††††††† PUBLIC HEARING OF THE CHAPEL HILL TOWN COUNCIL
†††††††††††††† MONDAY, MAY 15, 1995 AT 7:00 P.M.
Mayor Broun called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.† Council Members in attendance were Joyce Brown, Joe Capowski, Mark Chilton, Pat Evans, Lee Pav„o, Jim Protzman, and Rosemary Waldorf.† Council Member Barbara Powell was absent excused.†† Also in attendance were Town Manager Cal Horton, Assistant Town Managers Sonna Loewenthal and Florentine Miller, Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos, Assistant to the Manager Greg Feller, Planning Director Roger Waldon, and Planning Design Coordinator Dave Roesler.
Mr. Horton presented a brief description of a beating of a UNC student on North Street this past Friday evening.† He stated that the beating was apparently administered by "skin heads", was apparently unprovoked and resulted in serious injuries to the student.† Mr. Horton stated that all necessary resources would be used to solve this crime.† Mr. Horton also stated that the student had graduated from the University this weekend with highest honors and had received a scholarship to Vanderbilt School of Law.† Mayor Broun stated that he had visited the student in the hospital and was encouraged that his prognosis for recovery was good.
Item #1† Hearing on Proposed Amendment to Comprehensive Plan for
††††††††††††† † East Entranceway (N.C. 54) Corridor
Persons wishing to testify in the matter were sworn.
Planning Director Roger Waldon stated that this evening's hearing had been scheduled to receive public comments on the proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan concerning the NC 54 East Entranceway corridor into the Town.† He stated that the Council had established the East Entranceway Group to draft a planning document for the NC 54 corridor.† Mr. Waldon noted that the Council had held a public hearing on April 26th to receive citizen comment on the draft plan.
He also noted that the Council had discussed the report's recommendations on May 8th and recommended three substantive changes:† (1) deletion of references to specific details such as particular streets and acreage figures, (2) addition of a preamble setting forth basic land-use principles and (3) clarifying language in several places throughout the document.
Mayor Broun asked whether there was a representative of the Work Group at this evening's meeting.† Mr. Waldon answered that no further comment was desired by the Work Group to the Council and there was no official representative in attendance.
Alice Ingram, representing the Design Review Board, stated that members of the Design Review Board were members of the Work Group.† She stated that they unanimously supported the findings of the Work Group's report.† Ms. Ingram said they believe there was sufficient time and information available for the Work Group to complete a useable report, and stated the report was never intended to be accepted with no adjustments.† Ms. Ingram said they looked forward to a rigorous review of the document.
Cynthia Wise stated that many Town citizens did not realize they were in danger of losing the meadows, streams and trees along this entranceway.† She said when they reached this realization, they would blame the Town Council for not protecting citizens from this massive development.† Ms. Wise said the Town did not need more shopping areas, apartments, and traffic.† She said the Council
should be more concerned with the interest of Town citizens than those of outside developers.
Bill Davis, representing the Alliance of Neighborhoods, said the proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Plan was unnecessary,† He also said it appeared that the Council was representing developers rather than the interests of Town residents.† Mr. Davis urged the Council to consider changes to the Comprehensive Plan independently from the other hearings scheduled this evening.† He also asked the Council to place the least dense development possible on this property.
Philip Goodman expressed concern about the short time frame for citizens to review materials for this evening's hearing.† He said many citizens did not have sufficient to adequately prepare for the hearing.† Mr. Goodman said it was unfair to assume that citizens needed only a few days to review the materials.
Victor Friedman said he believed the overall process was being driven by the needs of the developer rather than the needs of Town residents.† Mr. Friedman expressed his displeasure with the Council's decision to hold a work session on May 8th, rather than the public hearing which was anticipated by some citizens.† Mr. Friedman requested that the Council listen more closely to what citizens were saying which was to slow down and study the proposed development with a greater level of scrutiny.
Peter Todd, speaking for Orange County Greens, urged the Council to amend the Comprehensive Plan and to take a closer look at the rezoning request for the proposed development.† He asked the Council to look at all alternatives before making any decisions.
