TO: Mayor and Town Council
FROM: W. Calvin Horton, Town Manager
SUBJECT: Report of the Horace Williams Citizens Committee Regarding Principles, Goals and Strategies for the Horace Williams Property
DATE: March 22, 2004
The attached resolution would accept the report, “Principles, Goals and Strategies for the Horace Williams Property.”
On March 1, 2004, the Town Council held a Public Forum to receive public comment on Principles, Goals and Strategies for the Horace Williams Property (Carolina North) (see Attachment 1 for a listing of comments), as recommended in a report developed by the Horace Williams Citizens Committee, with input from the Council (see Attachment 2).
On October 7, 2002, the Town Council adopted a resolution establishing a charge for the creation of a Horace Williams Citizens Committee. The charge included the development of principles to guide the Council’s deliberations with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill regarding the future development of the Horace Williams property (Carolina North).
Current members of the Committee include Council Members Cam Hill, Mark Kleinschmidt and Bill Strom, County Commissioner Margaret Brown, and Linda Convissor, the University of North Carolina’s representative. Current citizen appointees are John Boyer, Henry Branson, III, Joyce Brown, Al Burke, Joe Capowski, James Coley, Barbara Driscoll, Randy Kabrick (Chair), Julie McClintock, Margaret Morse, Blair Pollock, Ruby Sinreich (Vice Chair), Del Snow, and Diane VandenBroek. On Monday, February 23, 2004, the Council appointed Laurin Easthom and Gene Pease to fill vacancies on the Committee.
The Committee began meeting in March 2003, and presented its first report to the Council on June 9, 2003. On August 25, the Committee presented a second report, containing principles and goals for the property. On October 8, 2003, the Committee submitted its Recommended Principles, Goals and Strategies for Guiding the Development of the Horace Williams Property report to the Town Council for consideration.
The Council held a public forum on October 27, 2003, followed by work sessions on November 10 and 24. Prior to the work sessions, the report was referred to Town advisory boards and Town departments for comments and recommendations.
On November 24, the Council requested that the Committee consider the Town Council’s comments and recommendations made during its November work sessions. The Committee met on December 18, 2003 and on January 15, 2004, to review the report and make additional recommendations to the Town Council. The Committee presented its final draft report to the Council on January 28, 2004.
Below we highlight comments made at the Public Forum and discuss whether they are addressed in the report. For comments which might result in revisions to the report, we suggest potential wording and location in the text for the Council’s consideration.
1. Explore a mechanism to keep housing affordable over time, such as the Land Trust.
Staff Comment: Consider amending Land Use and Transportation Principle 1, Goal 1B, Strategy a) (see Page 12) to read:
a) Create a mixture of affordable and market-priced housing. Use a mechanism such as the Orange County Land Trust to keep housing affordable over time.
2. What is the status of moving the rail corridor funding source ahead? What else can the Town do to work collaboratively with other partners on a funding source?
Staff Comment: Funding for the possible construction of a fixed guideway connection between the Horace Williams property and the University of North Carolina campus is related to the implementation of a fixed guideway connection between Chapel Hill and Durham along US 15-501. Staff from Chapel Hill, Durham, Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization and Triangle Transit Authority have met to discuss a timeframe for initiating the federal environmental analysis that must precede application for federal construction funding. The federal environmental analysis cannot begin until a source of local match, approximately 25% of the total estimated construction cost, has been identified. At this point no source of local match has been identified. The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Capital Area Planning Organization have been working with the Regional Transportation Alliance to develop a legislative proposal that would provide a source of local revenue for transportation. A portion of this revenue could be used as the local match for the fixed guideway project.
3. Concern that the University’s draft plan for Carolina North shows a north-south road connecting Homestead Road that would bisect contiguous open space areas and traverses a creek.
Staff Comment: Natural Areas/Parks and Recreation Facilities Principle 1, Goal 1B, Strategy a) (see Page 9) states the following:
“Roads shall be located so as not to subdivide large environmentally sensitive tracts.”
4. The north-south road in the Carolina North draft conceptual plan would create safety hazards for neighborhoods off Weaver Dairy Road Extension and require a widening of Weaver Dairy Extension.
Staff Comment: Goal 2A, Strategies c) and d) under Neighborhood and Community Interface Principle 2 (see Page 5) state the following:
“Limit motor vehicle access to and from existing neighborhoods through roadway design and placement, and create non-motorized-only access such as walking routes or bikeways” (Strategy c).
”Roadway design within Carolina North should be used to limit the use of the campus as a cut-through for automobiles from any direction” (Strategy d).
5. The location of development shown in the University’s draft concept plan for Carolina North places development is too close to the neighborhood edge.
Staff Comment:, Goal 2A, Strategy b) under Neighborhood and Community Interface Principles (see Page 5) states the following:
“Buffer neighborhoods from Carolina North. Develop standards working with the Town and neighbors to protect neighborhoods from noise, light pollution, parking facilities and mechanical buildings and providing for protective buffers.”
6. Recycling needs to be addressed in the report.
Staff Comment: Consider adding the following as a new Goal 2, Strategy f) under Development Management Principles (see middle of Page 2):
f) Require that recycling collection areas are provided on the site so that recyclables can be adequately managed.
We recommend that the Council consider the attached resolution which would accept the report, “Principles, Goals and Strategies for the Horace Williams Property” and transmit a copy of the report to the University of North Carolina.
A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING PRINCIPLES, GOALS AND STRATEGIES FOR THE HORACE WILLIAMS PROPERTY (2004-03-22/R-14)
WHEREAS, the Council established the Horace Williams Citizens Committee in October 2002, to develop a set of principles to guide the Council’s deliberations with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill regarding the future development of the Horace Williams property (Carolina North); and
WHEREAS, on October 8, 2003, the Committee submitted to the Council its report, “Recommended Principles, Goals and Strategies for Guiding the Development of the Horace Williams Property (Carolina North);” and
WHEREAS, the Council received comments on the report from citizens at the October 27, 2003, public forum, from Advisory Boards and from Town staff and discussed the report at work sessions on November 17 and November 24, 2003; and
WHEREAS, the Council received a revised draft report on January 28, 2004, and held a Public Forum on March 1, 2004;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill that the Council accepts the report, “Principles, Goals and Strategies for the Horace Williams Property,” for use as a guide in future discussions with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Council authorizes the Mayor to transmit the report to the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This the 22nd day of March, 2004.