Key Points

  • Citizens have prepared a Citizens’ Concept Plan to illustrate that it is possible for the area to see some increase in zoning without harming the surrounding areas. The plan is economically viable and adds only 3500 trips per day.
  • Four members of the steering committee prepared this  Report to the Citizens and wrote a commentary why they endorse the Citizens Plan.

Here are some other points to consider for your letter…….OR if you prefer edit this sample letter.

  • If you attended any of the Community Input meetings tell the Council what you observed.
  • There are traffic problems on Estes Drive today which carries 14,000 cars a day.  We expect a 2% growth rate a year which included traffic from Carolina North when built.
  • There are no caps built into the Committee recommended plan.
  • The four plans taken to the Community Workshop showed a failing F intersection for all of them. Adding mixed use will increase the number of auto trips from 7,000 to much higher number of trips trips a day.
  • The response from the Steering Committee was disappointing as the Committee approved a new map with only one data point and no caps on density. 
  • The mitigation measures are all adding traffic lanes, a disaster for the stated goals of walking an biking.
  • Since long- and short-term impacts on traffic along Estes Dr. are not resolved in the current draft of the Small Area Plan, the plan should not go forward as a guide for the future.
  • One of the Committee goals is to create changes that will make the area more walkable.  The Committee does not want to see Estes widened throughout its length.  However if the road cannot accommodate the densities that are planned, DOT will widen the road and the area will cease being walkable at all.
  • Large amounts of mixed use development will bring up to 70% of impervious surfaces in the middle Bolin Creek watershed.  Rainwater not contained on the property will run off through Cold Spring into Bolin Creek causing further erosion, down past Camelot Apartments.
  • Protection of unique environmentally sensitive areas has been brushed aside in favor of buildings and cement.
  • Upcoming development across 5 other focus areas in Chapel Hill has not been factored in to make a comprehensive balanced overall development plan. Without such a plan, there will be over development of some kinds of retail and office space, and underdevelopment of low-income housing.
  • There are other areas in Town with the infrastructure to contain the additional mixed use densities. The Ephesus- Fordham small area plan has already been approved by the Council. It has the infrastructure and the foundational studies to meet the challenges of changes in land use.
  • The Committee recommended plan does not meet the Committee’s goal of a revenue neutral impact on the Town – taking into account revenues and infrastructure costs to support and maintain new development.
  • Now that we know the University has postponed construction of Carolina North, the time line for developing this area should be postponed. (One of the rationales for Central West development at this time is to prepare the area to incorporate and serve University growth, BUT that’s not happening, and no one knows when it will happen.)

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