C harting O ur F uture A Land Use Initiative
2 | Guiding Statements
Chapel Hill 2020 including all of its amendments, these Guiding Statements, and the revised Future Land Use Map and all of its components constitute a long-range land use and public infrastructure plan to guide future growth, to identify areas and resources to be preserved, and to shape the Town’s physical development. This guidance is necessary as land use decisions, proposed developments, and capital improvements are considered. (A land use decision is one that has a substantial impact on present or future land uses, such as zoning decisions.) The Guiding Statements include a wide variety of topics, but they are all for the purpose of informing and guiding decision making. When applying these Guiding Statements to particular situations, such as specific development proposals, some of these Guiding Statements may compete or conflict. While the goal is to be consistent with every Guiding Statement to the extent possible, each proposal must attempt to satisfy these Guiding Statements on balance to achieve the overall intent given the context and constraint specific to that proposal. This approach recognizes that there are tradeoffs and compromises, and allows flexibility while still guiding land use and capital decisions. These Guiding Statements provide an anchor or reference point to consider when making tradeoffs and compromises. The Guiding Statements are as follows: 1. Demonstrate the Town’s commitment to effectively respond to the threats associated with climate change as well as environmental stewardship and resiliency. The Town should emphasize sustainable urban design principles that minimize impacts to Chapel Hill’s sensitive natural areas and respond to the threat of climate change by: A. Creating compact walkable, mixed-use communities, in targeted locations, where activities are located closer to one another requiring less time and energy to access the daily needs of life including work, school, commerce, and recreation rather than permitting low-density, auto-dominated developments and corridors;
Purpose of the Guiding Statements While updating the Town’s Future Land Use Map primarily focuses on a small portion of the Town, rewriting the Town’s Land Use Management (LUMO) could potentially have Town wide impacts. Therefore, it is imperative to define a set of Guiding Statements that serve as the foundation for both phases of this Project as well as provide the rationale for making the changes necessary to: Effectively address, adapt, and mitigate the challenges of climate change; Foster land use decisions that recognize, integrate, and sustain the Town’s unique natural environment; Support the Town’s economic development strategies, including job creation; Ensure the Town’s fiscal well-being by diversifying and increasing its tax base; Sustain and create a sense of place that is distinctive to Chapel Hill;
Balance development/redevelopment while protecting and preserving the Town’s natural environment and resources; Collaborate with the Town’s regional partners, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the UNC Health Care System on lifelong learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship; Invest in the infrastructure necessary to create a vibrant, equitable, economically sustainable, resilient future for Chapel Hill; Create, in strategic locations, compact, well-designed mixed use communities focused on transit and multimodal transportation systems that effectively respond to the need to reduce vehicular traffic and the Town’s carbon footprint given the desirability of such locations for both households and employers that prefer sites that are walkable and located within vibrant, connected communities and the desire for an equitable community where all community members have access to jobs, transit, and places to reside.
B. Densifying at strategic locations and mixing land uses. By building up, the Town can absorb development in a more compact manner, support a lively mix of activities, protect open spaces, integrate public spaces into developments, conserve landscaped areas, preserve tree canopy, and create nodes that make transit more viable. Permitting a mix of activities along streets shortens trips, reduces car dependency, enlivens the public realm, and makes possible the day and night usage of shared parking;
The Public Realm belongs to everyone. It includes the streets, squares, parks, green spaces and other outdoor places that require no key to access and are available to everyone.
Town of Chapel Hill |
| December 2020
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