C harting O ur F uture A Land Use Initiative E xecutive S ummary Charting Our Future – Phase I – Update to Chapel Hill 2020
Plan Update Process This update to Chapel Hill 2020 is the result of a multi-phased planning process that engaged residents, business and property owners, local officials, Town staff, and many other community stakeholders. Public engagement included approximately 84 in-person opportunities as well as two separate, online engagement efforts, which had 1,600 unique, digital participants. The scope of this update expanded due to community engagement and included the following phases:
In April of 2017, the Town Council of the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina initiated an update to Chapel Hill 2020 , which is the Town’s Comprehensive Plan that was adopted in 2012. Council focused this update on six areas of Town, called Focus Areas, originally identified in Chapel Hill 2020 and refined during this update process. This update serves as the foundation for rewriting the Town’s land development regulations, which will be the next phase of the Charting Our Future Project. As this update was approaching adoption, the nation was struck by COVID-19, which dramatically altered community members’ everyday lives and how they experienced their Town. As a result, serious considerations were given to both the validity of this update and postponing adoption. After careful deliberation, continuing on the path to adoption made sense largely because this update embodies the priorities and flexibility necessary to: Effectively manage any long-term societal changes from COVID-19 that may impact future housing, office, and retail development; Create and/or redesign development review processes that can nimbly respond to future shocks, such as the one we are currently experiencing with COVID-19; Incorporate multi-modal transportation options into future development that both serve to provide an alternative to vehicle dependency and create outdoor recreational opportunities; and, Stress the importance of the public realm to both add life to our Town streets and as a refuge during times of crisis. While it is too soon to truly know how COVID-19 will impact the Town and our Town’s residents in the long term, the flexibility built into this update will serve the Town well as we move into what we all hope will be a post- COVID-19 world. About this Plan Update
Phase 1: Project Initiation. Consisted of coordination meetings with Town staff as well as key stakeholders to scope the update and develop update goals as well as early opportunities for coordination with the Town Council and the Planning Commission. Phase 2: Scenario Testing. Included a launch event to publicize and raise awareness about the Charting Our Future project, a multi-day community engagement event and other drop- in opportunities designed to solicit community concerns and desires for future development. Following these engagement events and an existing conditions analysis, scenarios were developed and tested through an online engagement survey designed to hone the community’s vision for the future of these Focus Areas. Phase 3: Draft Map. Consisted of
several iterations of draft maps for each Focus Area which community members evaluated at community meetings and numerous drop-in events held all over Town. During this phase, community input resulted in the development of the Guiding Statements and the Map Book. Phase 4. Adoption. Included the development of a final set of Focus Area Maps and refinement of other update components for community review, which included a digital community workshop, a virtual public meeting, and robust submissions of feedback utilizing electronic communications. This phase concluded with a recommendation for adoption from the Planning Commission and subsequent adoption by the Town Council.
This update and Chapel Hill 2020 outline strategies and goals for future land use and development and will serve as the foundation for decision-making so that the Town’s land use tools are predictable, functional, and intentional. This update and Chapel Hill 2020 , as amended, comprise the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. The individual Focus Area Maps and the Future Land Use Map 2050 in this update replace the Land Use Plan in Chapel Hill 2020 .
The Town’s Comprehensive Plan expresses the vision of Chapel Hill’s future and serves as a road map that guides future decisions about how the Town should evolve over time.
Town of Chapel Hill |
| December 2020
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