The Town of Chapel Hill is working with GoTriangle and its consulting team to prepare appropriate land use plans and development standards for the areas around the six planned light rail stations within Town limits — Gateway, Woodmont, Friday Center Drive, Hamilton Road, Mason Farm Road and UNC Hospitals. The goal is to maximize the community benefits of new investments in transit service.and promote the development of walkable neighborhoods that will enhance Chapel Hill’s existing communities. The effort began February 2017 with several public events.
The map above shows the area around the Gateway station. The majority of the area within a half-mile of the station is within the Town of Chapel Hill limits, in both Orange County and Durham County. Much of the station area is also within the North 15-501 Focus Area identified in the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan as a site for further study due to its high development potential.
Please click on one of the links in the menu below to learn more about different elements of the project.
In February 2017, the project team held a series of work sessions and public workshops to develop preliminary concepts for each of the Chapel Hill stations. The team gave a presentation to Chapel Hill Town Council on Monday, Feb. 13, introducing the effort.On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the team kicked off the design work with a public meeting at the Chapel Hill Public Library. From Thursday to Sunday, the team met with local stakeholders and drafted preliminary designs for each of the station areas. During those four days, the team held two open houses where members of the public visited the work space and provided input on the progress. Finally, on Monday, Feb. 27, a public presentation at Chapel Hill Town Hall gave the public an opportunity to review the results of the workshop. The team wrapped up the workshop effort by presenting an update to Chapel Hill Town Council on Monday, March 13, 2017.
On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, the project team held a workshop with members of the six Chapel Hill advisory boards and commissions charged with reviewing development applications. Following an introductory presentation, Town staff and the consultants received board and commission input about the desired characteristics of redevelopment in the station areas and the relationship it would have to development elsewhere in the town.
On Monday, June 12, 2017, the project team presented to Chapel Hill Town Council about its progress and received guidance for future steps. By a 7-1 vote, Council authorized the project team to move forward with the next steps in the project. First, the team will gather further details about the community's priorities for development in different station areas, through consultation with the Town's advisory boards and commissions. Second, the project team will begin a formal process to draft appropriate development standards for the Gateway and Woodmont station areas, which could then be enacted by the Council through Ordinance and Zoning Atlas amendments. Both stations provide a unique opportunity for redevelopment and consist largely of private lands that could be redeveloped in the future. For the other four station areas where UNC owns much of the land, the team will coordinate planning efforts with UNC's ongoing update of its master plan.
Following up from Council’s direction, Town staff and consultant team held a follow-up meeting with members of the six Chapel Hill advisory boards and commissions on October 16, 2017. The team and advisory board members discussed the process for developing zoning regulations for station areas, the project schedule, and community goals that should be prioritized. The presentation from this workshop is available online.