Community Prosperity and Engagement

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Balance and sustain finances by increasing revenues and decreasing expenses

Foster success of local businesses

Promote a safe, vibrant, and connected (physical and person) community


Big Idea – Workforce Housing



A Bond Referendum scheduled for Nov. 3, 2015, proposes up to $40.3 million to fund community improvements:

Streets and sidewalks

Trails and greenways

Recreation facilities

Solid waste options

Stormwater infrastructure



Lowest rankings in “Are your needs being met?” for access to quality shopping 60% say the pace of retail development is too slow

Top 3 Ranked Capital Improvement Needs –
1. Downtown Redevelopment
2. More bike lanes
3. Stormwater improvements


Chapel Hill is looking for opportunities to expand and diversify the local tax base because a healthy mix of commercial, retail and residential directly benefits the community.



Town of Chapel Hill revenue generated by commercial tax base (by comparison, Durham relies on 40%)



Portion of Chapel Hill residents who leave Town every day to once a week to shop.


targetThe Council has established 6 goals toward this CH 2020 theme.

Community Prosperity and EngagementThis group focused on sustaining the financial health of the community by creating a safe, vibrant, and connected community. Participants examined encouraging economic development, supporting existing and new local businesses, and sustaining healthy neighborhoods.


Community Voices


JAY PATELJay Patel, co-owner of The Franklin Hotel and developer of The Graduate Apartments at 105 Kenan St.

“The apartment building that my team is developing with my brother will have 100 apartments with 15 of them being affordable housing units. We have graduate students in mind, or perhaps someone who is not ready to buy a house, and wants to live near all the action in downtown. The project opened our eyes to how complicated, uncertain and time consuming the development review process can be here. At the end of the day, we have a better product than when we started – but the process could  be improved to benefit both the community and the developer.”




ACTIONMaximizing Public Benefits in Development Agreements – The Council approved the Obey Creek Development Agreement in June 2015 following long-term negotiations to maximize public benefits and further community goals. This is Chapel Hill’s third development agreement — a unique regulatory tool for large projects to be built over 20 years or more — after Glen Lennox and Carolina North.

Across from Southern Village, the new zoning district encompasses 44 acres of the Obey Creek site located along US Highway 15-501 South. The development agreement will govern and regulate development on the western 44-acre portion of the Obey Creek site and the Wilson Creek Preserve, the total size of which is about 120 acres.

The new development will include buildings that will be four to eight stories tall on the 35 acres along Hwy 15-501. Another 85 undeveloped acres to the east will become a Town-owned public preserve. The project is anticipated to be built over 20 years, eventually including up to 800 apartments and townhomes, 475,000 square feet of retail space, 600,000 square feet of offices and 400 hotel rooms.

Launching Open 2 Biz – We created a new website ( to help recruit businesses and add office and retail to the tax base. Next, look for the Open2 social media campaign, and help us talk about our community identity – Open2 art, sustainability, foodies, data, quality of life, affordable housing and much more. The Council is also working on a Commercial Development Strategy.  

Earning AAA Bond Ratings – The Town’s most recent bond ratings review from Standard & Poor’s confirmed our AAA rating for general obligation bonds. This is the highest rating given to municipal debt and reflects the Town’s solid financial health, management, overall planning and the strength of the local economy. The ratings will allow the Town to borrow funds at the best possible interest rates. The report evaluated the Town’s credit profile, assigning its General Obligation (GO) debt rated at AAA and its limited obligation debt rated at AA+.

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