Summary comments on Small Area Plan, Nov 2013

Here are four reasons that four steering committee members could not support the Committee’s proposed Plan:

  • The Steering Committee plan has failed to address, in a credible fashion, the most important issue of concern to the citizens – the certainty of massive congestion at the MLK-Estes intersection and along Estes.  This intersection already experiences mile-long traffic backups on Estes at evening rush hour.  The suggestion, that 50% additional car trips per day would be alleviated solely by the addition of a second through lane on eastbound Estes to Somerset for traffic from 2 left turn lanes on southbound MLK , stretches credulity.  The Town Council would ill-serve Chapel Hill residents if it approves any Central West rezoning without a fresh traffic impact analysis (TIA) that requires well researched assumptions for projecting future traffic.  Steering Committee member Firoz Mistry
  • This Small Area Plan is strong on Principles and Objectives.  However, the concept map does not adequately reflect community input to fulfill the charge from the Council “to integrate community feedback” and “facilitate communication with the community”.  The community vision is best represented by the Alternate Citizens’ Plan.  For over 5 months community members have spoken as documented at this link:  The Town Council can avail itself of the wealth of knowledge and community input that was invited and received, and by carefully considering how to make this work available for future Town decisions.  Steering Committee Member David Tuttle
  • This plan allows dense development without addressing how stormwater will be kept on site. A proposed  “Stormwater Management Master Plan” will only be effective if it: 1) establishes an overlay zone with teeth and a tax structure to pay for it, before rezonings are made; 2) compensates for steep topography and increased impervious surfaces by using “best practices” and reserves additional space for storage and infiltration; and 3) returns flows, volumes and duration of stormwater to pre-construction levels. The special use permit will provide the means to set detailed controls to prevent erosion and flooding for each development project.   Steering Committee Member Julie McClintock
  • This Plan lacks essential protections for neighborhoods and an articulate vision of transportation and connectivity throughout the impact area, both integral to the charge of the steering committee. According to the agreed upon Principles and Objectives, the streetscape on MLK should mirror that of the proposed Carolina North Development Agreement (not downtown facades) and the streetscape of Estes Drive should respect the neighborhood character. Expected growth and traffic from Homestead Road and Carolina North development has not been adequately integrated into traffic or transit projections nor bike/ped safety and facilities.
    Steering Committee Mickey Jo Sorrell.

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