There will be a Public Information Meeting on the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan starting at noon, Monday, May 14th, in the Council Chamber of Chapel Hill Town Hall.
Chapel Hill 2020: Our Town, Our Vision.
The community and the Council have asked for a new Comprehensive Plan to reexamine the vision for Chapel Hill and to plan together for our community's future. The new planning and visioning document will create a framework for the community to guide the Town Council in managing Chapel Hill's future over the next 20 years.
Chapel Hill 2020 is a plan that involves Chapel Hill, every community, every race, every age, every culture, every corner. What is in Chapel Hill 2020 will directly affect you -- your values, your ambitions, your family, your future. You have made Chapel Hill your town, and we want to hear from you.
- The information meeting for the town advisory boards on Chapel Hill 2020 on May 10 at 6 p.m. in the Town Council Chamber
- A “public information meeting” on May 14 at noon in the Town Council Chamber
- A public hearing when the Town Council receives the plan as part of its regular meeting on May 21 at 7 p.m. in Town Council Chamber
The Downtown Partnership and Chamber of Commerce were invited last fall to submit their goals for Chapel Hill’s Comprehensive Plan for publication on the Town’s official Chapel Hill 2020 blog. Although we were not personally invited, the editors of OrangePolitics decided to compose our own list of goals and priorities, which we have submitted this morning for publication on the Town website. What's YOUR vision for Chapel Hill's future?
The comprehensive plan is Chapel Hill’s guiding vision. In the past it has been used to guide land use policies and other programs, and in the future it is expected to also directly influence the Town’s budget. It has never been more important to articulate a clear vision of a Chapel Hill in which we all hope to live. As much as we love Chapel Hill, and look back fondly on the days we first came to know this wonderful community, we also accept the fact that more people fall in love with this town every day and growth is an inescapable part of our future. The choice before us now is not whether to grow, but how.
Many general principles are broadly held by most residents in and around Chapel Hill. It’s good to protect the environment, to have a diverse community, to teach our children well. But where we don’t all agree is how best to make these things happen. The Comprehensive Plan needs to address these difficult issues if it is to be of any use in guiding future decisions. The hard discussions about these areas of difference have been notably absent from the 2020 process, but we are ready to have them. To that end, we offer the following suggestions as starting points for real conversations about our future.
Earlier this evening town staff briefed the public on the results from the Future Focus sessions held last week. The meeting followed a pretty basic format. During the first and last 30 minutes, participants were free to roam around five different rooms, one or each of the special study areas that town previously identified. In the hour between, Mary Jane Nirdlinger, the town’s assistant planning director, gave a presentation synthesizing the results while taking questions from the audience.
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the town of Chapel Hill conducted charrette-style Future Focus sessions designed to understand how town residents would like to see Chapel Hill grow from the urban design perspective. The overall event was split into three sessions, one on Wednesday evening and two identical sessions on Thursday. The first session included several presentations on town growth and an urban design exercise where participants were asked to rate 50 different images on their favorableness for fitting in downtown. The second and third sessions were map mark-ups for five study areas along key transportation corridors (i.e. MLK, 15-501 and 54).