December 15, Letter to Town Council

Dear Mayor Kleinschmidt and Council Members:

The Town Council approved the Central West Small Area Plan on November 26 with a number of amendments.  Thank you for your thoughtful discussion about planning issues for Central West, which you appropriately broadened to include recommendations to connect and coordinate Town-wide traffic, stormwater, and fiscal impacts for all focus areas.

Your action to approve the Central West Small Area Plan was an important first step in offering a flexible guide for growth and development in the Estes – MLK area, once the Carolina North campus construction begins.  Given the complexity of the component parts of the Plan, we are requesting that the Council bring the completed Plan back on a Council agenda in the new year to verify that the Council’s intent has been accomplished.

The staff has a challenging job of incorporating a number of elements into the October Draft Small Area Plan: the Council amendments, the Planning Board conditions, the Steering Committee recommendations (documented in the staff memo), and concluding observations submitted by Steering Committee members at the suggestion of Town Staff. Council Member Harrison’s motion said that the Planning Board conditions would be fully embodied in the plan.  It will be important for us all to review the completed Central West Small Area Plan.

During the Council discussion the Mayor and several Council members recommended that the staff add a link to the Alternate Plan and Summary of Community Participation to the Town’s internet site.  Community members will want to know when that is available.

We look forward to the planned Council discussions about the town-wide traffic impacts of all the focus areas, the storm water analysis that will guide decisions in the Bolin Creek watershed, as well as your consideration of the town-wide impacts of development on school capacity.  We were heartened by your interest in analyzing proposals to ensure revenue positive results.  It is worth mentioning that all the town-wide analyses your approved are similar to the ones called for in the Obey Creek Compass Committee discussions.

Thank you again for your thoughtful consideration of the issues, and for considering our request to put the completed Small Area Plan on a future agenda.

Sincerely,

Alan Tom for the Central West Citizens

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