Nurturing Our Community

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IDEASChapel Hill 2020 Goals

Reduce waste without imposing upon the environmental and social rights of others
Maintain and improve air quality, water quality, and manage stormwater
Protect, acquire, and maintain natural/undeveloped open spaces and historic sites
Support the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Greenways Master Plan
Adopt an integrated development review process
Support local food producers and access to local foods
Reduce the carbon footprint of all Town-owned or managed services and properties
Protect neighborhoods stormwater runoff, light and noise pollution, and traffic



Comprehensive Review of Solid Waste Collection and Disposal Options

Stormwater Master Plan

Greenways Master Plan

Comprehensive Parks Plan



No. 3 most important capital improvement for community – improvements to stormwater infrastructure system


Water Pollution Prevention Video Receives National Award

View the video created by the Town’s Stormwater Division at


targetThe Council has established 5 goals toward this CH 2020 theme.



acres of parks



miles of greenways



tons of garbage collected each week



spent per year on solid waste services

Nurturing Our Community Environmental sustainability is the core of this theme. Participants examined the many aspects of people’s interaction with the natural habitat, from parks and open spaces to locally grown agriculture to protecting water quality and solid waste disposal.


Community Voices


KEITH SMITHKeith Smith, solid waste driver for the Public Works Department 

“We start our work day at 6 a.m. My route is roughly 30 miles around Chapel Hill. Since the Orange County Landfill has closed, we have been hauling the trash to a site in Durham. After we collect the trash, we get on interstate, and drive to Durham to dump the trash at a transfer station there. It’s increased our work time; it has added wear and tear on the trucks; it has also added a lot of wear and tear on our bodies. Driving on the highway in a trash truck is very intense.”



Managing Stormwater – Action plans to mitigate flooding and improve water quality and stream integrity are outlined in the Stormwater Management Master Plan, adopted by the Council in 2014. Development projects regularly include stormwater management plans. For example, the new Village Plaza Apartments must install a bio-retention basin in the courtyard to treat runoff from the roof and a sand filter to treat runoff from the parking deck.

Supporting Local Farmers – New to downtown is the Pop-up Farmers Market (photo below) at the Plaza at 140 West Franklin St. The new market appears every Thursday all summer long. And the Chapel Hill Farmers Market continues at University Place.

Reducing the Carbon Footprint – The Council approved a pilot program in the Ephesus-Fordham District that rebates development fees for projects that employ sustainable design principles targeting energy and water use. We continue to make energy improvements at Town facilities, such as rooftop solar, four new electric vehicle charging stations at the 140 West parking deck, and exploring even more renewable energy sources.

Planning for Solid Waste Disposal – We have been transporting solid waste to a facility in Durham since the Orange County Landfill closed in 2013. This arrangement has increased the costs of waste collection, including increased fuel consumption and wear and tear on vehicles — and our employees (hear from one of our solid waste drivers, upper right, opposite page). We are reviewing various options, including partnering with other jurisdictions for the future disposal of more than 280 tons of garbage collected each week.

Protecting and Preserving Farms — Established in 1986, the 38,000-acre Rural Buffer has successfully limited our urban sprawl. The wide-open spaces and agricultural lands that characterize our community’s outlying areas are extensive. By protecting and preserving nearby farms, locally produced goods are plentiful and can easily be purchased at our farmers markets and groceries. Since sprawling out into the Rural Buffer is prohibited, developers are building up within town limits.

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