The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 28th

Residents Express Ire, Pessimism

Certain elements of the Master Plan, UNC's blueprint for campus growth for the next 50 years, have residents worried that their neighborhoods are in danger.

Residents who attended the meeting said the trustees were not sensitive to their concerns about losing their homes.

Criticism centered around the Master Plan's proposed construction of a new access road from Fordham Boulevard to South Campus which will cut through the Mason Farm neighborhood.

"More discussion needs to be had with the town," said Ken Brown, a Mason Farm resident and former mayor of Chapel Hill.

Brown also expressed concern about the Master Plan's encroachment on the Smith Center buffer zone, the area between the Smith Center and neighborhoods south of campus where building is restricted.

Diana Steele, another Mason Farm Road resident who has run a preschool in her home for the past 30 years, said she was never approached by UNC about the Master Plan even though the proposed access road will go through her yard.

"I don't think there was any way I could have taken action (against the Master Plan) along the line, besides speaking out at the meetings," she said.

Steele also said her home is surrounded on three sides by the UNC campus and that she is afraid future development under the Master Plan might further encroach on her property.

Elaine Barney, who lives on Westwood Drive just west of campus, said the BOT was hasty in passing the Master Plan before considering the total environmental impact.

"The information just isn't there yet," she said.

But most residents didn't seem surprised that the Master Plan passed.

"We didn't have great expectations coming in," Barney said. "It's what most of us expected."

Residents present at the meeting said they thought the BOT hadn't paid enough attention to their concerns when considering the Master Plan.

Anne Sullivan, who also lives in the Westwood area, said the BOT had listened to the concerns of residents but had not done anything to address them.

"They include us in their meetings but don't listen to what we say," she said.

But Chancellor James Moeser said at Thursday's meeting that the BOT did take residents' concerns into account while developing the Master Plan.

"I think there's been a considerable amount of give and take," he said.

Yet Barney characterized much of what BOT members said as "lip service" and "window dressing" when it came to issues involving the community.

Implementation of the Master Plan is set to begin in March 2002.

Steele said area residents do not have plans for an organized effort against the Master Plan.

"I hope (the BOT) is going to do what makes sense."

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