The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 28th

Northside giving input on development

Residents are invited to a discussion on how potential changes to downtown Chapel Hill are likely to affect a historic neighborhood.

Community members will meet tonight to discuss the Development Framework and Action Plan and how it will affect Northside and adjacent neighborhoods.

“This area, which is increasingly impoverished and transient, wanted to have a voice in planning given its stakes in the community,” said Della Pollock, a UNC professor and director of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History.

The development plan is the result of collaboration between the town, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the design firm KlingStubbins. The plan includes guidelines for creating new streets, a transit center and new crossways and walkways to facilitate downtown development.

The first draft of the plan was presented in June.

The meeting is a joint effort between the Jackson Center and community groups, including the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Town economic development officer Dwight Bassett, who will attend the meeting, said the town intended to get feedback from Northside residents at a meeting in August, but few people attended.

Pollock said the goals of this meeting will be to build community awareness, learn about the development plan and give input.

There will be multiple ways to provide feedback at the meeting, like a panel of community members and a question-and-answer session.

“We’re trying to create an open forum for people to educate themselves about potential changes,” said Alexander Stephens, the Jackson Center’s associate director for documentary initiatives.

The meeting was supposed to occur about a month ago but was pushed back, said C.J. Suitt, associate director for youth initiatives at the Jackson Center. Several of Suitt’s relatives live in Northside.

“I think only because we started making noise are they like, ‘Oh, wait, we haven’t consulted the community,’” Suitt said.

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