Unsurprisingly, the Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously (I think) adopted the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan earlier tonight. Despite the objections of many citizens on a number of fronts and the reluctance of some of the council members themselves, the process will now exit the extensive community input phase and enter a period of “continued engagement.”
There will be a Public Information Meeting on the Chapel Hill 2020
Comprehensive Plan starting at noon, Monday, May 14th, in the Council
Chamber of Chapel Hill Town Hall.
Chapel Hill 2020: Our Town, Our Vision.
The community and the Council have asked for a new Comprehensive
Plan to reexamine the vision for Chapel Hill and to plan together for
our community's future. The new planning and visioning document will
create a framework for the community to guide the Town Council in
managing Chapel Hill's future over the next 20 years.
Chapel Hill 2020 is a plan that involves Chapel Hill, every
community, every race, every age, every culture, every corner. What is
in Chapel Hill 2020 will
directly affect you -- your values, your ambitions, your family, your
future. You have made Chapel Hill your town, and we want to hear from
On Tuesday, June 5th at 6:00 pm there will be a joint meeting of the Planning Board and Sustainability Committee at which the final version of the Chapel Hill 2020 plan will be presented. Although only the charges of the Planning Board and Sustainability Commission require that they make a recommendation to Council regarding this plan, other boards may submit recommendations to Council if they wish. Therefore, members of all the Town’s advisory boards are encouraged to attend the presentation as it is an opportunity for them to hear the same information and have their Chapel Hill 2020 questions answered during the public hearing.
The final plan will return to Council on June 25th.
Additional Boards which may be in attendance include:
Last night marked the last meeting of the stakeholder involvement portion of the Chapel Hill 2020 process. After brief introductions from the leadership of the process and town staff, the theme groups met to consider the action items drawn up by town staff based on pervious meetings. If you haven’t yet been able to have your say on 2020, you still have a few opportunities including:
The information meeting for the town advisory boards on Chapel Hill 2020 on May 10 at 6 p.m.
The Downtown Partnership and Chamber of Commerce were invited last fall to submit their goals for Chapel Hill’s Comprehensive Plan for publication on the Town’s official Chapel Hill 2020 blog. Although we were not personally invited, the editors of OrangePolitics decided to compose our own list of goals and priorities, which we have submitted this morning for publication on the Town website. What's YOUR vision for Chapel Hill's future?
The comprehensive plan is Chapel Hill’s guiding vision. In the past it has been used to guide land use policies and other programs, and in the future it is expected to also directly influence the Town’s budget. It has never been more important to articulate a clear vision of a Chapel Hill in which we all hope to live. As much as we love Chapel Hill, and look back fondly on the days we first came to know this wonderful community, we also accept the fact that more people fall in love with this town every day and growth is an inescapable part of our future. The choice before us now is not whether to grow, but how.
Many general principles are broadly held by most residents in and around Chapel Hill. It’s good to protect the environment, to have a diverse community, to teach our children well. But where we don’t all agree is how best to make these things happen. The Comprehensive Plan needs to address these difficult issues if it is to be of any use in guiding future decisions. The hard discussions about these areas of difference have been notably absent from the 2020 process, but we are ready to have them. To that end, we offer the following suggestions as starting points for real conversations about our future.
Chapel Hill town manager Roger Stancil opened tonight’s Chapel Hill 2020 meeting by describing where we are in the process. As part of that description, he mentioned that the town was moving out of the “intensive engagement” part of the process and into the “refine and review” process. Tonight’s meeting and some recent developments in the process seem to clearly point out that this is indeed the case.
Earlier this evening town staff briefed the public on the results from the Future Focus sessions held last week. The meeting followed a pretty basic format. During the first and last 30 minutes, participants were free to roam around five different rooms, one or each of the special study areas that town previously identified. In the hour between, Mary Jane Nirdlinger, the town’s assistant planning director, gave a presentation synthesizing the results while taking questions from the audience.