I am Laurie Cousart and I live on Caswell Road in the Estes Hills Neighborhood. I am speaking for neighbors living in these neighborhoods adjacent to Estes Drive, including Estes Hills, Huntington-Somerset, Coker Hills, and Coker Hills West.
We have recently became aware of the 2020 Comprehensive Plan process and the vision maps provided by the Consultant for five focus areas, including South MLK and Estes Drive. We have viewed the plan options for incremental, medium and “transit friendly” and thought about the potential changes they represent. We feel strongly that land use changes are not desirable for our area give the plans already approved for Carolina North, and because of the tree lined residential character of our street which serves as an important transportation link between MLK and Franklin.
It’s a little alarming to hear the Consultant say that we are reaching conclusions about land use when we have not been consulted. We do not see Estes Drive as a candidate for zoning changes because increased densities (such as proposed in a recent concept plan for hotel and apartments) would impede traffic at a key intersection and adversely affect commuters and school children accessing two schools and a newly renovated library.
We understand the Town’s 2020 leaders are suggesting a Estes Drive Corridor Study. It’s essential that study occur after June and involve all our neighborhoods. We are circulating a petition (over a hundred names so far) opposing any zoning changes.
Finally we request that the Council direct the Chapel Hill 2020 leaders to:
Remove maps and land use conclusions from the June Vision Document and to
Develop a process after June with the neighbors and the 2020 stakeholders for creating future land use plans for our area.