The Chapel Hill Town Council discussed the possibility of rewriting the town’s Land Use Management Ordinance Wednesday.
The LUMO determines the regulation of development for the town’s planning jurisdiction.
Chapel Hill’s current LUMO was adopted in January 2003, while the town’s comprehensive plan, Chapel Hill 2020, was adopted in June 2012.
Town Manager Roger Stancil said the two documents came at different times and need to be aligned.
“I think there’s much work to do in making them aligned,” Stancil said. “Our LUMO is not predictable, it’s not clear, it’s subject to lots of interpretation.”
Chapel Hill Town Council member Donna Bell said the LUMO was written before the housing crisis and development in the town is very different now.
“It was pre-2008,” Bell said. “So, yes, it is very hard to apply that ordinance.”
Council member Jessica Anderson said the town needs to be clearer about what it wants in regard to development and the preservation of neighborhoods.
“Not only is the LUMO outdated, it’s also more geared toward a suburban planning style,” Anderson said.
Mary Jane Nirdlinger, executive director of planning and sustainability, said rewriting the LUMO would be a large project for her office, and she raised concerns about time and resources.
Council member Maria Palmer suggested the council do more to include creative young people from nearby universities in the town’s planning and design.
“There’s a hole in the dam already, and we’re running out of fingers,” said council member Michael Parker while urging the council to prioritize places of high pressure and ongoing projects.