C harting O ur F uture A Land Use Initiative
South Columbia Gateway Gateway nodes providing a mixture of uses and housing types.
The form and pattern for future development should reflect the 2015 scenario planning process for the park-and-ride location, which includes shops and offices that front internal and external streets, structured parking wrapped with buildings, and on-street parking where appropriate. Because the Town is designated as a Tree City USA, significant tree stands at Town entrances, as 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 Apartment Multi-family character type. Active frontages in this Focus Area should include South Columbia Street within the South 15-501 Gateway node and streets internal to the Southern Village Park and Ride site. Density & Intensity Promote development at a scale that complements the surrounding area. As the terminal station for the bus rapid transit system, transit-oriented development should be encouraged with apartments and a mix of uses. Environmental Stormwater management strategies shall be coordinated and applied within the two nodes.
As two gateway nodes on the south side of Chapel Hill, this Focus Area includes a mixture of uses, housing types, and open spaces that respect the differences of the South 15-501 Gateway and the Southern Village Park and Ride. These areas are envisioned to improve connectivity within and to the Focus Areas as well as to future proposed transit service. While the Focus Area Maps and Principles express an overall vision for the South Columbia Gateway, refinement of tha vision will take place during the next phase of the Charting Our Future Project. Overview of Current Conditions This Focus Area includes two redevelopment areas in the southern portion of the Town. The first area includes a gateway node on South Columbia Street just north of NC 54. This area was selected for additional study due to the broad interest in taking a proactive approach to planning the town’s major gateways. The second portion of the Focus Area includes parcels centered on Town-owned land near Southern Village as well as the entrance to Southern Village. One Town-owned parcel is currently used as a park and ride lot and is slated to become the terminal station of the Chapel Hill Bus Rapid Transit system. The second parcel is open space. Future Proposed premium transit has the potential to change the development context in the surrounding area, necessitating a proactive planning effort to determine the best use of this small Focus Area. This area also has been identified as the possible future home of Kidzu Children’s Museum, which will occupy a small part of the Town-owned land and will serve as an economic driver for the node. Bicycle and pedestrian connections should link complimentary uses and users to the multimodal network, including existing bike lanes on South Columbia Street and the Morgan Creek Trails and Merritt’s Pasture. The location and visibility of these nodes, including access to existing and future transit service, and proximity to major roadways should be enhanced with improved access to adjacent neighborhoods, employment, or amenities. The development should provide pedestrian and vehicular connections within the nodes and to adjacent areas. Connectivity and mobility improvements should make it easier to traverse South Columbia Street. Land Use Changes to the area should be complementary to existing residential uses. Areas outside the Focus Area with a low density residential land use designation will remain, including those on the west side of South Columbia Street. New housing should be incorporated into the gateway node due to its proximity to future proposed transit service. Placemaking, Street Character, and Urban Form Reinforce the southern gateway role of these areas with unique and coordinated design elements such as landscaping, signage and branding, and streetscape development. The form, use, and design of the nodes should include transitions to align with the character and fabric of the existing community. Focus Area Principles Connectivity & Mobility
Town of Chapel Hill |
| December 2020
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