Kevin Foy, a resident of Rogerson Drive, said the entire community would be affected by any changes in the Comprehensive Plan.† Mr. Foy said he did not believe one group should be able to make the changes proposed by the developers.† Mr. Foy also stated that a small area plan was needed for the entranceway.
Bernadette Pelissier, representing the Sierra Club, stated that the Sierra Club would like to see an architectural grid laid out, that the transportation goal be to reduce auto trips and to facilitate and promote a transportation infrastructure.† Ms. Pelissier said they would like to see any areas around retail commercial areas be pedestrian friendly, and that businesses serve as a means of neighborhood integration, meaning that the businesses be small and serve the needs of the nearby neighborhoods.† Ms. Pelissier said residential areas should not neglect the need for public housing.
Julie Andresen stated there are three flaws in the proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan, the first being that you can't preserve the vistas with buildings in the meadows, the second that there are no limits on mixed use, and third the high density gives nothing in return.
Jane Williams, a member of the Alliance of Neighborhoods, said she is disturbed that we are talking about changes to the Comprehensive Plan without first discussing the rezoning of the DuBose property.† She said the Meadowmont application seems to be directing and influencing this process.† She stated the Manager had recommended approval of these applications, and feels that we are moving ahead too quickly.
Tom Gunn asked that his comments of the April 26th public hearing be entered into the record of this evening's hearing.† He stated that he did not believe the Council should be considering changes to the Comprehensive Plan until after the rezoning issue had been decided.† Mr. Gunn said the Comprehensive Plan should not be amended to satisfy the desires of a developer, and that the changes proposed would destroy the scenic vistas along NC 54.† He said changing the Comprehensive Plan in context with a particular development would set a bad precedent.† Mr. Gunn asked the Council not to amend the Comprehensive Plan.
Diane Bloom, speaking for the Alliance of Neighborhoods, said there was a flaw in the Manager's memorandum, which was that you can not preserve the meadows with a building situated in the middle of it.† She stated that any buildings should be along the edges of the meadows rather than in the meadows themselves.† Ms. Bloom said it was not possible to have things both ways.† She also said the Comprehensive Plan should protect vistas and the Town should move to do so.† Ms. Bloom urged the Council to preserve this last scenic entranceway into the Town, and to say no to buildings within the meadows.
Toni Jo Friedman, a resident of the Oaks, said she believed the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan were proposed for the wrong reasons.† She said the Comprehensive Plan should not be changed in order to rezone the DuBose property, as the Meadowmont developers had requested.†
Edmund Wise, a resident of Burning Tree Drive, said the proposed development left a lot to be desired.† Mr. Wise said although he had great respect for the Council, he was appalled at the speed with which the Council was trying to move this project through the development review process.† He requested that the process be slowed down to give citizens an opportunity to more fully study the development proposals.
Jan Halle stated that NC 54 was the last pristine entranceway into the Town and inquired why the Meadowmont development proposal and related matters were being pushed through the review process.† Ms. Halle stated that the review process needed to slowed down immediately to provide for critical review of the applicant's proposal.
Ruby Sinreich, a member of the East Entranceway Work Group, said she agreed with the comments made by Ms. Pellisier on behalf of the
Sierra Club.† She also said it was unfortunate that some people only supported certain types of neighborhoods.† Ms. Sinreich stated that all types of neighborhoods should be encouraged through mixed-use developments.† Ms. Sinreich expressed her support for the proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.† She also noted that she did not favor the applicant's request for rezoning or master land use plan approval.
Valerie Broadwell, a resident of Rogerson Drive, said there were a number of irregularities in the Work Group's report.† She stated it had been basically rewritten by Town staff and in the process of rewriting the report it appeared that history was also rewritten.† Ms. Broadwell briefly described changes which had been made to the report without the Work Group's consent.† She also inquired why the Meadowmont proposal was being pushed through the development review process.
