Good Places, New Spaces

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Low density, green Rural Buffers
A vibrant, diverse downtown
An improved development decision-making process
A joint Town–University development strategy
A range of neighborhood types
A community that welcomes and supports change and creativity
Common spaces for community gathering
Future land use, form, and density



Big Idea – Entertainment/Dining Hubs



Downtown Master Plan

Future Focus Areas – plans have been created for each area

Rogers Road Task Force Report



Top 3 Parks and Recreation services that should receive the most emphasis – walking/biking trails, Town parks, and teen programs

69% important/essential – A Redeveloped Downtown

No. 1 most important capital improvement – Redevelopment of Downtown



109 E. Franklin St.

Created with a small business loan from the Town and the Downtown Partnership, this artists cooperative supports our creative class and boosts arts retail.


targetThe Council has established 9 goals toward this CH 2020 theme.



The 38,000-acre Rural Buffer has limited urban sprawl over the past 30 years.



of millennials prefer to live in mixed-use communities found in urban centers, closer to shops, restaurants and the office. The number of apartment buildings continues to rise nationally – as well as locally.


Good Places New SpacesExploring what the Chapel Hill of the future should look like, this group focused on land use throughout the town including existing neighborhoods, balancing respect for the old with the prospect of the new. Discussions of development included consideration of open space and the rural buffer.


Community Voices


KEN BROUNKen Broun, former mayor of Chapel Hill and resident of 140 West Franklin

“Moving into a two-bedroom apartment was a big change for my wife Margie and me. But we wanted to downsize, and also wanted to be around people of all ages. It’s been two years now, and we find that it’s been everything we wanted. We walk to just about everything – restaurants, my office on campus, and to shows at Carolina Performing Arts. Our grandchildren love to visit us here. It’s a different community now than when we moved here in 1969. I believe the change is for the good and look forward to seeing more residences in downtown. We need a variety of housing types to attract a mix of incomes and ages for our community.”



ACTIONUpdating LUMO – We continue to seek comments on the proposed updates to our land development regulations. Every city has a set of rules for things like where a building can be located on a property, how tall it can be, or even how close the structure can sit to the nearest road. This same set of rules also governs the design of streets, the streetscape, parking lots, site lighting, signage, water quality and landscaping. In Chapel Hill, these regulations are contained in the Land Use Management Ordinance or “LUMO” for short. These updates are needed to align the regulations for the built environment with the vision of the community expressed in Chapel Hill 2020. As part of the Town Council goal to improve Chapel Hill’s development review system, Town staff have been making improvements to the development review process since 2008.

Gathering in New Spaces – The happenings at the Plaza at 140 West continue to grow with music and arts from Live and Local and the new Pop-Up Farmers Market. Meeting Council objectives for the downtown development, it was designed to be Chapel Hill’s ultimate gathering place with over 26,000 sq. ft. of retail space, as well as two levels of covered parking.

Diversifying Our Downtown – A new grocery store opened at the end of 2014 in downtown adjacent to Mediterranean Deli at 414 W. Franklin St. Our community heart is bustling with new businesses, residents, sports fans and visitors. In 2014, visitors to Orange County generated $13.34 million in state and local taxes.

Protecting the Northside Neighborhood –  Announced in March 2015, the Northside Neighborhood Initiative is a partnership among UNC-Chapel Hill, Self-Help, the Jackson Center, and the Town of Chapel Hill, that pursues a shared vision for the historic Northside Neighborhood: a family-friendly, multi-generational community that balances the needs of long-term residents, new owners, renters and students. 

Evaluating Our Town Properties – We have disposed of some properties while considering options for others. Why? We are making the best use of valuable public resources. Proposals are shared with the Council and the public, and discussed extensively before properties are sold or put to a different use.

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