A public hearing was opened at Wednesday's Chapel Hill Town Council meeting for the movement to establish new zoning districts in the Historic Rogers Road neighborhood.
Corey Liles, principal planner for Town Building and Development Services, and Caroline Dwyer, a project manager for Renaissance Planning, opened the discussion by giving a presentation to the Town Council about the current state of the proposal.
The zoning initiative can be traced back to a community report produced in May 2016 by the Roger-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, The Jackson Center (a community development organization), freelance cartographer Tim Stallmann and the Community Unity Board.
The 44-page report contains four key goals for the future of the neighborhood: retaining families who have lived there for decades and generations, connecting residents with each other and the larger community, preserving socioeconomic and cultural diversity and respecting the physical and natural character of the neighborhood.
More specifically, as Liles and Dwyer stated during the town council meeting, the initiative contains plans to introduce ordinances for a maximum home size, prohibit commercial and retail areas from joining the neighborhood and support a wider range of home-based businesses.
RENA and those that drafted the 2016 report held various community-wide meetings in the process. Since October 2018, there have been six meetings to gauge public opinion, with between 15 to 35 residents or stakeholders attending each meeting.
One of those residents was minister and RENA President Robert Campbell. He and other residents attended the meeting to show their support for the zoning initiative and to speak on its behalf in front of the Council.
Campbell was the first to speak when the forum was opened to the public at the Town Council meeting. He voiced his passion for his neighborhood and the zoning initiative to the Council Members.
“This is about mapping our future,” he said.