Adopted Central West Small Area Plan now available!

Hot off the web! The adopted Central West Small Area Plan is now available online! Visit to download the Small Area Plan.

On Nov. 26, 2013, the Town Council adopted the Central West Small Area Plan that was developed by the Central West Steering Committee. The committee worked with community members and residents from December 2012 to November 2013 to develop the small area plan.

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 visit the Central West Small Area Plan webpage.

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 plan provides a vision for future land use, transportation, environmental, and streetscape decisions.

For more information about the Central West Focus Area process and to download the small area plan, visit

For questions, contact Megan Wooley, housing and neighborhood services planner, at or 919-969-5059.

Thank you to the Steering Committee and to all who participated in this planning effort. We appreciate the time, energy, and creativity that you dedicated to this process!

Draft Central West Small Area Plan to be Considered by Council on Nov. 26

On Tuesday, November 26th, the Town Council will be reviewing the draft Central West Small Area Plan and will be considering possible adoption of the draft Small Area Plan. If adopted, the Central West Small Area Plan would become a component of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan.

During the November 7th Steering Committee meeting, the Central West Steering Committee reviewed the comments received about the draft Small Area Plan. For items that required additional discussion and decisions, the Steering Committee decided how to incorporate these items into the draft Small Area Plan.

At the end of the November 7th meeting, the Steering Committee endorsed the draft Central West Small Area Plan with the proposed revisions. The Steering Committee requested that the draft Small Area Plan be forwarded to the Council for their consideration.

To view the draft Central West Small Area Plan and proposed revisions, see below:

The Council meeting will begin at 6:00pm and will be held at the Southern Human Services Complex, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill.

For more information about the Central West process, visit

Central West: Principles and Objectives

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