June 6, 2007
On behalf of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, the Board of Directors, and the Society's membership, I would like to petition the town of Chapel Hill to alter their land use ordinance and adopt the proposed ordinance, which would help protect the town's architecture treasures.
We respectfully submit the ordinance from the town of Apex as a model for altering Chapel Hill's current policy. This successful ordinance has preserved several historic structures in Apex and its adoption by Chapel Hill would greatly benefit current preservation efforts. The proposed ordinance would require individuals who demolish a structure listed on any historic survey to wait forty-eight months before beginning new construction on any structure other than a single-family dwelling. This simple rule will proactively preserve historic buildings by discouraging unnecessary demolition. In May of 2007, the Historic District Commission unanimously approved the new ordinance and recommended that the town study and adopt the measure.
Protection of Chapel Hill's wonderful architectural is extremely important for many reasons. These buildings are the foundation of Chapel Hill's unique identity. Together they embody the town's rich past and reflect its vibrant culture. These structures not only beautify but also serve to heighten our standard of living, attract new residents, and captivate curious tourists who inject millions into our local economy.
In closing, this new ordinance does not seek to halt progress but it does encourage deep thought and planning before reckless demolition. Adopting this progressive preservation ordinance will discourage developers looking to make a quick profit at the expense of our community.
Thank your for your consideration of this ordinance.
Preservation Society of Chapel Hill