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The Daily Tar Heel

Waldorf Calls for More Mediation on Plan

The mayor received the full support of the Town Council on concerns about land use related to the Master Plan.

The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the statement, which pinpoints concerns over matters of land use, unanimously Monday night.

Further discussions will take place under the auspices of the town-gown committee, which was established last October to alleviate tension between the town and University over the Master Plan, a blueprint for campus growth over 50 years.

"I trust that the University trustees and the chancellor respect the council's responsibility to protect the community and the environment as development occurs within our town borders," Waldorf said.

She said possible negative impacts of the proposed $550 million University construction program are related to traffic, parking, stormwater management and environment and fiscal concerns.

"These issues affect the entire Chapel Hill community as growth occurs, whether that growth is on the University campus or elsewhere in the community," Waldorf said.

She outlined five major concerns for review by the Board of Trustees, including the Master Plan's proposed elimination of the Smith Center buffer, a new transit corridor, changes on Manning Drive and the redesign of South Campus.

She also requested that the town have more time to analyze an access road on South Campus. The memo stated that any new access road would require town approval.

Resident Diana Steele of 1207 Mason Farm Road said she is more optimistic because the town-gown committee has promoted equal participation. "It is a dialogue started for how to make this plan work for both the University and the town," Steele said. Her home lies in the path of the proposed transit corridor on the southern end of campus.

But Town Council members say they feel they have not been treated as equals.

"Although members of the community and the Chapel Hill Town Council have been exposed to the University's evolving Master Plan for the main campus, the Town Council has not been invited to influence it in a specific meaningful way," the memo states.

In compliance with the mayor's request, Chancellor James Moeser said in a memo sent Monday that action on the plan, originally scheduled for this week, will be deferred until February.

Moeser said the University will continue to work with the Mason Farm area neighbors. Discussions between the University and the town will resume at a town-gown committee meeting scheduled for Feb. 9.

The City Editor can be reached


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