April 17: Neighborhood Meeting

By Scott Sherrill, UNC MPA Student

On April 17, between 5:30 and 6:30, neighborhood representatives had the opportunity to get an update on the Chapel Hill 2020 process. Mary Jane Nirdlinger briefed the group on where the process is, how engagement will continue post June, the status of plan drafting, a vision for implementation, and then opened the floor for questions.

Presentation: neighborhoods meeting 4-17-2012

The process is now primarily focused on refining the plan in terms of community vision, goals, objectives, and steps as the plan starts heading towards advisory boards and public hearings in May and June.

From an engagement perspective, the hope is that citizens will remain involved into June and beyond. The sustained involvement to this point has consistently drawn 150 participants to theme group meetings. The process has built networks so that for the corridor and other later studies, citizens familiar with the comprehensive plan can be brought into the conversation. One of the ideas is also to maintain conversations with other community entities like the university and the school system.

A new draft of the plan should be available before the April 24 meeting, but the current draft is available here. The April 20 plan should have more meat on the bones.

After June, the ongoing engagement opportunities could include:

Studies:

  • NC 54 Zoning Analysis, discussion about transit improvements
  • 15-501 N Zoning Analysis with focus on Healthcare property and transit improvements
  • MLK N Zoning analysis with focus on interchange connections
  • MLK S Estes Drive corridor study; focused conversation on MLK/Hillsborough triangle

Revising the zoning ordinance as appropriate
Revising Land Use Management Ordinance as Appropriate
Continue UNC/UNCH partnership for institutional property

Audience questions focused on process improvements and feedback/comment mechanisms. but also on thinking ahead to the activities for post-June like reviewing the land use plan and zoning changes that might be necessary for expressed visions from the 2020 Plan to occur.

Next meetings are:

  • Today (Wednesday, April 18) from 5:30-8:30 15-501 S Discussion Group; the group will also be meeting April 19 from 5-8 PM.
  • Tuesday, April 24, will be a community meeting from 7-9 PM at Chapel Hill High School.
  • Thursday, May 10: Joint advisory boards meeting to review.
  • Monday, May 21: Chapel Hill 2020 Plan presented to Council.
  • Tuesday, June 5: Joint advisory boards meeting to review.
  • Monday, June 25: Council to vote on Chapel Hill 2020 Plan.
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One thought on “April 17: Neighborhood Meeting

  1. Blair Pollock says:

    As I stated early in this plan development procss on the blog post: If a specific numeric goal is set of reducing reliance on residential property taxes as the major source of Town revenue, then a rigorous and annual metric must be established and used as a tool in evaluating proposals and measuring progress. If a goal is set in a general way with no metrics then it will not be achieved and more hand wringing will ensue.
    Along with a specific goal, requiring that the development application include a fiscal impact statement subject to public review will assist us all in evaluating the efficacy of projects in the way we require parking standards, lighting, stormwater, solid waste space allotment and other criteria that we have determined are important in assessing development.
    Each time the Council then votes a project up or down or modifiies it, we will know the fiscal impact. Thus if they were to determine for example that a proposed 140 room hotel of four stories has to be pared down to three stories and 100 rooms to meet other criteria deemed important, we will know the impact and be able to assess tradeoffs in a material and direct way.

    If we determine that having a rigorous goal and measuring stick for reducing residential property tax dependence is not important then we will most likely continue to end up defaulting to the residential property tax as our major ongoing revenue source. That may be OK, but it should be a conscious and clear decision that we want to be primarily a residential and University oriented community with relatively large lots and big houses and some apartments etc. and limit serious major business development and more intensive land use or restrict such development in a way that does not significantly impact what we deem our quality of life.
    WE CANDO THIS:
    The same way that we as a community have dramaticaly reduced our water consumption over the past ten years in response to an important goal of keeping a clean reliable water supply and not having to depend on Jordan Lake and reduced our solid waste generation rate to conserve valuable resources and landifll space,,.we can focus our efforts on reducing the residential property tax burden if that’s a goal of the community.

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