Enhance and focus development review process

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Council Goal

Enhance and focus development review process to achieve Council Goals and encourage diverse types of development by:

  • Rewriting and clarifying the Land Use Management Ordinance
  • Initiating new land use planning strategies (informed by work session discussion of priorities)
  • Establishing and evaluating optimal target ratio for mix of office, retail and residential uses to meet Chapel Hill 2020 Plan goals
  • Continuous improvement of predictable, streamlined staff, advisory board and Council development review process
  • Evaluate Chapel Hill Market capacity relative to regional market

Goal Champion

Ben Hitchings, Planning and Development Services Director


The Council received updates on a portfolio of planning initiatives at worksessions and committee meetings to track strategies such as updating the Ephesus-Fordham code, design standards, walkability standards, and downtown projects.

The Council received an update from the School of Government (Professor David Owens) in November 2016 to review the options available to local governments for managing and approving land use decisions in the community. This session informed their direction on beginning a Land Use Management rewrite.

As part of the initiatives, the Council will receive an update in March, 2017 to consider a process for rewriting the Land Use Management Ordinance and an associated update to the Land Use Plan.


Current Status

Preliminary scoping is underway for the Land Use Management Ordinance rewrite and Land Use Plan efforts.

The Council Economic Sustainability Committee recommended a new district to encourage jobs, light industrial uses, and innovative spaces in the northwest area of Town. The new I-2 innovative light-industrial zoning district will be considered by the Council in February, 2017.

Additional staff have been hired in Planning & Sustainability to fill vacant positions, increasing the focus on these initiatives, development review, and implementation of the Town's Bike Plan.

Planning & Sustainability is undergoing a systematic review of its practices to improve the development review process.

Received market data and will be analyzing the information over the summer and present the findings back in the September/October 2017 time frame.

Last Updated

January 31, 2017




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