The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 27th

Growth Plan Still Changing

UNC officials met with local residents to discuss changes to the University's plan to develop Mason Farm Road.

Jonathan Howes, special assistant to the chancellor for University relations, said UNC officials are attempting to reach an agreement with residents so they can present a resolution to Chapel Hill Town Council members before they vote on the Development Plan.

The council vote, planned for Oct. 3, will determine whether the University can proceed with the Development Plan, which details campus growth for the next eight years. "Our objective is to find something to present to the council that the neighbors and the University can agree to," Howes said.

Howes added that today's meeting "was a productive conversation with neighborhood members."

Diana Steele of 1207 Mason Farm Road said the University is beginning to address the issues that concern residents.

"They're modifying development plans after hearing from the neighbors and using their own common sense," Steele said. "They're trying to squeeze way too much into the neighborhood north of Mason Farm Road."

Steele added that the presence of Chapel Hill Planning Director Roger Waldon helped the conversations move forward at the meeting.

Some neighborhood representatives are particularly concerned about graduate student housing proposed for Mason Farm Road.

"It's a long strip of housing where graduate students' kids will be playing in eight lanes of traffic," Steele said. "It would be bad for the neighborhood and bad for the graduate students."

Steele said the proposed Baity cluster housing, a neighborhood similar in layout to Odum Village, would be a better alternative.

Linda Convissor, University coordinator for local relations, said the meeting was more productive than last week's public hearing. "Public forums aren't always the best place to address details, issues and concerns of residents," she said.

Negotiations will continue today in a closed meeting at the Chapel Hill Town Hall.

Convissor said, "This was a working meeting, an attempt to role up our sleeves and grapple with the issues."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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