Development looms large these days

Tonight the Chapel Hill Town Council will hold public hearings on Greenbridge and University Village, will review some concept plans which I know nothing about, and then will hear a petition from the Planning Board about the process for updating the Comprehensive Plan... about which I have something to say. (Here's tonight's Council agenda.)Greenbridge is the radical plan for what I think would be the tallest building in Orange County - though I doubt that height record will stand for long. We have discussed this proposal here on OP. There are many complex issues involved, but I think most people's opinions on it comes down to two things:1. Whether you are invested in a transit-friendly future Chapel Hill that allows for some growth but no sprawl, and2.

Fear of heights

It's disappointing to see the Chapel Hill News this week stoking our fears of skyscrapers instead of adding some new ideas or perspectives to the critical dialog about the nature of growth downtown.I am so tired about hearing people simply exclaim over the number of stories a building has without discussing its design, infrastructure, relationship to other buildings to the street and to the sidewalk, impact on transportation, or public service features. It's not that height doesn't matter, but it's meaningless in isolation. You can have an ugly 3-story building or a beautiful 10-story building. We need to move past this one-dimensional focus on height into a more sophisticated vision for the future of Chapel Hill. I am hoping that the upcoming revision of Chapel Hill's Comprehensive Plan will be one venue for this discussion.


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