Planning & Transportation

"Public" Participation: A Look at Central West

Researchers at the UNC School of Government recently released the results of a survey (PDF) they conducted about Chapel Hill’s Central West Small Area Plan process. You might have seen some press and spin about this survey and the comments participants provided in the survey. But before we start extrapolating from these data, it’s important to make sure we understand who provided feedback on the Central West process and how those individuals compare to our community at large.

Making this comparison is particularly important to assess and understand the effectiveness of public participation efforts in our local government. After all, if public participation is primarily coming from specific groups of people and other groups are being left out of the process, that’s not true public participation or engagement -- it’s the privileging of certain groups at the expense of the rest of our community.

So let’s take a look at the demographic data of the Central West survey participants compared to the 2010 Census data for the town of Chapel Hill. Here’s what the age and race data look like:

Regional Transit Now Serving Mebane, Efland

Regional Transit has come to Efland and Mebane, as of today!

Triangle Transit's Orange-Durham Express (ODX) route, which started operating in August 2014, has now expanded its service. The route now connects Mebane, Efland, Hillsborough, Duke University, and Downtown Durham.

Village Plaza Apartments Approved

The Town of Chapel Hill has approved Vilage Plaza Apartments, the first development proposed under the new form-based code implemented in the Ephesus-Fordham District.

Village Plaza Apartments will be constructed on the vacant site located between the Whole Foods shopping center and the ABC Store on South Elliot Rd. The development will bring 265 apartments, ground-floor retail space, a parking deck, greenway improvements, and roadway improvements. Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment will be approximately $1,150/month while a 2-bedroom apartment will rent for about $1,600/month.

Full information about the approval and the development is available on the Town's website here.

A Goal for 2015: Increased Walkability

Walkable, dense neighborhoods are good for us. That’s what this recent CityLab article concludes, citing numerous peer-reviewed research studies. And not only are these kinds of neighborhoods good for us, they’re good for the sustainability of our communities long term. For example:

This Week in Orange Politics: January 5-11

Though most of Orange County's public bodies are still in recess for the holidays, the Chapel Hill Town Concil will hold three important meetings. The first, a work session, will cover the financial side of the town's transit plan. The council will also meet with the county's state legislative delegation to discuss priorities in advnace of the Genenal Assembly re-convening next week, and hold a special on Obey Creek.

CARRBORO BOARD OF ALDERPERSONS

  • The Board is in recess until Tuesday, January 13.

CHAPEL HILL TOWN COUNCIL

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