Mark Broadwell said he believed the current process was flawed.† He expressed concern that the public's right to participate in the review process had been stymied.† Mr. Broadwell said although he did not know where the process got off track, the East Entranceway Work Group had not been given sufficient time or information to prepare a thorough report to the Council.† Mr. Broadwell stated that in order to talk about mixed use, the public needed to be able to fully understand this concept.† Mr. Broadwell said he believed the review process should be restarted.
Council Member Brown said she was very appreciative of the need to move slowly with this process, and did not necessarily agree with all the recommendations made in the staff's report.† She said the Council should be very careful in drafting language for the Comprehensive Plan amendment and move slowly through the process.
Council Member Chilton stated that the goals outlined in the Manager's report were not very different from what the Council had approved for the Southern Village development.† Council Member Chilton said he believed the proposed plan contained some flaws.† Council Member Chilton said that on several occasions members of the Work Group had spoken to the Council about their goals and objectives when they had developed their report and he did not believe the public was ready to accept the changes that had been made without a great deal more discussion on the effects this development would potentially have on the Town.†
Council Member Chilton said he understood the public's frustration with the process and felt that the Council needed to slow down to give everyone a chance to fully understand the proposed development and its implications.† Council Member Chilton stated that on page 3 of the study (page 7 of the report), the second item had been stricken entirely, based, he believed, on his comments made at an earlier meeting.† Council Member Chilton stated that he did not intend for this item to be taken out of the report.† Council Member Chilton also said this was an indication that the Council needed to look more closely at the proposed language and to make sure the Council and the public understood the Council's intent.† Council Member Chilton said he was glad to see language included under the fourth item addressing scale and relationship to other uses in the area.† Council Member Chilton stated that the Council should not simply approve commercial development along the NC 54 entranceway with development behind it without first considering all of the implications.
Council Member Brown stated that she wanted to have a process put in place so that the Council could gather input from citizens and groups such as the Sierra Club and others so that all pertinent information could be studied.
Council Member Capowski said he believed when a process became so big you could not understand it, you should step back and evaluate exactly what was taking place.† Council Member Capowski said although he liked the idea of mixed-use in general, it was important that it be balanced to support the needs of the neighborhood's residents.† He also urged the Council to be careful in defining density levels, with special attention being focused on automobile parking, in neighborhoods and commercial areas.† Council Member Capowski also suggested that the Council outline its intent about the possibility of a roadway connection to U.S. 15-501.† He requested that staff develop a report on what could be developed on the subject property if the zoning remained R-1.† Council Member Evans inquired whether staff could respond to this question this evening.† Mr. Waldon stated that mixed use development was permitted in any zoning designation in some form depending on the size of the tract.† He noted that R-1 zoning permitted up to three units per acre.† Mr. Waldon stated that this meant up to 1,278 units could be constructed on the 426 acre tract.† He also noted that commercial developments in R-1 areas were governed by floor area ratios.
Council Member Protzman said he believed that this process had been flawed and that the Comprehensive Plan was also flawed.† He suggested that the Council discuss the desirable density for this area as soon as possible.
Council Member Protzman stated the changes made to the Work Group's report by the Manager had been made based on recommendations of the Council.†
Council Member Brown said she had a sense that the Council did not want to develop a process to go over the Manager's recommendations line by line.† Council Member Brown noted one suggestion she had made which had been reworded, changing her original intention.† Council Member Brown said she agreed with the comments made by the Sierra Club.†† She also said the Council needed to clearly define exactly what was meant by the term "mixed use".† Council Member Brown suggested that the Council not move forward while a number of important questions remained unanswered.
Council Member Protzman said he believed the Council should go over the report line by line this evening.
Council Member Waldorf said she believed the Council should go over the report line by line some time in the near future.† She suggested discussing the matter at the Council's May 22nd meeting.
COUNCIL MEMBER WALDORF MOVED THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE MANAGER.
Council Member Brown said she believed the public needed to have additional time to study the proposals and to discuss them with the Council.
COUNCIL MEMBER BROWN SECONDED THE MOTION TO REFER.
