In an 8-1 vote, the council adopted a new Office/Institutional-4 zoning district. In a separate 8-1 vote, the council moved to rezone UNC, placing it in the newly created district. Councilwoman Joyce Brown cast the lone dissenting vote in both measures.
"The new ordinance has the potential to be much better," she said. "I think there are some gaps."
The OI-4 zoning frees the University from the 14 million-square-foot floor-area limit that restricts UNC in its present OI-3 zoning. The University already occupies 13.6 million square feet, but seeks to add an additional 5.8 million under its Master Plan.
Most of the growth is planned for a large housing expansion to accommodate a projected increase in enrollment. The expansion focuses on the southern part of campus, where the University plans to build additional undergraduate and student family housing.
These units will eventually replace the Odum Village apartments and enable for more undergraduate housing to be built.
University officials made several compromises from their original proposal by eliminating some of the tracts they had initially submitted for rezoning.
Originally, the University requested all of the property on the main campus be rezoned. The town then divided the area into nine separate tracts.
After several town-gown meetings and a heated public hearing, the University's nine-tract proposal was scaled back to four.
"The University has tried very hard to be responsive to community concerns," said Nancy Suttenfield, vice chancellor for finance and administration. "We urgently need to move ahead with the next step of our partnership."