Here is a brief summary of the Central West process.
Central West Focus Area Summary 10.15.13
What is the Central West Planning effort?
- The Town completed a Comprehensive Planning effort in June 2012 with goals but without a land use plan. The Council chose 6 areas of town for potential growth and initiated a “collaborative planning process” to plan these areas. Central West in one of six focus area under study for possible zoning changes.
- The final product is a recommended “small area plan”, a concept map and principles.
- The Council may approve the recommendations into the 2020 Comprehensive Plan and the Town will take the adopted recommendations into account when making zoning changes.
- If the final plan recommends high density commercial and housing, traffic on Estes and at the major intersections will increase causing more congestion and potentially a less safe school walk zone.
- Timeline: September 10 public meeting to look at final map recommendations; Town Council public hearing on October 21, and possible approval by the Town Council in November.
We are near the end of the planning process. What now?
- The Town Council planned a community driven process where a steering committee would invite input and integrate into their work through public meetings and input sessions, but many citizens feel that public comment has been ignored. The charge to the committee is found in this Council resolution as well as in the Steering Committee Charge.
- At two of the best attended outreach sessions (May 18 and Sept 10), the steering committee and staff received clear reactions from participants that they did not like the very dense maps presented which would cause bigher traffic problems on Estes Drive.
- Instead of responding to a clear message from the public, the steering committee majority ignored the input and proposed a new map where one could not measure traffic impacts.
- After planning board members said they would like to see a map where a traffic analysis could be done, the steering committee and staff voted to do a new map to take back to the planning board on October 15.
- So far (as of Oct 15) the staff had not produced a map.
- The Town Council public hearing on the Committee’s recommendations is the meeting to attend to make your views known.
What’s happening with Carolina North, the new campus?
- The Town and UNC have signed a development agreement which permits 3 million square feet; first phase is 800,000 sq ft, 1525 parking spaces, and 1780 employees; includes 200 units of graduate housing
- UNC has announced a delayed schedule for development and that the airport will not be shut down until campus construction begins
- Adjacent undeveloped land north of Estes is R1 and has in place currently an airport hazard overlay zone.
If you want to join the Central West Neighbors listserve, contact Alan Tom