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