Future Land Use Map - Update to Chapel Hill 2020

C harting O ur F uture A Land Use Initiative

South Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard A gateway corridor with transit-focused development and a mixture of housing types. The South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Focus Area extends the gateway treatment south to the edge of Downtown. This portion of the corridor is envisioned to include a mixture of uses, including a diversity of housing types, that make the best use of future proposed transit service while protecting natural features such as Bolin Creek. The South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard area also serves to reinforce the Town’s urban core with an extension of downtown north along the corridor, including an active commercial node at Hillsborough Street. The mix of uses, with an emphasis of offices, will help infuse a year-round customer base for downtown Chapel Hill. In order to create a cohesive corridor from I-40 to Hillsborough Street, as the corridor redevelops in concert with the BRT, at larger bus rapid transit Stations, buildings (development) should be located closer to the street in order to create highly functional, walkable destinations for both transit riders and adjacent neighborhoods. Between these BRT stations, buildings may be pushed back with significant front yard landscaping. Overview of Current Conditions Like the North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Focus Area, the southern portion of the corridor serves as a major arterial and a gateway to Town. The Focus Area follows Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard from Homestead Road to East Rosemary Street and includes portions of Estes Drive and Hillsborough Street. While proximity to downtown is a defining feature of this area, the corridor is also a barrier to east-west bicycle and pedestrian mobility, and the terrain that rises toward downtown makes it difficult for some non-motorized users. High-density housing mainly serving students is situated along the corridor, and established single-family neighborhoods surround these developments. Little undeveloped land remains in this area, meaning most change will come in the form of redevelopment. Previous planning efforts include the Central West Small Area Plan, Estes Drive Bicycle & Pedestrian Improvements, and various townwide plans. Focus Area Principles Connectivity & Mobility ƒ Street design should calm traffic using a variety of means including landscaping and high visibility crosswalks, especially south of Bolin Creek as you approach the core downtown area. ƒ New roadway and multimodal connections should be designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicycles, and transit vehicles where appropriate, particularly in proximity to the corridor’s future proposed bus rapid transit stops. ƒ Parking strategies, such as consolidating parking in strategic locations, should encourage people to park once and walk from one destination to another within mixed-use activity nodes. Likewise, property owners who have different peak hours of parking demand should share their parking spaces with one another. Land Use ƒ This area should encourage mixed-income housing near transit stations and within mixed-use centers while encouraging locally-based businesses, through economic development initiatives, that provide services to the surrounding community. ƒ Planning controls should establish gradual height and density transitions between new development and existing residential and institutional uses.

ƒ Commercial infill and redevelopment should be bicycle and pedestrian-friendly and connected to the larger multimodal network. ƒ Displacement mitigation strategies will be necessary should existing manufactured home parks in the Focus Area be redeveloped. ƒ Residential uses that are likely to attract students are appropriate in locations close to transit and with access to shopping and convenience to campus. These locations include near the intersections with Homestead Road and Estes Drive and south of Hillsborough Street. ƒ The Carolina North Forest is identified as a habitat patch. To protect this patch, buffering between any new development and the forest may be necessary. Placemaking, Street Character, and Urban Form ƒ A cohesive street design along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, from I-40 to downtown, should be achieved through landscaping, building placement, and design guidelines. ƒ Building, site, and landscape design should be integrated with bus rapid transit stops. ƒ The character of the surrounding neighborhoods should be preserved while providing multimodal connections to new destinations, amenities, and public spaces. ƒ Buildings should be located closer to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with wide, shaded and continuous multimodal paths to enhance walkability and frame the gateway corridor. ƒ Building placement for the portion of the corridor south of Hillsborough Street should reinforce an extension of the urban character found in Downtown Chapel Hill. ƒ Active frontages are encouraged to create vibrancy and ensure pedestrian activity over time. These frontages should consider the placement of buildings on the site, the location of primary building entrances, streetscapes, and pedestrian-scaled amenities. In some cases, active frontages may mean that retail and services should be allowed on the first floor within the Multi-family character type. ƒ The Focus Area is characterized by its inviting streetscapes that blend the aesthetics of the built environment with mature tree canopies within the public right-of-way and as part of private development. Maintain this quality by preserving key vegetative areas and implementing new street tree plantings to support this character, shade sidewalks, and help frame the public realm. ƒ When core heights are utilized, large step backs from the front façade are desirable to create a more human-scaled public realm. Density & Intensity ƒ Leverage future proposed transit service by increasing density and intensity within new developments near planned transit stations. ƒ New developments should include variable heights and densities in response to existing land uses and natural features such as site-specific terrain, tree height, and tree stands. ƒ Higher density and intensity should be encouraged along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard extending from downtown to Hillsborough Street. Environmental ƒ Future decisions should minimize disruption to the natural features such as Bolin Creek while making connected open spaces available for people’s use and enjoyment. The creek should be incorporated into site design where appropriate. ƒ Some developed properties along Bolin Creek should transition to open space.



Town of Chapel Hill |

| December 2020

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