October 24 Round Table

Hello all,

We are providing this updated information to everyone who has participated in developing the design of a process for the MLK/Estes Drive Focus Area (proposed name Central West Focus Area), the first focus area to be studied following the approval of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan.

Please Update Your Calendars!
In response to requests for an opportunity to discuss the community recommendation, planning board recommendation and staff recommendation together, before the Council’s discussion, the Council will delay their discussion from the October 11th Council meeting to the Wednesday, October 24th Council meeting. The meeting on the 24th will begin at 7:00pm and will be held in the Council Chamber.

This delay allows us an opportunity to host a community round table discussion about the recommendations.  The round-table discussion will be held on Monday, October 22nd  from 7-9 pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

What is the Roundtable’s purpose?
Several people have requested additional information and clarity around the differences between the three sets of recommendations, what relative weight the recommendations hold, and a chance to understand each other’s interests in the Focus Area process.

This round table will allow an opportunity for a few participants to share information on topics such as:

·   How do the planning area and impact area best represent our collective interests?
·   What are the different perspectives that went into shaping each recommendation regarding the steering committee composition?

There will be time for discussion and questions and answers from all participants after the panel discussion and comments seeking common ground will be summarized at the end of the session.

The discussion will be used to inform the staff’s presentation to Council on October 24th.  It is possible that new, synthesized recommendations may emerge from this discussion.

Who will be on the panel?
We have asked a small group of staff and community members to participate in the round table in order model a dialogue about our collective interests, staff and community knowledge, and group decision-making.  There will be time for audience members to participate, ask questions and contribute their thoughts.

Background Information
The Central West Focus Area (this is the name chosen by community members) is the first Town effort to reexamine the land use map for a focus area and to apply the goals of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan; for more information about the plan, visit: http://www.chapelhill2020.org

The Council asked the staff to work closely with those living and working in the area and with all interested community members to discuss the focus area.  Four Recommendation Meetings were held with the purpose of gaining input on the process design; for more information, visit: http://www.townofchapelhill.org/estesdrive

During the Recommendation Meetings, the meeting participants produced recommendations for a name, steering committee composition, scope, schedule and boundaries.  We recognize the hard work of the participants to develop these recommendations. After the last Recommendation Meeting, the Planning Board reviewed the meeting participants’ recommendations and offered their thoughts and recommendations which contained some variances from the meeting participants’ recommendations.  Finally, the Town staff reviewed the recommendations, and with other input heard throughout the process, developed recommendations.

It is our interest to share the thinking behind these recommendations and to hear from the community in order to provide a clear and thoughtful presentation of information for the Council to consider on October 24th.  All three sets of recommendations, including an overview of the meeting participants’ recommendations, were provided in the October 11th Council materials, which can be found by clicking here.  On October 24th, the presentation to Council will summarize the discussion from the Roundtable meeting, including any new information resulting from the discussion.

We sincerely hope you will join us, listen to the exchange of ideas and information, and contribute to this collaboration.  It is our shared hope that holding this roundtable meeting will increase mutual understanding, advance dialogue, and enable all of us to move forward with a project design that the meeting participants, staff, and Council are willing to invest in.

Sincerely,

Your Town Staff

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