AGENDA #10c, 10d





Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager


J.B. Culpepper, Planning Director

Gene Poveromo, Development Coordinator


Greenbridge Development – Application for a Zoning Atlas Amendment (PIN 9788-06-5324)


February 26, 2007




Enactment of the attached Ordinance would rezone an 1.32-acre site from Town Center-2 (TC-2) to the proposed Town Center-3-Conditional (TC-3-C) zoning district. The seven lot assemblage is located on the south side of West Rosemary Street between Merritt Mill Road and North Graham Street and is identified as Orange County Property Identifier Numbers 9788-06-5324, 9788-06-6235, 9788-06-6277, 9788-06-6297, 9788-06-6325, 9788-06-7213, and 9788-06-7383.


The applicant has submitted two accompanying applications for: 1) a Land Use Management Ordinance Text Amendment; and 2) a Special Use Permit. The Special Use Permit application proposes to construct a mixed-use building with 99 residential dwelling units and 216 parking spaces. The Land Use Management Ordinance Text Amendment proposes to create a new zoning district, Town Center-3 (TC-3). Please see the accompanying memoranda for additional information.

This package of material has been prepared for the Town Council’s consideration, and is organized as follows: 



On January 17, 2007, the Council held a public hearing to receive comments on the proposed zoning atlas amendment. A copy of the January 17, 2007 memorandum is attached.




Zoning determines the type and intensity of uses and development that are allowed on a piece of land. A Zoning Atlas Amendment involves a change to the current zoning, and thus the permitted types and intensity of land uses. In Chapel Hill, a rezoning may be requested in two ways: general use and conditional use rezoning requests. A general use rezoning request is to change the zoning to a different zoning district in which any of several kinds of developments and uses are permissible. A conditional use rezoning request is to allow development and uses only with approval of a Special Use Permit. This rezoning application is a conditional use rezoning request and is accompanied by a Special Use Permit application.


The zoning designation of a property determines the range of land uses and development intensities permitted on the property. Article 4.4 of the Land Use Management Ordinance establishes the intent of Zoning Atlas Amendments by stating that, “In order to establish and maintain sound, stable, and desirable development within the planning jurisdiction of the Town it is intended that this chapter shall not be amended except:


Article 4.4 further indicates:


It is further intended that, if amended, this chapter be amended only as reasonably necessary to the promotion of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.


The Council has discretionary authority to approve or deny a rezoning request. As with a conditional use rezoning request, the specific proposal in the accompanying Special Use Permit application is related to the rezoning request. We believe it is appropriate for the Council to consider a specific Special Use Permit proposal on that application, in tandem with a rezoning hearing. If the Council does not find the Special Use Permit proposal to be an acceptable use of the property, we would recommend that the Council not approve the rezoning request.


There were no issues raised during the January 17, 2007 public hearing regarding the proposed zoning atlas amendment application. However, an email from a citizen who had wished his comment to be read into the record at that meeting is attached.




Analysis of this application is organized around the requirement of the Land Use Management Ordinance that Article 4.4 of the Ordinance shall not be amended except: a) to correct a manifest error in the chapter; or b) because of changed or changing conditions in a particular area or in the jurisdiction generally; or c) to achieve the purposes of the Comprehensive Plan.


a.      A rezoning is necessary to correct a manifest error.


Staff Comment: We believe the information in the record to date can be summarized as follows:


Arguments in Support: We were unable to identify any arguments in support of a manifest error.


b.      A rezoning is necessary because of changed or changing conditions in a particular area or in the jurisdiction generally.


Staff Comment: We believe the information in the record thus far can be summarized as follows:


Arguments in Support: No arguments have been made to date in support of changed or changing conditions in this particular area.


c.      A rezoning is necessary to achieve the purposes of the Comprehensive Plan.


Staff Comment: We believe the information in the record thus far can be summarized as follows:


Arguments in Support: Arguments in support of this finding are offered in the applicant’s Statement of Justification (Part of Attachment 1). Portions of the applicant’s Statement of Justification are copied below:


Section 2: Goals and Objectives

Economic Vitality: Objectives for economic vitality include: 1) Provide a diversity of densities, scales, land uses and sizes, 2) Utilize available land in an economically optimal fashion, 3) Provide a safe and secure environment for citizens in the downtown area (Page 9 Town of Chapel Hill Comprehensive Plan).


“Greenbridge accomplishes all of these objectives. It provides a diversity of scale and use within the matrix of town center buildings and uses. It is also an economically optimal use of this particular site for many reasons; among them the availability of existing infrastructure, net tax gain to the town and county, provision of new retail and commercial opportunity and provision for residential use in the town center district.”  [Applicant Statement]


Section 2: Town Character and Land Use

Objectives for Character and Land Use include: 1) Maintain existing, and encourage new, magnets to attract people to downtown and 2) Promote compatible residential uses in the commercial zones of downtown  (Page 10 of the Town of Chapel Hill Comprehensive Plan).


 “Greenbridge will be a magnet for people to come downtown because of the unique mix of commercial and public uses anticipated on this site. It also represents compatible residential use in a commercial zone.” [Applicant Statement]


Arguments in Opposition:  To date, no arguments have been submitted indicating that this proposal would not be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.


Additional Information: We note that the adopted Land Use Plan, a component of the Comprehensive Plan, identifies this area as town/village center.




A citizen or citizens opposed to this proposed rezoning could file a protest petition. A petition protesting a proposed amendment shall be subject to the provisions of North Carolina General Statutes Sections 160A-385 and 386, as may be amended from time to time. Any petition shall:


(1)   be in the form of a written petition actually bearing the signatures of the requisite number of property owners and stating that he signers do protest the proposed amendment;


(2)   be received by the Town Clerk at least two (2) normal work days prior to the date established for the public hearing on the proposed amendment; and


(3)   be on a form prescribed and provided by the Town Manager and contain all the information requested on the form.


As of February 21, 2007 we have not received any protest petitions for the Zoning Atlas Amendment application.




Recommendations are summarized below. Please see the attached summary of recommendation from the Planning Board (part of Attachment 1).


Planning Board Recommendation: On December 19, 2006, the Planning Board voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the Zoning Atlas Amendment application.


Staff Recommendation:  We believe that the rezoning could be justified based on finding (c), as described above, as enhancing the downtown’s role as the center of the community. Our recommendation is that the Council enact the attached ordinance, rezoning the property from Town Center-2 (TC-2) to Town Center-3-Conditional (TC-3-C).


The attached Resolution would deny the rezoning request.



  1. Memorandum and Attachments from January 17, 2007 Council Public Hearing (begin new page 1).