Chapel Hill 2020 steamrolls ahead

2020 collage

The Independent Weekly has a new reporter on the Orange County beat, Billy Ball. He has some enormous shoes to fill since Chapel Hill native Joe Schwartz left the paper and the country.  Ball is doing pretty well so far and asking good questions. I can't help but notice a few gaps in his knowledge of local issues, but that can be rectified with time.

In this week's article "City or Town?" Ball takes a look at Chapel Hill 2020 in advance of the draft comprehensive plan coming before the Town Council for inevitable approval on Monday. Although he doesn't ask the questions I'm most interested in now, such as how will the Town answer the many outstanding questions and gaps in the plan, I do appreciate him pointing out that "Some of its harshest criticism has come from within the committees that molded Chapel Hill 2020."

I can't complain about my quotations in the article which pretty well reflect my feelings about the process (or lack thereof) except for the correction that I've been criticizing this process since long before I stepped down from the Outreach committee. In fact my first CH2020 blog post was in April 2011 when I raised concern about the unnecessary haste in assembling in the Initiating Committee. I only wish I had more energy to try to stop this runaway train back then when it was already clearly going off the rails. 

What are y'all thinking about where we go from here? I will take bets from anyone who thinks the plan won't be approved by the Council on Monday. Nearly all of the hard questions about things like maps andgoals will be saved for later. Since summer break is about to begin, this means that the Town won't be addressing this until the Fall. Anyone know what process they will use to tackle these thorny issues, or will they just assign it to the staff as they did with the rest of the plan? Also, how is this turning out to inform the town's budget, since that was the main reason we were told that the plan had to be completed so quickly?


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