Baby Steps: Our First NCD

Tomorrow (1/21/03) the Chapel Hill Town Council will hold public hearings on some major (and some minor) zoning changes. On the table are the creation of the town's first-ever Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD). This NCD would apply to Northside (where I live), and I was on the commitee that developed the proposal. The biggest change is the banning of duplexes (which I opposed). That is probably what most peope will speak about at the hearing, although there are also concerns about the proposed cap of 2,000 square feet per dwelling (which I supported). I think the NCD is sorely needed, and this is a good step. But it doesn't really confront the problems that face our downtown, working-class, near-campus neighborhood. Some people don't think it can address those things. I think it could have... but anyway.

In addition, the Council will look at some changes to the town's Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO). The LUMO is the legal document that guides all development in town. These are mostly corrections and not substantive changes. The staff report also lists issues that require further clarification, and there are much more important decisions lurking there.

Public hearings are the people's chance to give our elected officials a piece of our mind... so don't be stingy!

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