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Action Alert for Public Hearing on Compact Communities Ordinance

By James Granger
Posted Monday, March 22, 2004

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Dr. Lucier, chairman of the Planning Board, told The Sanford Herald, "I am naturally disappointed - not only disappointed at the vote, but I'm also disappointed at the fact that the commissioners really didn't want to find out why the planning board did what they did. They seemed to have little interest in our recommendation.." This quote came in an interview following the Board of Commissioners 4 to 1 vote for The Homestead of Jordan Lake this past Monday.

Nearly two years of intense work by the Land Use Plan Implementation Committee (LUPIC) and the Planning Board to create a strong Compact Communities Ordinance (CCO) have past. With opposition from some PB and BoC members and certainly from the County Attorney, a "watered down" version of the LUPIC recommendations comes to a public hearing on March 23rd.

With an agenda of their own, four out of five of the BOC seem to have no interest in accepting the recommendations from their committees and boards or from the citizens they are elected to serve. Pleas from the public to LISTEN TO REASON are stonewalled over and over again. We, the people, of Chatham may lose the battle to enact the kind of ordinance that could have become a model for smart growth residential development.

We will lose the war if we surrender now

We will lose the war if we surrender now. So, fellow citizens it's once more time to go to the courthouse. If you wish to exercise your freedom to speak, you are encouraged to sign up to do so just prior to the 6:30 Public Hearing on March 23rd. It's important to make the BOC sit there and listen, to make them sit there and look at people who will not go away and leave them alone. Join with the CCEC spokespeople who will be there to say what's right with the CCO, to say what's wrong, and to do so with civility and with conviction. The clerk's tape recorder, the press and the TV cameras will be there to create a public record. It's important that you be there too.

Here is what you can do to make your concerns clear to the BoC and to neutralize the special interest groups that risk the future of our County and our children.

1. Attend the public hearing on March 23, Tuesday at 6:30 P.M. in the courthouse at the circle in Pittsboro. Sign up to speak or sign up to yield your time, so speakers from CCEC will have sufficient time to present their technical material for the official record.

2. Send emails of support to Commissioner Bob Atwater ( and Dr. George Lucier (

3. Focus your emotions, be they anger, depression, or alarm, on Commissioner Emerson, the Chair of the BoC, by phone: 919-742-3401, email:, or by letter: 186 Emerson Road, Siler City, NC 27344.

4. Keep informed by tracking events and documents on the County website: and/or on CCEC's website:

5. Find out about the candidates running for the two open commissioners' positions and the school board positions. Then vote for the candidates that you feel will work for balanced, responsible growth, effective and healthy communities, and for participatory and transparent governance.

6. Connect with your neighbors, many of whom are discouraged or disconnected, to encourage them to become involved.

Action Alert for Public Hearing on Compact Communities Ordinance

Related info:
Chatham County

Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities

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