The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday December 1st

Development Plan Vote Set For Tonight

The Chapel Hill Town Council could accept the plan, reject it or accept it with certain changes at its 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday.

The Chapel Hill Town Council plans to vote on the Development Plan tonight at its meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Town Hall. Before voting, the council will hear final comments from residents and University officials.

Following discussion, the council is expected to either accept the plan in whole, accept it with stipulations or reject it entirely. The council also could continue to revise the stipulations.

The Development Plan, which was unveiled in July, details campus growth for the next eight years and proposes, among other things, 41 new buildings and eight parking facilities.

This will be the first time both UNC and the town officially have come together to review a final version of the plan, since a Sept. 19 public hearing on the Development Plan. There are still some concerns residents want to see addressed.

Two stipulations in the proposal before the council recommend that land be set aside on both the north and south sides of the proposed student housing for possible transit use.

Another stipulation recommends the University conduct workshops with residents to discuss design features and other details related to the proposed housing.

Mason Farm Road residents have raised some objections to the location of a proposed access road that would connect South Campus and Fordham Boulevard. New plans for graduate student family housing planned along Mason Farm Road would require the abandonment of the Smith Center special-use permit -- another resident concern.

The special-use permit set aside a vegetative buffer between the Smith Center and Mason Farm Road to protect residents during construction of the facility in 1980.

But some stipulations in the Development Plan call for the removal of this buffer. The council could vote to remove the buffer, which has been slated as a second item on the agenda.

Mason Farm Road residents and University officials met several times last week and Tuesday morning. In these meetings, residents voiced a preference that the access road run north of the proposed housing.

Some residents said they thought that discussions are moving in the right direction.

Jonathan Howes, special assistant to the chancellor for University relations, said the residents were focusing on the details of how the housing will be built. "It seemed to me that the residents were moving onto what's next."

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