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The Daily Tar Heel

Master Plan Negotiations Have Been Responsive, Open, Collaborative

Unfortunately, these polarizing discussions make it difficult to build consensus about a reasonable action agenda.

While there are some important issues to be resolved, the bottom line is that Chapel Hill and UNC are part of the same community. Each provides valuable assets to the other and each needs to maintain a collaborative working relationship with the other. Fortunately, town and gown leaders appreciate this situation and are seeking to resolve the issues in a fair and open process.

As a player in both town and gown affairs, I know that collaboration is vital. While serving on the Chapel Hill Council in the 1980s, I helped to negotiate the resolution of the rural buffer and University Lake watershed dispute settlements with Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County.

As chairman of the UNC Master Plan Design and Operations Team for the past three years, I have helped to engage elected officials from the three jurisdictions with the University's planning consultants and administrators.

The campus planning process was open, collaborative and responsive.

Our team alone held 14 meetings. It included elected officials, campus neighbors and representatives of the town planning agencies, OWASA and the city schools. Myriad other groups met with the consultants to discuss plan proposals, walk adjoining neighborhoods and outline needs for learning facilities.

The campus plan was changed many times in response to team and neighbors' input. Buildings and facilities were moved from the campus edge to its center. Open space and natural resources were protected and enhanced.

On-campus student housing was increased. Access routes were realigned.

The persistent goal has been to design a walkable, bikable, safe and livable campus environment for future generations of students, while minimizing impacts on the surrounding community. Most participants in the planning process believe that this goal has been achieved.

David R. Godschalk

Stephen Baxter Professor

City and Regional Planning

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