CHAPEL HILL- After six months of debate, the 17-member committee charged with evaluating the Obey Creek development plan for the 124 acres across from Southern Village says the project needs more study.
Monday, the Chapel Hill Town Council will review the Obey Creek Compass Committee’s report, along with recommendations from developers at East West Partners and the technical consulting team hired by the town.
All this is preparation for a vote to determine if the town should negotiate a development agreement with East West Partners to govern the long-term build-out of a mixed-use project that’s estimated to be the same size as Southpoint Mall.
Committee members argue the plans are too big and will draw traffic to an already congested thoroughfare. Although they did not suggest stopping the negotiation process altogether, they say the town should request an all-new plan that is smaller in scope and impact.
The town planning board agrees with the Compass Committee, but East West Partners and the team of consultants want the current plan to move forward instead. They say many of the concerns raised by the committee can be resolved in phase two, in which developers negotiate directly with the Council and town staff.
If the Council decides to proceed into the second phase of the negotiation process, staffers estimate it could take up to one year to draft a development agreement.
On Monday the Council will also consider amending the town’s gun laws to match new state regulations approved last July.
Under the new rules, municipalities cannot prohibit gun owners with concealed carry permits from bringing firearms to parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities or on town buses.
The proposed changes have spurred a slew of emails from concerned residents who want the current bans to stay in place, but legal advisers warn that Chapel Hill could be targeted for lawsuits if town leaders don’t comply with the new regulations.
In addition, the Council will take public comment on a proposal to extend the town’s extra-territorial jurisdiction to include the Rogers Road neighborhood. If approved, this would enable the town to contribute funding for sewer service extension as part of the Rogers Road Remediation plan.
The Town Council meets at 7 o’clock at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road. Click here for the full agenda.