TO:                  W. Calvin Horton, Town Manager


From:            Roger S. Waldon, Planning Director


Subject:       Concept Plan: Town Operations Facility


DATE:             November 17, 2003




Attached is a proposal for Concept Plan review.  The proposed Concept Plan is for a public service and public use facility on an 88 acre site between Interstate 40 and Millhouse Road, approximately 2,000 feet north of Eubanks Road. 





On January 27, 2003, the Council enacted a Land Use Management Ordinance requiring that the Council conduct a Concept Plan Review for proposed developments meeting specific land or floor area thresholds.  Applications (other than in Town Center) meeting any of the minimum thresholds as shown below require Town Council review in addition to Community Design Commission review:


                        Characteristic               Threshold Triggering Council Review


                        Land Area                                5 acres

                        Floor Area                               100,000 square feet

                        # of Dwelling Units                   50 dwelling units


The Council has the opportunity tonight to hear this applicant’s presentation, receive a set of comments from the Community Design Commission, hear public comment, and offer  suggestions to the applicant for consideration as further plans are drawn.  At the conclusion of the evening’s discussions, we recommend that the Council adopt a resolution (attached) transmitting comments to the applicant.


An excerpt from the Land Use Management Ordinance with a description of the process for Concept Plans is attached.



The Concept Plan review process does not involve staff evaluation of the proposal.  Review of the Concept Plan submittal is conducted by the Community Design Commission and, in some instances, the Town Council, as noted above.




A Concept Plan is a preliminary step toward the preparation of a formal development plan and application.  The Land Use Management Ordinance states that design and construction of site elements should include:


·        Appropriate descriptions and explanations of the relationship and balance among site elements;


·        The relationship of the development to natural features, neighboring developments and undeveloped land;


·        Access and circulation systems;


·        Retention of natural vegetation, minimal alteration of natural topography, mitigation of erosion and sedimentation, mitigation of stormwater drainage and flooding;


·        Arrangement and orientation of buildings and amenities in relation to each other and to neighboring developments and streets;


·        Landscaping, preservation or enhancement of vistas; and


·        Mitigation of traffic impacts.


The Town Council and Community Design Commission, in examining development applications, are to consider the various aspects of design, with special emphasis on whether the proposed development is consistent with the Town’s Design Guidelines and the Goals and Objectives of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.  A work sheet for review of concept plans is included for Council use with this memorandum (Attachment 2).




On June 16, 2003, the Community Design Commission conducted a courtesy review of the proposed project.  On October 22, 2003, the Commission reviewed the concept plans.  Summary comments from the June and October meeting are attached to this memorandum (Attachment 3).


During the October 22, 2003 Community Design Commission meeting, a citizen raised several issues and presented a handout with comments and questions to the Community Design Commission.  A copy of the citizen’s handout and a response from the Assistant Town Manager is included as Attachment 4 to this memorandum. 






This Concept Plan proposal includes public service and public use facility on an 88 acre site between Interstate 40 and Millhouse Road, approximately 2,000 feet north of Eubanks Road.  The applicant is proposing to construct six buildings, associated outbuildings and structures, including 145,494 square feet of floor area with 276 parking spaces.   The site is located in the Mixed-Use Residential-1 (MU-R1) zoning district.  The site is located in Orange County and is identified as Chapel Hill Township Tax Map 19..23.


The Land Use Plan, a component of the Comprehensive Plan, identifies this site as a Potential Public Works Facility Site.  The site is located in the Mixed-Use Residential-1 (MU-R1) zoning district.  The property is outside the Town Limits and within the Town’s Urban Services Area.  This Concept Plan is proposed in the context of the existing zoning for the site.  The tract is located in Orange County.


The Concept Plan before the Council tonight is the same plan as the plan reviewed by the Community Design Commission on October 22, 2003.




We recommend that the Council review this Concept Plan, receive comments from the Community Design Commission and citizens, and adopt a resolution transmitting comments to the applicant. 




1.      Excerpt from Land Use Management Ordinance on Concept Plan procedures (p. 5).

2.      Work sheet for concept plan review (p. 8)

3.      Community Design Commission Summary Comments: Courtesy Review June 16, 2003, Concept Plan Review October 22, 2003 (p. 10).

4.      October 22, 2003 handout from citizen and Assistant Town Manager’s response (p. 14).

5.      Concept Plan application materials (p. 17).

6.      Reduced plans (p. 27).





WHEREAS, a Concept Plan has been submitted for review by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill, for the Town Operations Center; and


WHEREAS, the Council has heard presentations from the applicant, the Community Design Commission, and citizens; and


WHEREAS, the Council has discussed the proposal, with Council members offering reactions and suggestions;


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill that the Council transmits comments to the applicant regarding this proposal, as expressed by Council members during discussion on November 17, 2003, and reflected in minutes of that meeting.


This the 17th day of November, 2003.