On Tuesday night, Carrboro residents and aldermen found a non-binding document on the future of the town more contoversial than expected and chose to continue the discussion next week.
At the weekly public meeting of the Carrboro Aldermen, town residents sounded their opinions about the Vision 2020 document compiled by residents and a steering committee to outline some broad goals for the future of the town. There was praise from both residents and officials for the process to create the policy-making document.
"It's realy just a great effort," said Shirley Marshall, Co-Chair of the steering committee.
The Vision 2020 document was not expected to be controversial because it does not have the force of law behind it. It is, however, a guideline for making laws about development and zoning in years to come. It is described as a policy-making document.
"It acts as a planning document for the growth of Carrboro, and gives us some guidelines to go by," said Alderman Joal Broun.
The plan's goals include improving public transportation,creating pedestrian-only areas downtown and doubling the amount of commercial space downtown by permitting the construction of taller buildings.
"the city will benefit if we double the commercial space downtown to take the burden of residential taxes and put it on business," Braun said.
The document is important Braun said, because it gives town law-makers a guideline to follow rather than making laws in a vacuume. "You don't do plannig piecmeal, because there is a goal that you are trying to get to, " Braun said
Vision 2020 also gives residents the opportunity to articulate their hopes for the future of their community.
"This document is leading us to the Carrboro that we want to live in," Marshall said.
This is not the first document of its kind in Carrboro's history. In 1989, the town adopted the Vision 2000 document to guide town officials and to articiulate the communities goals. Vision 2020 was, in fact based on the original document.
"Vission 2020 does not stand on its own, but grows out of Vision 2000," Marshall said, "We evaluated Vision 2000 and found that most of it works very well."
Differences between the two documents are were the point of contention for Chapel Hill resident Jay Bryan of Old NC 86. Bryan had scanned both documents and found the language of the newer version to be weak on issues such as development and neighborhood protection. "The overreaching issue for me is that (Vission 2000) got Carrboro where it is today," he said, "We want to recognize that and not do away with the flavor and the subtlties of the Vidsion 200 document."
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