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The Daily Tar Heel

Board Conditionally Supports Growth Plan

The Chapel Hill Planning Board issued a final recommendation on UNC's Development Plan on Tuesday night, stating that the town should only support the plan if 33 changes are made to it.

The board also recommended that the Chapel Hill Town Council further discuss whether the town should push for three additional changes to the Development Plan.

The board's recommendation will go before the council for in early October. A public hearing is set for Sept. 19 to give residents a chance to air concerns.

The town created a new zoning category for UNC this summer on the condition that the University submit a Development Plan to the town for approval.

The most debated issue at Tuesday night's meeting was a four-lane access road along the southern border of campus. The road appears in UNC's Master Plan, a 50-year blueprint for campus growth, but is absent in its Development Plan, an eight-year plan.

The issue was a point of contention because the Development Plan calls for a "perimeter transition area" that board members fear will later become the four-lane road.

University officials said there are no immediate plans to build another access road but that the access road will play an integral role in UNC's future growth.

Another portion of the Development Plan that was not supported by the resolution is a new Ambulatory Care Center proposed by UNC Health Care. Residents say ambiguity in the plan makes it difficult to visualize what the new center will look like.

University officials worry that the additional stipulations the planning board recommended might hinder flexibility.

One stipulation limits the amount of space UNC can use along Mason Farm Road, the area where the University later plans to add the four-lane road and a transportation corridor.

Although planning board members spent a majority of their meeting debating this area, they choose to remove it from their recommendation to the Town Council.

Board member Bob Reda said, "I think when it comes down to it, we don't have enough information."

The City Editor can be reached


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