Pittsboro mayor concerned about Chatham Park development plans


The proposed Chatham Park could add 55,000 residents to Chatham County.

Town leaders and consultants have gone back and forth because of the sheer size of the project.

At one point, Pittsboro Mayor Bill Terry said he didn't think the average person could wrap their head around it, and admitted he's one of them.

Commissioners heard from a consultant who works for Chatham Park designer Preston Development. He told the board that it is possible to put 22,000 homes and businesses on 7,000 acres. That's how much land the development is slated to take up in and around Pittsboro.

A town-hired consultant gave a more doubtful and critical assessment of the proposal last month. From that assessment came recommendations for town leaders to forward to the developer.

Monday night, the Chatham Park developer pushed back, which made Terry express his concern.

"Because of the sheer scope of it, I guess I'm making a plea for you to help us understand ... that you're really not trying to put 10 pounds of sugar in a five pound bag."

Absent from the discussion, however, was the town-hired consultant who was critical of the development.

Next, the consultants on both sides, along with the town lawyer, will meet in a staff meeting. That's where the real negotiation over buffer zones, transportation and various other issues will happen.

After that, they will come together to for a public meeting in two weeks. The planning board is not expected to get a finalized master plan until May.

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