CHAPEL HILL- Earlier this weekend, local residents got together for a discussion about the best future use of an area of Chapel Hill known as the Central West Community—and much of the conversation focused on whether the area will include more residential or mixed-use developments.

On Saturday morning, the Central West Community steering committee held a workshop at Chapel Hill Public Library where members of the public could give their feedback on the best use for the area.

“The town’s consultant had worked out three draft concepts for how this area could look in the future,” says committee member Julie McClintock. “The first one was much higher density residential with new roads cut in to circulate the traffic. In addition, plan B had even higher density residential and office, and the third one had a lot of mixed use really going down Estes Drive.”

The Central West Community includes the area west of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd between the area just north of Estes Drive and extending south to Mt. Bolus Road. The conversations about the area first began during last year’s Chapel Hill 2020 process.

During Saturday’s meeting, attendees divided into small groups of citizens, developers, and facilitators to discuss the possible pros and cons of each potential plan—but McClintock says there’s still more work to be done.

“Substantial changes are envisioned, but we don’t really know how much change would be appropriate, particularly given the fact that Estes Drive fills up with traffic several times a day,” she says. “We also have schools in the area, and there were parents there who expressed an interest in keeping the area safe for students to ride and bike to school.”

Another steering committee meeting is set for May 30. On June 24, committee members plan to take a draft plan recommendation to Chapel Hill Town Council.