Mayor Broun commented that the changes made to the Work Group's report were made at the request of the Council, not by the Town Manager.† Mayor Broun stated that his intention was to provide a fair forum for both citizens and the applicants.† Mayor Broun said that regarding process, the Council needed to be concerned about the impact of non-action.† He said there was a cost of action which was too hasty, as well as a cost of non-action.† Mayor Broun said it was his intention to move forward at a reasonable pace.
THE MOTION TO REFER WAS ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0).
††† Item #2 - Requests to Rezone 426 Acres North and South
† of NC 54 Between Burning Tree Drive and Barbee Chapel Road
Mr. Waldon stated that the Town had received two rezoning applications, one for Residential-5 Conditional (for 364.4 acres) and one for Mixed Use-Residential-1 (for 61.6 acres).† He stated that 8.6 acres would not be rezoned and would remain R-1.† Mr. Waldon said one of the key components of the Comprehensive Plan for this area of Town was the Entranceway Report for this area.† He said one of the things noted in this evening's memorandum was the implications of rezoning the property and the recommended amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.† Mr. Waldon said that on balance the rezoning would work towards achieving the purposes of the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Waldon explained the consequences of the two rezoning requests.† He stated that if a Special Use Permit for a Planned Development were approved, the new zoning designations would allow a variety of residential and non-residential land uses.† Mr. Waldon stated that with these types of rezoning, a developer commits to specific uses and specific site layouts, subject to the Special Use Permit stipulations.
Mayor Broun asked in the MU-R-1 area, what would the requirement be of that zoning compared to R-1.† Mr. Waldon said under R-1, you would generally see residential development.† He said under MU-R-1 for a tract this size, you would probably see commercial development governed by the floor area ratio stipulations.† Mr. Waldon said in MU-R-1 with office or commercial space proposed, the floor area allowed would be much higher, which meant the density would be more intense.
Land Planner Scott Murray, the applicant's representative, stated that over the past four years, his firm had initiated work shops, site visits and approximately seventy-five public meetings to inform the public and the Town about the developer's proposal.†
He also said the applicant had made a great deal of effort to recognize the concerns of citizens and to explore the site analysis of the area itself, as well as the constraints of the site.
Mr. Murray presented a brief overview of the work performed over the last four years to develop the proposed land plan.† He discussed the surrounding property, both developed and undeveloped, and pointed out the watershed and the natural flow of drainage on the property.† Mr. Murray described the soils on the property and the slope categories on the site.† Mr. Murray also identified the location of the meadows and the types of trees and the tree line found on the property.† He reviewed the natural features of the site and described what it would take to make the proposed development a true village center with its own neighborhood character.† Mr. Murray explained the proposed street pattern within the proposed development and the various open space areas.† He described the Master Land Use Plan for the area and the different uses proposed within the development.† Mr. Murray said the proposed park area was a seventy acre area on the north end of the property, much of which was suitable for a variety of recreational uses.
Mr. Perry stated this development would provide many advantages to the Town, such as a mass transit corridor, funding for a large portion of roadway improvements, recreational areas exceeding regulatory requirements, affordable housing opportunities, a dramatic increase in both the commercial and residential tax bases, a cooperative effort with UNC Hospitals to develop a Wellness Center, and a pedestrian orientation for working and living.† Mr. Perry stated that he and his staff were meeting with representatives of the school district to explore the possibility of assisting with providing an area for a school within the proposed development.† He urged the Council to favorably consider cluster developments close to the University campus and the Town, where services existed and the proper pedestrian and transit were already in place.
Bruce Ballentine, speaking as a representative of the Design Review Board, stated that the Board support approval of the rezoning of this property.† He stated that the Board believed mixed use allowed people to live, work and shop in the same area, thereby reducing the need for automobile trips.† He also stated this development would increase the Town's tax base.† Mr. Ballentine said mixed use also meant more control, because it would require the developer of the property to apply for permits in order to develop the property.
Larry Daquioag, representing the Housing and Community Development Board, said the Board supported the rezoning request.† He said if development was permitted at the R-1 density, it would not lend itself to affordable housing.† Mr. Daquioag said higher densities were needed to support affordable housing.† He also commented that the developer has offered more affordable housing than was required by Town regulations.
