GOVERNMENT; GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT; COMMUNITY
By Terry E. Cohen
Proposed zoning and land use changes are taking center stage this week and later in the month for the Town of Chapel Hill. First up is a public information virtual meeting Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the proposed text amendment to the Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO), which contains numerous new housing regulations, followed by a similar hybrid meeting Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Room 102 of Town Hall, allowing both in-person and remote participation.
Registration for both meetings can be done through the links provided above.
The Town is also taking public input on the LUMO text amendment now through when it considers the changes for possible vote at its Jan. 25 meeting. The public can weigh in via a public input page with a survey and free-form text input block, as well as by email at this link.
At the heart of the discussion and analysis is how the Town of Chapel Hill can address development pressures and accommodate a variety of housing needs in current deficit while balancing issues such as neighborhood character, social justice, affordability, stormwater management, traffic, and transit utilization.
The public input page includes numerous background documents, as well as a Jan. 5 update and a link to the latest version of the ordinance itself. The Planning Commission had moved the ordinance forward Oct. 4, 2022, with approval at its meeting. The Action Details from that meeting, which include the commissions comments on and considerations for parking and other issues, are found by clicking on this link, then on “Action Details” on the right of the screen to obtain the pop-up window with the comments.
In a related matter, the Town Council has on its Jan. 11 meeting agenda the consideration of and a likely vote on retaining the consulting firm Tischler-Bise to do a “Cost of Land Uses Fiscal Impact Analysis.”
Such a study examines how different types of land uses translate to the costs of providing services (police, fire, infrastructure, transit, etc.), as well as revenues generated by the various types of development. This enables jurisdictions to factor costs and revenues into their development decisions, along with numerous other considerations.
Among other agenda items is the reopening of the legislative hearing on a rezoning amendment for conditional zoning of the former PNC Bank property at 101 E. Rosemary St. to allow for a seven-story apartment building of roughly 150 units. More information on the project is available here or by clicking the item link next to its listing on the agenda.
The Town Council meets at 7 p.m., Jan. 11, in council chambers at Town Hall, located at 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill. The public is welcome to speak at regular council meetings on agenda items and on issues not on the agenda, in accordance with the guidelines posted here and here.
Terry E. Cohen is the editor of The Local Reporter. She also writes articles for a global media firm on topics related to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) in business and industry.