The Chapel Hill Town Council will update its Land Use Management Ordinance — a document that outlines Chapel Hill's rules for development — over the next two years. The LUMO's regulations determine the design of streets, where parking lots are located, how stormwater infrastructure is laid out and more.
This two-year plan to update the LUMO is called "Rewriting Our Rules" and will attempt to increase "missing middle housing," according to a report written by Town staff.
Andrew Whittemore, an associate professor in the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning, said the LUMO update is going to change the affordability of housing in the Town.
"Affordable housing is never deliverable as a single-family house on a large lot," Whittemore said. "It always looks like a duplex or maybe a small town home or apartments."
Geoffrey Green is a planner with a private consulting firm in Chapel Hill and is a member of the Town's Planning Commission.
Green said a land use ordinance determines what you can do with land and what types of buildings can be built there. This can include how far back from the street buildings need to be, how tall they can be, how much parking there is, whether a sidewalk needs to be built and all other things that govern how land is used in a municipality.
He said he thinks there is a general agreement that the current LUMO is poorly organized and difficult to understand. Green said he is in support of updating the LUMO because it is outdated.
"Hopefully the LUMO rewrite will make it so that it is easier to do the types of development that we want to see," Green said.
The town council voted to adopt the LUMO in 2003 and made minor changes to the set of regulations since then, but has not comprehensively updated it in the past 20 years.