Victor Friedman said that rezoning the property to MU-R-1 and R-5-C would not give the Town the control necessary for the development of this property.† He said the zoning allowed denser commercial areas, which he believed the developer wanted, and the denser residential area in mixed use districts was an added bonus.† He said rezoning would not reduce traffic.† Mr. Friedman requested that the Council not approve the applicant's rezoning request.
Toni Jo Friedman said she believed a comparative study of R-1 zoning and the proposed MU-R-1 and R-5-C zoning was needed.† She
urged the Council not to give the developer the opportunity to develop to the maximum extent of the zoning eventually approved.† Ms. Friedman said she believed R-1 zoning would meet the needs of Town residents.
Philip Goodman agreed with Ms. Friedman, saying it was important to have safeguards regarding development in the Town.† Mr. Goodman said he wanted to see a report outlining what could be built with R-1 zoning on the property.† He also stated that the Town's residents could not rely on the good intentions of the developer
because the applicant might choose to sell the property to another owner in the future.
Ted Wolf, a resident of the Oaks III subdivision, said he was impressed with the level of detail presented by the developer.† Mr. Wolf said he believed growth in this area was inevitable and believed this type of development was preferable to another Southern Village type development.† Mr. Wolf requested that the Council initiate a small area plan for the east entranceway corridor before any action was taken.
Bob Woodruff, also a resident of the Oaks III subdivision, agreed with Mr. Wolf's statements, saying he believed the developer and the Council were proceeding in a careful fashion.† Mr. Woodruff said he was pleased that affordable housing was being included in the proposed development and felt that the overall process was working well.
Catherine Newbury, a resident of Longleaf Drive, said there was a great possibility of a more intense development if the rezoning was approved.† Ms. Newbury said she was concerned about the overcrowding already experienced by area schools, as well as the traffic impact of this proposed project.† Ms. Newbury said the subject property drained into an area which already experienced serious flooding.† She expressed concern that the flooding situation could worsen if the development were constructed.† Ms. Newbury urged the Council to use strong safeguards in proceeding with review of the proposal.
Julie Andresen said she believed the decision on the rezoning request was very important.† She said that the application for the Master Land Use Plan came in at the same time as the request for the rezoning.† Ms. Andresen said if there was a gap between the time of the rezoning request and the request for a Special Use Permit, there was no time for negotiations.† She said the public needed to be provided with a fair process, and reminded the Council that what they are told was not necessarily what would be built.
Tom Gunn said the he believed the rezoning proposal had to be reviewed in a larger context than just the DuBose property.† He said it must make sense not just for this property but for the Town's Development Ordinance as well.† Mr. Gunn said there were not enough provisions to protect the meadows, and said the Council did not have to change the zoning to allow a mix of development on this property.
Peter Todd, representing the Orange County Greens, encouraged the Council to amend the Comprehensive Plan but to deny the rezoning and master land use plan requests.
Bill Davis encouraged the Council to deny any request for rezoning.† Mr. Davis said he believed the proposed development was too dense and intense for this property.† Mr. Davis asked the Council to be proactive and look at alternatives for the use of this property.† He commented that the impact on traffic was probably the most substantial element to consider in reviewing the proposal.
Diane Bloom commented on the undefined concept of mixed use.† She presented a brief outline of what she believed the definition of mixed use was.† Ms. Bloom said she believed the development would be inclined to be automobile-intensive.
Edmund Wise said he believed R-1 zoning would permit appropriate development of this property.† He also expressed concern that no special use permit details had been received from the developer.† Mr. Wise also expressed concern that the Council would not have enough control over the developer once the zoning was approved.
Livy Ludington urged the Council to start over again.† Ms. Ludington said although she knew the developer had been working on this development for several years, the citizens needed to have a substantial role in determining the type of development which would occur in this area.† She also expressed concern about current overcrowding in local schools and the potential additional impact of this development.
