C harting O ur F uture A Land Use Initiative
NC 54 Corridor Employment centers with a green gateway to Chapel Hill.
appropriate to the location, should be maintained and/or enhanced. For example, when entering Town from the Rural Buffer, density should build from the edge of the Rural Buffer toward the more developed portions of Town. In all instances, the entrances to Town should demonstrate the Town’s uniqueness 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. 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. Density & Intensity Develop at a height and scale appropriate to future transit, existing development, and surrounding areas. Density and intensity should be the highest near larger proposed future transit stops with transitions to adjacent areas. The density and intensity of this areas should be reconsidered if transit is not constructed. Environmental Preserve and expand the linear greenspace so NC 54 offers a greater contribution to the Town’s urban tree canopy goals. This treed greenspace assists with filtering mobile sources of air pollution and protects adjacent land uses.
The NC 54 Focus Area blends established and anticipated employment centers and considers the likely benefits of future transit service by encouraging compact, mixed-use development highlighted by diverse and affordable housing options. While linear greenspace will continue to be a defining feature, the tree buffer that exists from Barbee Chapel Road to Findley Golf Course Road may transition over time to a more urban streetscape that includes wide sidewalks with an abundance of street trees Overview of Current Conditions The NC 54 corridor is a major gateway to the Town from the east and includes several office and commercial centers. The Focus Area includes the south side of NC 54 from Littlejohn Road to Fordham Boulevard. Glen Lennox and Meadowmont draw patrons from throughout the community and beyond with dining, entertainment, retail, and services. The corridor has the potential to expand as an employment destination, offering many opportunities for mixed-use developments to take advantage of captive demand from weekday employees. The NC 54 corridor is positioned to become an even more important link in the Town’s transit system, which is reflected in the land use and development vision expressed in the Focus Area. Most opportunities to reshape the corridor toward a transit-oriented pattern are likely to come from redevelopment and intensification of the existing uses, rather than the new development of currently vacant land. Focus Area Principles Connectivity & Mobility The NC 54 corridor should become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly by closing gaps in the multimodal network and making it easier to traverse NC 54. The future design should yield an attractive, tree-lined, boulevard with a median, where the pedestrian and cyclist realms are protected by the natural landscape and physical barriers. New roadway and multimodal connections, including bicycle and pedestrian facilities, should be created to reduce local trips on NC 54 and enhance circulation within new development. Land Use Diverse and affordable housing options should be located in areas that connect to existing and future transit service. Compact, mixed-use development should occur near transit and supported by a multimodal transportation system. Placemaking, Street Character, and Urban Form Visual assets such as landscaped medians, tree-lined streets, and building facades should be integrated into a coordinated corridor design. Near Fordham Boulevard, the physical character of NC 54 and adjacent development should coordinate with the redevelopment vision of Glen Lennox as established in the Glen Lennox Area Neighborhood Conservation District Plan. Mixed-use centers should include public spaces and promote a more holistic corridor design. Because the Town is designated as a Tree City USA, significant tree stands at Town entrances, as
Town of Chapel Hill |
| December 2020
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