Town Seeks Public Comment on Ephesus Church /Fordham Draft Code

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 lumo@townofchapelhill.org 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 lumo@townofchapelhill.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/.

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