Mike Rose said she had many concerns, one of which was the rush to approve this development.† She also expressed concern about the lack of time for the public to review the report for this evening's meeting.† Ms. Rose stated that she did not believe the issues raised by residents who spoke at previous meetings had been adequately addressed.† Ms. Rose said she believed that the applicant's rezoning request should be denied based on traffic impacts alone.
Ruby Sinreich agreed with Diane Bloom's earlier comments.† Ms. Sinreich commented that she did not believe the development would support mixed use if it was restricted in its size; and, if it was left as R-1 it could be developed as suburbs.† Ms. Sinreich said although the master land use plan did provide limits, it needed to be revised to fit the Council's definition of mixed use.
Paul Aliosio, representing the Orange-Chatham Sierra Club, said he believed the Council should deny the request for rezoning.† Mr. Aliosio said the Sierra Club believed mixed use needed to be much more well-defined before any rezoning took place.† Mr. Aliosio also said the Sierra Club believed the developer should redesign this project and come up with a better plan.
Bob Reda, a member of the Alliance of Neighborhoods, said the Council needed to represent the Town, not the developer.† He said the Council needed to take matters into their own hands, and if that meant rezoning the property, then so be it.† Mr. Reda said the Council must protect the interests of Town citizens.
John Anderson, a resident of Rogerson Drive, said he believed the Council has undertaken a very difficult task and should be commended.† Mr. Anderson said he believed more ideas and information were needed before this development was approved.† He encouraged the Council to study this proposal more closely before any mistakes were made.† Mr. Anderson also encouraged the Council to hire professionals to assist them in this effort.
John Kent said although he believed the developer had made an effort to inform the public about the proposed development, the public was generally still suspicious.† Mr. Kent said that fairness to the applicant must be weighed against the size of the development, and this development was a large one.
Council Member Capowski asked Town Attorney Karpinos about Council tools to limit the scope of the development.† Mr. Karpinos commented that the rezoning was to a conditional use zoning, which means it did not actually become this zoning until a special use permit was approved by the Council.† He said a possible scenario was that the next hearing on the master land use plan would take place and it would cover the site proposed for development which would be rezoned.† Mr. Karpinos said the developer would then be asked for their comments on the conditions proposed by the Council.† He said if the developer accepted the conditions, the Council would then take up the rezoning requests.† Mr. Karpinos said the development would then have to be in compliance with the master land use plan in order to be approved.† Council Member Capowski asked if this would be binding on the property.† Mr. Karpinos said yes.
Mr. Waldon said that the Master Plan was absolute, and the Council would not lose control if the Master Land Use Plan established limits as to commercial and residential development, regardless of the zoning designation eventually placed on the development.
Council Member Waldorf asked whether special use permits were required for both R-5-C and MU-R-1 zoning. Mr. Waldon said this was correct within the context of a master planned development.
Council Member Capowski commented that there was one major difference between the Southern Village and the proposed Meadowmont development, which was that when the Southern Village was approved a downzoning was simultaneously approved.† He noted that downzoning was not proposed for the Meadowmont development.
Council Member Brown said this proposed project would not support sustainable development.†† She inquired whether the Town presently had a zoning category for mixed use including large and small residences and small businesses in a village center area.† Mr. Horton said there was presently no such designation.† Council Member Brown asked whether the development would have to meet a particular zoning designation.† Mr. Horton stated that the Master Land Use Plan would afford some flexibility in this regard.† Council Member Brown stated that the Council should consider this type of zoning.
COUNCIL MEMBER PROTZMAN MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER PAVAO, TO CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING AND REFER COMMENTS TO THE MANAGER.† THE MOTION WAS ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY (8-0).
†††† Item #3 - Continuation of Public Hearing on Proposed
††††† Master Land Use Plan for the Meadowmont Development
Planning Director Waldon gave a brief overview of the item before the Council.† He stated there were several key issues regarding the Master Land Use Plan, among them the blend of commercial and residential development within the site, the recreation and open space areas, and the traffic patterns connecting the various areas within the site.† Mr. Waldon said that on the Master Land Use Plan it is important to focus on the road connections, and we believe that additional analysis should be required as additional details are provided with each Special Use Permit application.† Mr. Waldon commented that school impacts has also been considered and discussions were ongoing between the applicant and the school board.
