Central West Steering Committee Meeting Summary – July 30, 2013

For more information about the July 30th Central West Steering Committee meeting, please see below!

Central West Focus Area
July 30, 2013 Steering Committee Meeting
Co-Chair Summary

By: Michael Parker and Amy Ryan, Co-Chairs, Central West Steering Committee

The Central West Steering Committee met on July 30 at the Chapel Hill Public Library from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Copies of all meeting materials can be found at www.townofchapelhill.org/centralwest  All formal agreements of the Committee reflect the affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the members present.

Agenda Items

1. Opening Remarks: Megan Wooley began by sharing the goals for the meeting. She noted that Mary Jane Nirdlinger, the Town’s Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, would be filling in to help run the meeting during Loryn Clark’s absence.  She also noted that there would be a special topic presentation given on Monday, August 12th from 7:00–8:30 PM at the Chapel Hill Public Library that might be of interest to Committee members.  The topic is “Design for a Changing World: The New Practicality of Placemaking,” given by Victor Dover from Dover, Kohl & Partners.

Megan also noted that she and David Bonk met with the Pastor and some parishioners from Amity Church on July 29th to discuss their vision for their property. They envision that the property will remain as a church for the next fifteen to twenty years, but they are open to considering some retail development, such as a coffee shop, on the site.

Julie McClintock requested that a discussion of the status of the work plan be placed on a future agenda.  After some discussion, it was decided that Megan will e-mail copies of the plan to Committee members, who can review it to see if they feel a discussion on updating it is warranted.

1. Community Participation: Several individuals from the community then shared comments/opinions with the Committee.

2. Transportation Charrette: The Committee resumed discussion of transportation issues in the area from its previous meeting (July 22nd), focusing on bicycle and pedestrian facilities on Estes Dr. (from Franklin St. to Carrboro).  The Committee agreed unanimously on the following:


  • Option 3 from the document titled Estes Drive Bicycle & Pedestrian Access: Alternative Roadway Sections from Carrboro to Franklin Street was preferred
  • Prioritize the off-road multiuse path along Estes to the schools if funds will not allow all improvements to be done at the same time
  • Give special consideration to the Caswell, Elliot, Estes area and how people move through that area
  • Consider installing turning lanes along Estes to keep traffic moving (just where needed for access – such as in front of the Library)
  • Estes Road should have landscaping, character
  • On street bike lanes should be specially considered for safety
  • Important to improve the visibility of crosswalks – safe crosswalks should be supported

4. Land Planning Charrette: The Committee then began a discussion of land uses in the area North of Estes Dr. (Areas A, B, and C) and agreed unanimously on the following:

  • For Parcel A: Area along MLK for mixed-use with a strong retail presence; potentially having mixed-use, strong retail presence on the corner, turning onto Estes
  • Have buffers/good transitions to the existing neighborhoods in A, B, and C
  • There could be a variety of building setbacks
  • Inclusion of green space and/or a plaza (space for public use), likely in proximity to the retail area
  • Plan for uses that give an active street front along MLK and Estes No “dead zones” – no parking lots visible from the street.  Other specifics about parking will be addressed at a later time.
  • Building height will diminish as it approaches the neighborhoods
  • Access along MLK needs to be thoughtfully considered and planned
  • Parcel A and B: Could have a gradient – retail to the west and residential and/or civic to the east
  • Promote a coherent design relationship between new development on the east side of MLK and the future Carolina North campus.
  • The corner of MLK and Estes should look like someplace to which one can walk

5. Community Comment: The meeting concluded with comments from two community members.

Thanks to everyone who attended for your continued hard work and interest in the Central West process.


The next Central West Steering Committee meeting will be held on Monday, August 19th from 6:00-9:00pm at the Chapel Hill Library, 100 Library Drive.

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