Chapel Hill's New Parks and Recreation Master Plan: Your Input is Needed!

The Town of Chapel Hill's Parks and Recreation Department is starting the process of updating their master plan. The current plan is almost 9 years old, and is considered out-of-date. The Town is partnering with Site Solutions (a Charlotte-based firm) to develop the new plan, which will take into account the Town's changing needs and current economic situation.

The master plan process will be guided by public input and by the Parks and Recreation Commission (on which I serve). The first drop-in public workshop will be held Tuesday, May 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 523 E. Franklin St. (the old Chapel Hill Museum property). There will be a survey mailed out in the next month to 2500 random households in town, but everyone is welcome to share their thoughts on the Master Plan Public Comment Form at any time throughout the process.

Given today's economic realities, a large part of the master plan will focus on ways to support continued maintenance of current structures instead of property acquisition and development. Since there are few large parcels of land left in town that would be suitable for a park, most future park expansion will likely come from mixed-use redevelopment.For example, there has been talk of including open space in the University Square redevelopment, and the Ephesus Church-Fordham Small Area Plan calls for the expansion of the Lower Booker Creek Trail. But we shouldn't just rely on developers to decide our Town's parks and recreation priorities. What kind of greenways, open space,and recreation opportunities would you like to see in Chapel Hill?

My understanding from our Commission meetings is that new master plan will most likely be included as a chapter in the new Comprehensive Plan. For more information, check out the Town's press release below, and come to the meeting on May 24th.



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