The first Central West Focus area was held on December 19, 2012 at the Town’s Transit Center. All the materials for the meeting been posted on the Town’s webpage. The neighbors took detailed notes which are found here: Dec 14 Steering Committee
Mayor Kleinschmidt greeted steering committee members and said that he expected recommendations would fit in with the neighborhoods and benefit the entire Town.
Deana Rhodeside, the consultant hired by the Town, moderated the meeting. Major points of agreement were: preference expressed for the Committee to have a strong role in setting the agenda; agreement to use a consensus model for decision making; and preference to meet more frequently than once a month in order to keep momentum going. The Consultant’s proposed schedule and timing of a charrette were discussed but were not approved.
Only a portion of the Consultant’s agenda was covered in the meeting. Steering Committee members raised many questions about the planning process suggested by the Consultant. Several steering committee members mentioned they had never participated before in this kind of process.
The Committee asked the consultant to send a new schedule with more frequent meetings and to provide a means for making suggestions on the next work plan. The Consultant said she would come back with new drafts for steering committee comment and invited members to email suggestions. No date has been set for the next meeting.
All steering committee meetings are open to the public. About 9 – 10 members of the public attended and observed the discussion. Public comment was taken. Council Member Jim Ward recommended the Committee reserve time for public comment at the beginning and end of each meeting. Dan Bruce suggested the Committee make use of existing data from the Carolina North studies. Dave Sidor recommended that the Committee review the Council resolution approving the committee and the community recommendations at the next meeting. Another commenter urged the use of citizen staffed study committees who could meet with experts and share information.
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Please note that the Town has announced a “Sketching Chapel Hill” event in late January. The Consultant mentioned this session at the Dec 19 Central West meeting. It appears to be related to the 2020 plan and the Central West study but not much detail has yet been offered. See the steering committee members here.
Happy New Year!