December 2013

What happened to Central West at the November 26 Town Council?
At the November 26th public hearing, the Town Council voted to adopt the Steering Committee’s Small Area Plan.  Although the Town Council did not accept the Alternate Plan supported by many community members, the Council did agree to incorporate the Planning Board Conditions and Revisions into the adopted Central West Small Area Plan. These conditions strongly supported key elements raised by community members throughout the planning process.  See the attached chart below for a comparison of key elements across the two plans, and the Planning Board recommendations.  You can find more information about the discussion by  listening to the video or at the Central West Citizens website.

The Council commitment to a town-wide modeling analysis of the cumulative traffic impacts from the proposed development in all of the Focus Areas, as well as conducting a watershed storm water impact analysis of the potential cumulative storm water volume impacts, brought a compromise that promises the beginning of a more coordinated and connected view of development and growth in Chapel Hill.  Nancy Oates reports on her blog in the “An End and a New Beginning”, “Council members did so many things right during last Tuesday’s meeting”.

Another topic of great interest to the Council was the Town’s fiscal analysis of the Central West small area plan which turned out to show little positive net revenue for the Town when the cost of Town services and property tax revenues are compared.  It was reassuring to hear retiring Council Member Gene Pease say:  “if we are not making any money for the town, then why are we doing this?”.
We will follow with great interest the next steps in the execution of the town-wide studies that were set in motion by the Town Council last Tuesday night.

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