Chain Store Storms the Gateway to Carrboro

The intersection of Alabama Avenue and Jones Ferry Road is the first impression of Carrboro for visitors entering town from Highway 54. It is important to the Central Business District and the Farmer's Market that this section of Jones Ferry Rd makes a good first impression. This is the Gateway to Carrboro.

Community-neighborhood meeting to review the latest draft of the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan

In their continuing mission to confuse the hell out of me, the Town is holding a meeting for "neighborhoods" to comment on the draft 2020 plan. Do they mean people who live in neighborhoods? If so, isn't that everyone in town? What is this really?

Town press release:


Neighborhoods invited to shape latest draft of Chapel Hill 2020 

Posted Date: 4/13/2012 

A community-neighborhood meeting to review the latest draft of the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 

The visioning plan for the community’s future is going through several iterations before it is brought for consideration by the Town Council on May 21. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be aired on Chapel Hill TV-18 and provided on streaming video at (link to "Video"). 

The public is invited to read the draft plan that is posted online at and provide input, including edits, commentary and reactions, to the draft goals and objectives. The 2020 plan will be an overall policy document, balancing the many voices and ideas about our community’s future. 

Drafting of the new comprehensive plan is occurring simultaneously as stakeholder groups refine its goals and objectives. The final community meeting of the yearlong process is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Chapel Hill High School. If your neighborhood is curious about the plan and hasn't yet had a chance to learn what it says, this is an opportunity to have a brief overview and opportunity to comment directly to staff. 

“The process is structured in this way to allow for maximum transparency as we incorporate community input, theme group input and technical information into the evolving plan,” said Rosemary Waldorf, co-chair of the Chapel Hill 2020 project with George Cianciolo. 

This document, the vision and framework for the Town’s future, will be followed by implementation – making the vision into reality. 

The Chapel Hill 2020 process began with brainstorming and visioning. The first community meeting was held in September 2011 at East Chapel Hill High School and drew 475 people, people who wanted to have a stake in the future of Chapel Hill. Eventually, the community identified six theme groups, and the stakeholders got to work. The theme groups are Good Place and New Spaces, Town and Gown, Getting Around, Community Prosperity and Engagement, A Place for Everyone and Nurturing Our Community. 

Chapel Hill 2020 has about 20 dedicated theme group co-chairs, who have attended countless community meetings, provided thoughtful input, and moderated energetic group discussions. They are Dave Godschalk, Paige Zinn, Rick Igou, Chris Derby, Brian Russell, Roger Waldon, Anita Badrock, Brian Curran, Maria Palmer, Jan Bolick, Marlene Rifkin, Gary Saleeby, Fred Black, Nathan Huening, Eleanor Murray, Delores Bailey, Kristen Hiemstra and Jonathan Howes. Read more about them:  

Throughout the process, the Chapel Hill 2020 outreach team has been visiting with all segments of the community and bringing their ideas, comments, needs and inspirations back to the ongoing process. These community comments are continually folded into the process to create the plan. For example, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce recently held a series of meetings and focus groups, and the information gathered has been forwarded for consideration of inclusion into the draft plan.  

The draft comprehensive plan will feature the initiatives, policies, regulations, partnerships and funding sources that move us toward achieving our aspirations. But it will also identify the gaps -- things needed but not currently in place, or opportunity to increase efficiency and creativity. The document will also inventory and organize the important new ideas about how to move the community in ways to achieve our vision and goals. It will also assemble appendices to catalog and save for future use the wealth of information that has been gathered.  

For more information about Chapel Hill 2020, visit or or contact



Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm


Council Chamber of Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill

Progressive Perspectives on Chapel Hill 2020

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.

Join Croatan Earth First! in opposing shale gas (fracking) at the DENR public hearing Tuesday March 27th in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill 2020, Carolina North: Serious Questions

In the context of concern about development of neighborhoods proximate to Carolina North, about last night's (3/20) session: 

A threat?  There's much to be wary of, not the least the strong implication that unless we accept fairly sweeping increases in commercial use and density in the very near future along MLK, Estes, 15-501 and 54, we will bring down the wrath of economic gods on us -- making property values plummet and real estate taxes skyrocket.  Of course, the consultants do not use such threatening terminology, and words like "modest" obscure the true extent of alterations in critical neighborhoods. 

Lining the corridors?  The dice are heavily loaded in favor of thinking first in terms of transportation corridors to serve commercial interests and on that basis planning neighborhood changes to best serve those corridors.  This is being framed as if it's the rest of the town saying "leave us alone and just develop along 'major corridors."  A politically savvy spin, pitting potential NIMBYs against each other, but there's more going on than that.



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