Developers presented updated concept plans for a putt-putt and go-kart facility off Eubanks Road to the Chapel Hill Town Council last week.
The Putt-Putt Fun Center facility would neighbor the Carraway Village apartment complex and be constructed in an undeveloped parcel of land near Interstate 40.
The family-friendly center would feature a putt-putt course, go-kart track, batting cages, and an indoor space for laser tag and arcade games. The developer also hopes to construct a climate-controlled storage facility separate from the center as part of the proposal.
Chapel Hill’s Town Council reviewed the concept plans to advise the applicant about the town’s preferences of the land’s use before any application for development agreements. Many council members echoed the sentiments of the town’s Community Design Commission, which reviewed the concept plans in August. They expressed excitement over how this facility could help fill the town’s need for more recreational centers and its plans to integrate alternate transportation methods to access its location, like sidewalks, trails, and bus routes.
Council member Karen Stegman shared her thoughts about what the Putt-Putt Center could bring to Chapel Hill from her perspective as a parent.
“Having to drive to Morrisville to go to these places with your kids [makes] every parent [ask], ‘why don’t we have one in Chapel Hill,’” said Stegman. “This is very exciting. Bikeability and walkability is critical. My 13-year-old wants to go to places on her own, so making it safe and connected is really important, I think.”
The proposed development is all within a resource conservation district, but the concept plans show the fun center not approaching a nearby stream or the heavily wooded areas along I-40.
Dan Jewell, president of the Coulter Jewell Thames design firm who crafted the plans, ensured the town council any development done for the Putt-Putt Fun Center would not encroach upon the natural buffers. He showed the council a view of the area as drivers approach Chapel Hill from the interstate.
“This is what you see today,” said Jewell, “and I can promise you this is what you will see even after the facility is built. There’s a substantial amount of wooded buffer. We’re required to keep a 100-foot buffer, but it’s going to be more than that.”
One concern both the town council and Community Design Commission raised were lights and noise from the facility while being so close to a residential area. Jewell said the center has one idea to help cut down on noise and environmental impact.
“What we’re looking at is using electric go-karts,” he said, “which will be about as noisy as a Tesla. Everybody seemed pretty cool with that and I think that’s pretty innovative as well.”
The Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approved a resolution passing their comments along to the applicant of the concept plans. There is no timetable for when a formal application for development will be submitted for the Putt-Putt Fun Center.
Photo via Town of Chapel Hill