On June 25 the Town Council approved the Chapel Hill 2020 Plan. Alan Tom presented our statement which requested a MLK/Estes planning area which would look at a larger area than just Estes Drive. The Council directed staff to prepare a plan for a process this summer and to bring it back for the Council to review on September 5th.
Earlier in April, the Town Council critiqued the concept plan for Carolina Flats, a plan calling for a hotel, parking and seven apartments designed for student housing at the corner of Estes Drive and MLK. View the materials, the concept plans, and the video here. We said this project runs counter to the residential character of Estes Drive and would increase traffic and jeopardize the safety of school children and pedestrians.
Estes Neighbors have been discussing what kind of development they would like to see in the future. Take the online survey. We will send the results to the Town to incorporate in Chapel Hill 202o.
Members of the Estes Neighbors Coalition have been asking the town to implement a small area study for the Estes-MLK area (the MLK South future focus area, with specific parameters yet to be determined). On June 6, several neighbors met with the town’s planning staff to discuss these issues. At that meeting, we learned that Scott Radway, on behalf of the developers of the Carolina Flats proposal, has already contacted the town to request a small area study — but an accelerated process that would consist of 3-4 meetings and be completed by September 2012. (The developer’s proposal is at 2012-06-01 Estes-MLK Study Proposal.) Estes Neighbors has asked the Town for studies of the area to be conducted at deliberate pace, beginning in the fall of 2012, with broad participation from all relevant stakeholders. While we are pleased that the developers have expressed an understanding of the need for good communication, we will emphasize that this process must be guided by a focus on the larger good of the town and community, and cannot be rushed to serve the interests of one group.
It is rare indeed when all parties, the neighbors, the Town and the developers agree a conceptual planning process is needed. It is our hope that everyone involved in this planning process will be willing to take the time to do it right.
Here are the Concept Plan Application and Concept Plan Drawings for the Carolina Flats @ Estes proposal. The project description states that it is “Proposed rezoning to MU-V for a 590 multi-family student housing community and a 125-145 room/suites hotel.” The application includes a map and photos of the site and surrounding areas. Note that the drawings envision vehicular access from Estes as well as from MLK.
These are large files, so they may take some time to load.
Carolina Flats Concept Plan Application
Carolina Flats Exhibit Files (Concept Plan drawings)
The Town of Chapel has completed a year-long planning process for Central West — see area map . On November 26, the Town Council adopted the Steering Committee’s Proposed Small Area Plan and incorporated into the plan important revisions and conditions proposed by the Planning Board. Key conditions include committing to a town-wide modeling analysis of the cumulative traffic impacts from the proposed development in all of the Focus Areas, and conducting a watershed stormwater impact analysis of the potential cumulative stormwater volume impacts. According to the Council discussion, (click here for videotape) the Small Area Plan density recommendations would be adjusted upon completion of the traffic studies. Read this Commentary to see what was achieved or see the Chapel Hill News story. The final resolution language is here.
See our new page about Ephesus – Fordham developments.