The Town of Chapel Hill is considering a proposal to extend its water and sewer boundary, which would allow for the expansion of housing and transit along U.S. Highway 15-501 in southern Chapel Hill.
If approved, the proposal, a part of the new Complete Community Strategy, would widen Chapel Hill's water and sewer services to the Chatham County line.
Chapel Hill Town Council member Amy Ryan said the Town owns a 10-acre parcel of land in southern Chapel Hill that could be donated to an affordable housing project if the Urban Services Boundary is extended.
The rest of the land in the proposed extension area could become available for developing "missing middle" housing. Missing middle housing is a type of housing that falls between single-family homes and large apartment complexes. Duplexes, triplexes, townhouses and small apartments fall under this category.
"Generally, if you're building smaller units on less land, they cost less," Ryan said.
She also said new development in the area could extend the Town's future North-South Bus Rapid Transit project. The project will create an 8.2-mile route from Eubanks Road to Southern Village that will help provide more frequent buses and more efficient services.
Ryan said potentially extending N-S BRT services to the southern part of Chapel Hill would allow residents to get around Chapel Hill without a car.
In an announcement, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said the Town sees the proposal as an "opportunity for creating transit-supported middle housing in the southern part of Chapel Hill."
Before the proposed changes can take place, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, Hillsborough Board of Commissioners, Carrboro Town Council, the Orange Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors and the Chapel Hill Town Council must each vote independently to approve the plans since this extension would modify the Water and Sewer Management, Planning and Boundary Agreement, which was signed in December 2001.