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Flyers passed out by community members raise concerns about Chapel Hill Crossing

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Some residents of the Colony Woods neighborhood, as well as Clark Lake and Stratford Glen, have expressed concerns with the proposed Chapel Hill Crossing development.

Flyers reading "Major Development Going Up Near You" — which have been passed out by some community members and posted in different areas in Chapel Hill — list concerns with the proposed Chapel Hill Crossing development, and ask citizens to email the Town Council to urge them to not approve the project.

According to the flyers, they were distributed by "concerned neighbors from Clark Lake, Stratford Glen and Colony Woods."

The proposed development will be a residential community with a north and south side, and multi-family housing options like cottages, apartments, row houses and townhomes.

“The goal of the project is actually to create a mixture of housing types and housing options that you typically don't see on a development of this size,” Ernest Brown, a developer on the Chapel Hill Crossing project, said.

The south side of the project requires conditional zoning amendments which will allow for the construction of a diverse group of housing — not just single-family homes.

“We need more walkability, we need more density in order to achieve affordability in Chapel Hill,” Michael Beauregard, a graduate student at UNC, said at Chapel Hill Town Council’s public hearing on the LUMO text amendment on May 24.

According to the Town of Chapel Hill website, missing middle is necessary because it provides a range of housing options for residents that the current housing stock is not providing.

The multifamily housing proposed in the Chapel Hill Crossing development would be considered missing middle housing.

Charles Berlin is the point of contact listed on the fliers and is a coordinator for the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, according to the organization's website. Berlin said via email that while the north side of the development falls within the Future Land Use Map focus areas for denser development, the south side does not.

He said he feels that special exceptions should not be made for developers when FLUM guidelines are clear and have been carefully put in place.

“There would be a risk of setting a very problematic precedent for developers elsewhere in Chapel Hill who would like to develop anywhere near another focus area,” he said via email.

In his email, he also said individuals who live along Old Chapel Hill Road, Old Durham Road and Pope Road have raised concerns about the increased traffic that will be generated by additional cars.

He also said in the email that he questions if this development is in the best interests of the larger community. 

Linda Convissor lives on Old Durham Road, an area that would be impacted by the development.

She said she has watched multiple development projects in Chapel Hill, many of which she supported, such as the proposed transit station a few years back.

“Now we're seeing this area, sort of our worst nightmare happening is that individual developers are coming in with their particular project that may or may not connect well with others,” Convissor said. 

She said that her main problems with the proposed development are the size of the seven-story building that would be built and that the south side portion has a higher density than the north.

“My concern is that kind of development, once it jumps across to the south side of Old Durham Road, is going to open up the possibility of other properties on the south side wanting to do the same thing,” she said. 

Chris Kirkman, an adjunct instructor at UNC and resident of Chapel Hill, said that the Town has expanded past capacity for development. 

“Chapel Hill, in general, was built to be a small college town," he said.

Brown said the development will offset travel time as amenities, office spaces and small retail will be accessible in the very building since it is planned to be a multi-use space.

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He said he is eager to get started if this rezoning and development is approved, and he is speaking in front of the council at the June 7 public hearing.


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