Bruce Ballentine, representing the Design Review Board, said they had discussed the link between the rezoning and the adoption of a Master Land Use Plan with conditions.† He stated they also discussed the reservation of land for civic uses which is not included, but could be a condition of the land use plan, as well as reserved land for a school.† Mr. Ballentine said they believed this was a ideal site for the proposed development and supported the rezoning request.† He also stated they were not sure what type of roadway this corridor would be.† Mr. Ballentine said they support the greenway plan that is included in the Master Land Use Plan.
Ruby Sinreich, representing the Transportation Board, stated they had reviewed the Master Land Use Plan and their main concern was the density of the project.† She said the Transportation Board was concerned about Meadowmont Lane and its designation on the Fixed Guideway system.† The Board recommends that the Council approve the Master Land Use Plan, but only if the roadway system is improved.
Council Member Waldorf asked the Design Review Board and the Transportation Board to forward to the Council any sketches for improvements they might like to see made.
Donald Patterson, president of the Oaks Villa Homeowners' Association, said that on the Lancaster border of the development, which is where the wetlands are located, he was concerned that Lancaster will become another Cleland Drive, which on any given Saturday morning is overrun with cars and children darting in and out.† He asked that the Council look closely at this problem.
Victor Friedman commented he was concerned about the traffic impact to this development.† He believes the traffic flow will double, even under the R-1 zoning.† Mr. Friedman stated that he and his wife had undertaken their own traffic study and had previously submitted that information to the Council.† Mr. Friedman reminded the Council of that study and asked that they take it into consideration when deliberating the Master Land Use Plan for this project.
Philip Goodman said he believes that with the applicants' presentation, we see only what they want us to see.† He said he believes we need more details, and not broad generalizations of what is proposed.† Mr. Goodman said the Council should be aware of the lack of power to change a development once the property is rezoned.
Peter Todd said the Orange County Greens do not feel this is really a mixed use as they understand it.† He said they encourage the Council to redefine the term mixed use and to develop a new zoning code to support the new definition of mixed use.
Jane Williams stated the commercial and retail area proposed in Meadowmont is very similar to the Timberlyne shopping area.† She said that area is in no way a village center, and therefore she does not understand how the applicant can present the proposed commercial and retail area of Meadowmont as a village center.† Ms. Williams said what we are really getting is a strip mall located on a scenic entranceway.
Julie Andresen said she is in favor of affordable housing in this area, but there is no guarantee in anything she has heard tonight.† She also commented that the impact of this development is enormous, and we should be careful when considering this project.† Ms. Andresen said if we continue to grow at this rapid rate, all Chapel Hill citizens will eventually have to pay for a new wastewater treatment plant which will be necessary.† She said traffic is a big concern, and that alone does not allow this development to meet conditions of the Comprehensive Plan.† Ms. Andresen said the Council must be very careful in approving the Master Land Use Plan, because their control will be very limited.
Edmund Wise said he did not think we needed fast food restaurants with drive-thru windows along this corridor.† He also said he saw no need for more gas stations, as several already exist in the area.† Mr. Wise also commented that there is no need for large office or commercial buildings in this area, and said the Master Land Use Plan should have a high amount of detail.† Mr. Wise said he does not believe we need to have this type of massive commercial and retail development in this location.† He said this development would add 26,000 daily trips to NC 54, which has a capacity of 40,000 and already has 20,000 daily trips.† Mr. Wise said this will cause major blockage along this corridor, and also stated that the speed with which this development is built should be carefully controlled.
Tom Gunn said he was concerned about the traffic generated by this proposed development, especially along its four major intersections.† He stated the traffic impact study included in the information is not user friendly, and is very hard to decipher.
