Leaders accept some recommendations for controversial Chatham Park project

The 7,000 acre development would go between Pittsboro and the Haw River and bring thousands more new residents.
March 10, 2014 8:21:01 PM PDT
Chatham County leaders voted Monday night to accept dozens of recommendations for a proposed development that could add thousands of residents to the county without a public hearing.

It has some residents feeling like they've been shutout. They requested to submit a statement at the start of the meeting, but were denied.

"We've advocated again and again and again to have a more one-on-one dialogue with the citizens of Pittsboro," said Amanda Robertson, of Pittsboro Matters. "It's only really been one way for the longest time. We can get up and we can speak, but that's about it."

Monday's meeting was held at the Government Center, which meant smaller crowds than past meetings held at the courthouse, but emotions remained high about Chatham Park.

Chatham park is a development that could grow Pittsboro's population to about 60,000. It would include thousands of new homes and several businesses.

Two weeks ago, commissioners received 44 recommendations from a consultant. They were critical of everything from building heights and annexation to traffic needs.

"Tonight's business was about the board rolling up their sleeves and getting some work done," said Pittsboro Mayor Bill Terry.

Commissioners approved to add all but four of those recommendations to a master plan, opting to protect and conserve hundreds of acres of land as part of the proposal.

"I was pleased that the board voted to include those tonight," said Pittsboro Commissioner Bett Wilson Foley. "That was a tremendous relief. I feel like going out to celebrate because those are things I feel real strongly about."

So now all of these recommendations go to the developer. The commissioners will negotiate with the developer over them.

Once a master plan is set, Terry said they will hold another public hearing to let residents weigh in. A timeline for all of this hasn't been set.

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