TO:                  Chapel Hill Town Council



FROM:            David Owens


RE:                  Addressing Issues Raised in Town Review of Carolina North Development Proposal


DATE:            November 18, 2008


The Town/University Joint Staff Work Group (JSWG) recommends that you address three points regarding how the Council and Trustees will address the issues raised by the Carolina North development proposal:

  1. Confirm whether the general process described below is the way you would like to discuss and address the issues.
  2. Review and adjust as needed the JSWG’s initial categorization of the issues.
  3. Determine which of these issues you would like to address first.


1.  Process for Addressing Issues

The Council and Trustees agreed in your October meeting to use the Horace Williams Citizen Committee (HWCC) and Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC) reports as starting points for identifying key issues and potential principles, goals, and strategies for the development of the Carolina North project.

You further agreed to a general process for Council-Trustee discussion of these issues and the potential terms of a development agreement. The JSWG will prepare briefing papers on the issues for discussion at future Council-Trustee meetings. For each issue, a paper will:  (1) identify and summarize the issue; (2) note the HWCC, LAC, Town, and University positions and recommendations regarding that issue; and (3) include options for resolution of the issue, with staff analysis of the pros and cons of the options.

To make the most effective use of your time, the JSWG proposes dividing the issues to be addressed in the development agreement and ordinance amendments into two general categories. First are those issues for which additional Council-Trustee discussion is needed to provide guidance in drafting proposed development agreement or ordinance provisions. Second are those issues for which prior discussion indicates there may be sufficient agreement on general policy direction to allow staff to proceed with drafting development agreement provisions for your review and discussion. The general process of staff prepared issue papers presented to the Council-Trustee group for discussion will be followed for both categories. The JSWG felt that this categorization would allow you to focus your time on the most critical issues while retaining full oversight of entire range of issues to be addressed.


2.  JSWG Initial Categorization of Issues

Using the Horace Williams Citizen Committee reports as a starting point and supplementing that with the LAC and subsequent staff discussions, the JSWG examined the list of potential issues and placed the items in the two categories noted above. For ease of reference these issues are numbered in the list below, but they are not listed in priority order.


Group I – Issues Needing Additional Policy Discussion

  1. Scale of project covered by initial development agreement; Length of development agreement;Phasing
  2. Area to be rezoned
  3. Range and mix of uses permitted in the zone
  4. Parking/Transit/Traffic/Road Issues
  5. Housing
  6. Fiscal impact: fees, payments, taxes, indirect benefits
  7. RCD and stormwater utility issues
  8. Neighborhood/Community interface
  9. Parks and recreation facilities
  10. Land preservation (undeveloped areas of the site)
  11. Energy generation on site, cogeneration
  12. Air quality
  13. Cumulative impacts
  14. Sustainability Principles
  15. Current understanding on SUP submissions


Group II – Issues for Which the JSWG Can Begin Drafting Development Agreement Provisions for Review and Discussion by the Council and Board of Trustees:

  1. Design standards
  2. Stream buffers
  3. Stormwater management on site
  4. Sedimentation
  5. Water use and reclamation
  6. Energy conservation, carbon credits
  7. Solid waste management
  8. Remediation of landfill
  9. Police/fire/EMS facilities and services
  10. School site
  11. Recreation facilities
  12. Trees, landscaping
  13. Greenways, connections
  14. Neighboring lands: compatibility, buffers
  15. Noise
  16. Lighting
  17. Public art
  18. Historic, cultural features


3.  Initial Issue to Address

The JSWG suggests that it would be appropriate at your December meeting to discuss the scale and scope of the project to be included in the development agreement and a potential rezoning in order to provide staff guidance relative to the materials to be submitted in January. These are items (a) and (b) in Group I above. It would also be useful to discuss the appropriate fee structure for review of a development agreement (assuming the standard fee for a rezoning application would be applied).


Two background items previously distributed are attached for ease of reference. Appendix 1 is the preliminary list of issues to be addressed that was distributed in October. Appendix 2 is the matrix distributed in September that lists each of the principles from the HWCC report, how those issues were addressed during the LAC work, and the status at completion of the LAC work.