Del Snow's blog

Community involvement fails its first test

In the most likely scenario that Charterwood will be approved tonight,  Chapel Hill citizens may choose to make some conclusions about the future of citizen input into how OUR town grows.

Despite significant environmental impact (not only to Eastwood Lake and Lake Ellen but to the Booker Creek headwater streams and the old growth trees), the disregard for neighborhood protection, the bastardization of process, the economic shakiness of the proposed plan, the reversal of affordable housing goals, the widespread public objections, the applicant’s frequent “misstatements,” and the precedent setting nature of the approval, Charterwood is virtually assured of passage.

What does this presage for the 2020 Future Focus Areas?  Will citizens, once again, be involved in busy work?  Will their work, like the work of citizens involved in the original Southern Small Area Plan,  the Northern Area Task Force, and 2020 be ignored?

Would Charterwood have saved Chapel Hill?

After reading the article 'No' vote frustrates critics" in the Chapel Hill News I felt compelled to correct the record. When Council viewed a video showing a representation of Charterwood, presented by the Charterwood applicant, only the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd side was shown.  Similarly, the lead article Jan. 30 in the CH News presented one flawed side of a decision, repeating applicant claims, without ever turning the corner to see the other views.
On July 8th, 2008, BEFORE the Altemueller property was purchased, I met with current owner of the property, Bill Christian, at his request, to discuss his pending purchase.  At that time, I pointed out the Northern Area Task Force recommendations for this specific property. (Note: the article refers to a development submission in 2007.)  The Task Force looked at 367 acres of development potential and felt that it was important enough to single out ONLY the approximately 14 acres of Altemueller property for special consideration.

Eubanks Road Park-and-Ride Expansion Public Information Meeting

Revisting Assumptions

I applaud the Mayor and Council for meeting to examine the assumptions that they have held about growth and planning development in Chapel Hill as described in the 2/28 Herald Sun Article below:

         Council revisits assumptions on high density projects

Northern Area Task Force presents report

I would like everyone to know that there will be a community open house on Tuesday, August 28th, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Library. We will present a draft of the Northern Area Task Force report for your feedback and comment.

This was an amazing accomplishment, considering the small amount of time that we had to work. Those of you who were on the Horace Williams Citizens Committee will appreciate what I am talking about because we HWCC members worked hard for 2 years in order to produce our report. Because of the time limit imposed by the moratorium, the Northern Area Task Force and Town staff only had time to meet 7 times over 3 months and participate in 2 workshops with planning consultants.

Our charge was to prepare recommendations for the Council for the implementation of transit oriented development. We have recommendations and guidelines for over 350 acres of land along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Northwest Chapel Hill. Not only are we the gateway entrance from the north, we will be the northern neighbor to Carolina North.

Please come and weigh in on plans for our future.



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