Toni Jo Friedman said she also was concerned about the traffic generated by this development.† She commented on the traffic jams she had observed on 15-501 and on NC 54 during rush hours, and she said this traffic intensity will probably double if the Meadowmont development is built.† Ms. Friedman said these problems must be dealt with before any more development occurs along this corridor.
Ben Zaitz, a resident of Pinehurst Drive, said he was concerned about the road connection from this development to Pinehurst Drive.† He said if traffic is increased on NC 54, Pinehurst Drive could become a shortcut.† Mr. Zaitz said this would ruin the character of his neighborhood by turning it into a boulevard.† He said just the construction traffic over the next few years would affect their lives.† Mr. Zaitz asked the Council to protect his neighborhood from these unwanted changes, and that they consider alternative traffic patterns within the development.
Valerie Broadwell said she does not believe the Council should even be discussing the Master Land Use Plan.† She said she believes we should have come up with appropriate zoning and the proper amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, then discussed the Master Land Use Plan.
Mary Bushnell, a member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, commented on two resolutions recently adopted by the Board.† She said one dealt with the Southern Village, and the second was a request that the East West Partners, developers of Meadowmont, reserve 25 acres as a potential site for a new middle school.
Ann Rex, a resident of Pinehurst Drive, said she believed it was possible to build Meadowmont without destroying her neighborhood.† She asked that the Council protect her neighborhood from through traffic, and not to turn Pinehurst Drive into a boulevard.† Ms. Rex said her neighborhood is a very fine one, and they would like to keep it that way by limiting traffic access.
John Kent stated his hope that this process will be slowed down and looked at very carefully.
Mayor Broun stated that because of the late hour, he suggested the Council discuss the proposed schedule for consideration of the Meadowmont development applications before discussion of the Master Land Use Plan.
Town Manager Horton stated it would be appropriate to receive comments from advisory boards no later than the first of June, so that June 5 could be a possible follow-up date.† He also stated that the Council had asked for an additional hearing date, and June 14 is proposed for this discussion.
Council Member Evans said she would be unable to attend the June 26 meeting.
Council Member Brown asked if the advisory boards would also be discussing the Comprehensive Plan?† Mr. Horton said they certainly could if the Council asked them to.
Council Member Evans said we should encourage them to discuss this and not postpone it for whatever reasons.
Mayor Broun asked if this would give them time for adequate discussion?† Mayor Broun also said he would not be able to attend a June 7 meeting.† Mayor Broun said we should get responses from the advisory boards and discuss the Comprehensive Plan after that time.† He suggested that June 21 was an appropriate date.
Council Member Brown said she believed the Council should hold another public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan before any action was taken.
Mayor Broun said that if no new information is presented, there is no reason why they could not vote on June 12 on the Comprehensive Plan.
Council Member Chilton asked if we were going to have a work session on the Comprehensive Plan?† Mayor Broun said yes.
Council Member Brown said she did not believe the Council could vote on the Comprehensive Plan without another hearing to receive public comment.
Council Member Protzman suggested that the Council move forward with these proposed dates, and modify them later, if necessary.
Council Member Capowski said no action should be taken at the May 22nd meeting because the advisory boards would not have had time to meet and discuss the proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.† He said that since some fundamental changes might be proposed which merited advisory board review, the Council could vote on this matter June 12th.
Council Member Waldorf suggested that the document presented this evening be modified to include the public comments received as well as Council comment, with a follow-up review on May 22nd, followed by referral to advisory boards and commissions for comments.
Council Member Brown said she would agree to this approach only if another public hearing was scheduled when comments from the advisory boards were received.
Mayor Broun stated that the May 22nd item would be a work session on the Comprehensive Plan and decisions could be made at that point concerning follow-up actions.
Mr. Karpinos suggested that the Council recess the Master Land Use Plan hearing to a date certain.
The Council, by acclamation, set June 12th as a tentative date to bring the rezoning and amendments to the Comprehensive Plan back to the Council for possible action.
COUNCIL MEMBER EVANS MOVED, SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER CHILTON, TO RECESS THE MASTER LAND USE PLAN PUBLIC HEARING.† THE MOTION WAS ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:48 p.m.