020
  • Downtown
  • Connectivity — how to achieve
  • Student housing and transit relationships; preferred locations for student housing
  • Mix of housing styles — how to achieve
  • Designate areas to capture increased tax base
  • 15-501 corridor — what should be encouraged there
  • Greene tract
  • Regional planning
  • Annexation as a tool to increase tax base and workforce housing
  • Identify potential development parcels and desired uses and scale

Mary Jane and I talked this morning about how to make sure 2020 responds to this request for guidance. We believe we can work many of these topics into the Future Focus workshops on Feb. 15 and 16. In addition, we will consult with the co-chairs and make sure we get these questions to the theme groups as they continue working.

Hope to see you Feb. 9 at noon to learn about fire and police services, Feb. 10 at noon to learn about light rail and bus rapid transit, Feb. 11 to learn about water quality and next week at the Future Focus workshops.

Thanks so much for everyone’s participation.

Rosemary Waldorf

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5 thoughts on “Rosemary’s Recap of the Feb. 7 Report-out

  1. Pingback: Reporting Out: February 7, 2012 |

  2. Joe Buonfiglio says:

    Rezoning, improvements to the current development review process (specifically the Special Use Permit process), roles of advisory boards, the 15-501 corridor (what should be encouraged there), annexation as a tool to increase tax base and workforce housing and identify potential development parcels and desired uses and scale?

    Do you seriously believe that the citizen-participants can give thoughtful consideration to such weighty concerns introduced so late in the game with so little time left in this 2020 process? The Mayor and Council deserve more than just getting something–anything–down on paper in order to just get this process done with quickly. Do you want these crucial concerns to only be answered by the fiscal sustainability group or does the council think the environmental and other key theme groups should have a voice in the issues presented. The introduction of these concerns demands the significant extension of time many of the participants in this process have requested. In light of the Mayor and Council placing these issues into the 2020 process, not significantly extending the time for CH2020 further enforces the image that this is all just a dog-n-pony show. Let’s give the Mayor and Council all that they need to make the extremely difficult decisions ahead of them. Grant the extension of time so badly and obviously required to complete the CH2020 process in manner that renders it a truly guiding tool and not a farce.

    • Whitcomb Rummel says:

      Before rushing to demand an extension, let’s hear from Town Council just what it is they’re looking for from 2020 with regards to guidance.

      • Joe Buonfiglio says:

        Maybe I’m just dim, but I don’t see how even a cursory dialog on such complicated topics wouldn’t take months, let alone the thoughtful deliberation and in-depth conversation I’m assuming Town Council would want us all to engage in.

  3. Whitcomb Rummel says:

    Since Town Council rates the zoning/ LUMO issue as its top priority, I would suggest a presentation on the topic by a member of council along with someone from the planning department. This would hopefully give 2020 participants an idea of what they’re looking for in the way of guidance. Until we know what they want, it’s impossible to know what to provide.

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