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Ephesus/Fordham - Walkability and Open Space Standards Project

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 Project Status: Complete

On March 6, 2017, the Town Council enacted a series
of text amendments designed to improve walkability
and publically accessible space within the Ephesus/
Fordham District (Ordinance). The Council also approved
a companion zoning atlas amendment that applies to
frontages in the District (Ordinance). 

Click here to see the Final Project Report from Civitech.

Project Overview

Ephesus Fordham Regulating Plan (8.3.16)

On June 27, 2016, the Town Council enacted new standards for block lengths and building pass-throughs (connections between/through buildings) in the Ephesus/Fordham District. As part of this action, the Council asked the Town Manager and staff to work with an urban design professional to refine the newly-enacted standards and establish clearer guidance and expectations for property owners interested in redeveloping within the District.

The focus of the proposed refinements was to improve the existing street network (known as the "Regulating Plan") and to create a visual illustration for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular connections that will be necessary to support a dynamic, walkable place. This work included standards for creating more open/civic space within the Ephesus /Fordham area (e.g., pocket parks, plazas). In addition, it proposed increases in allowable block length and pass-through frequency, along with a new standard on maximum block perimeter, in order to provide more flexibility while advancing the goal of creating a walkable district.

One of the recommended modifications was proposed as a Zoning Atlas Amendment to change the location of street frontage requirements in the Ephesus/Fordham Form District. The Town engaged Tony Sease of Civitech, Inc. to assist with the code refinements for walkability and open space standards. 

What was the schedule of public meetings for this project?

Click here to find a schedule of public meetings.

Who can I contact about this project?

John Richardson
Planning Manager for Sustainability
919.969.5075 
jrichardson@townofchapelhill.org  

What are some of the possible community benefits that could result from this project?

  • Additional pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular connections that yield a dynamic, walkable place
  • Additional open/civic space areas, such as pocket parks, squares and plazes 
  • Clearer expectations and guidance for property owners looking to redevelop

How does this project relate to other projects within the Ephesus/Fordham District? 

The Walkability and Open Space Standards project is part of a larger, coordinated Ephesus/Fordham Code Refinements Initiative. It is common for communities to apply what they have learned from their early experiences with a code and to refine it over time and in various ways. As such, the larger Initiative also includes related projects like the Mobility and Connectivity Plan, the Lower Booker Creek Subwatershed Study and the upcoming Design Guidelines project.

What kind of information and feedback was provided for this project?

August 22nd, 2016 - Public Information Meeting #1

August 30, 2016 - Focus Group Session with District Property and Business Owners

  • Overview
  • Summary: The staff and Tony Sease (Civitech) provided an introduction to the project and received input from property and business owners and related development professionals. 

August 31, 2016 - Focus Group Session with the Planning Commission

  • Overview
  • Summary: The staff and Tony Sease (Civitech) provided a basic introduction to the project and received questions and comments from Planning Commission members. 

September 7, 2016 - Public Information Meeting #2

September 22, 2016 - Focus Group Session with Community Design Commission

  • Overview
  • Summary: The staff and Tony Sease (Civitech) provided a basic introduction to the project and received questions and comments from Community Design Commission members. 

September 27, 2016 - Community Design Commission Meeting

  • Memo
  • Presentation
  • Action Minutes
  • Video
  • Summary: The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board received a presentation from Tony Sease (Civitech) and Todd Delk (Stewart, Mobility and Connectivity Plan project) and provided preliminary comments.

September 27, 2016 - Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board Meeting

  • Memo (same as 9/27/16 Community Design Commission Meeting)
  • Presentation (same as 9/27/16 Community Design Commission Meeting)
  • Action Minutes
  • Summary: The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board received a presentation from Tony Sease (Civitech) and Todd Delk (Stewart, Mobility and Connectivity Plan project) and provided preliminary comments.

October 4, 2016 - Planning Commission Meeting #1

  • Memo 
  • Presentation
  • Action Minutes
  • Summary: The Planning Commission received a presentation from Tony Sease (Civitech) and provided preliminary comments.

October 10, 2016 - Council Business Meeting

  • Memo
  • Action Agenda (see item #7)
  • Summary: The Town Council scheduled the first public hearing for November 14, 2016.

October 18, 2016 - Planning Commission Meeting #2

  • Memo (see materials for item 4.c)
  • Presentation
  • Action Minutes
  • Summary: The Planning Commission received a presentation from Tony Sease (Civitech) and provided a detailed recommendation.

October 25, 2016 - Joint Presentation to Stormwater Utility Advisory Board and Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board and Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board Meeting #2

  • Action Minutes
  • Summary: The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board participated in a joint presentation of the Lower Booker Creek Subwatershed Study Report with the Stormwater Utility Advisory Board; the TCAB then provided a detailed recommendation. 

November 14, 2016 - Council Public Hearing

November 22, 2016 - Community Design Commission Meeting #2

November 29, 2016 - Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board Meeting #3

  • Memo for Text Amendments (same as 11/14/16 Council Public Hearing)
  • Memo for Zoning Atlas Amendment (same as 11/14/16 Council Public Hearing)
  • Presentation
  • Action Minutes (forthcoming)
  • Summary: The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board received an update and took no additional action beyond its recommendation from October 25, 2016.

February 8, 2017 - Council Work Session

  • Staff Memo
  • Presentation
  • Summary: The Council received a presentation from Tony Sease and provided feedback and guidance.

March 6, 2017 - Council Final Action

Is there other background information about this topic?

June 27, 2016 Council Business Meeting (see links and information under item #15)

 

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