Chatham Park project approved by Pittsboro officials

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A controversial development that could increase the population of the Town of Pittsboro has gotten the green light.

A controversial development that could increase the population of the Town of Pittsboro from 4,000 to more than 60,000 has gotten the green light.

Pittsboro town commissioners approved the controversial Chatham Park development Monday evening by a 4 to 1 vote.

Pittsboro town commissioners spent a good part of Monday night's meeting picking apart the Chatham Park master plan based on the concerns the public expressed last month.

Before the meeting, there was a spirited protest from naysayers who believe project will destroy Pittsboro's small town and natural charm. About 30 demonstrators with signs called for commissioners to table the vote, but that did not happen.

Commissioners considered asking the Cary-based Preston Development Company to make changes to the Chatham Park master plan. Those changes included everything from increasing buffers for streams and rivers to adjusting density allotments.

The developer wants to set aside more than 1,300 acres of open spaces out the overall 7,000 acre project.

People and town officials have been going back and forth for the last year on the Chatham Park plan. Chatham Park will be the state's largest mixed-use planned development similar to Research Triangle Park.

Some have said they believe it's a great opportunity to bring job to the area. However, others were concerned the master plan didn't go far enough to protect the natural environment.

Once the vote was completed, the mayor asked the developer to be good stewards of what they had been given.

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