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Chatham EDC has taken the lead on developing a conceptual Land Use Plan for Chatham County

By Donna Kelly
Posted Thursday, May 9, 2013

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Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham Economic Development Committee (EDC)DC has taken the lead on developing a conceptual Land Use Plan for Chatham County.This is not a detailed, comprehensive plan, but rather a review of where we are now and four generalized scenarios for how the county might develop.

The Plan is online for review along with a survey to give your feedback.All plans have pros and cons and any future plan or development will likely end up being a hybrid of these scenarios but the EDC needs feedback on what you would like to see happen.Since they plan on reporting to the Chatham county board of commissioners later this month now is the time to get your input in.

I've heard several discussions of the process at BOC meetings and attended the EDC plan presentation in Pittsboro so this is my overview of the process and plan. Please check out their website to read the full plan and fill out the survey to express your opinion.

The EDC Plan starts by giving an overview of current conditions and an explanation of the guiding principles used to develop and rate the scenarios.The 5-year base map is a snapshot of current and approved development, infrastructure, and land use regulations.This map pulls together various existing pieces into one easy to use tool. Currently the majority of Chatham residents work and shop outside the county.Residential property makes up 91% of our tax base with commercial/industrial property making up only 9%.This puts an excessive tax burden on individual landowners and families.The EDC ratings emphasize creating a more balanced mix of land uses.

The four scenarios assume current land use regulations remain in place unless alternatives are specified. Additional regulations and/or incentives would be needed to develop an actual plan to guide development in scenarios 2 through 4. A comprehensive plan would likely contain elements from more than one of these scenarios but these were developed to highlight the pros and cons of focusing on specific concepts.

1. Decentralized Growth -- assumes little direction beyond current regulations.Development will be driven by development pressure from outside the county and will produce more residential development spreading west from the Northeast corner of the county toward NC87.There would be little commercial/industrial development.

2. Conservation/Farmland Preservation --focuses on additional land use regulations to expand environmental regulations.While there would be little additional commercial/industrial development there would be strong conservation protections.

3. Compact Centers and Growth Corridors -- focuses on creating compact growth centers for mixed-use development.These would mostly be located on existing developments and would focus on retail and service employment.

4. Targeted Employment -- focuses on more aggressive efforts to attract large employers so more Chatham residents could find employment in the county.Development efforts would be centered in Pittsboro and Siler City to build on existing infrastructure.

The county does have a number of plans that guide development decisions including a Land Conservation and Development Plan.These plans can be found on the county's website.

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Chatham EDC has taken the lead on developing a conceptual Land Use Plan for Chatham County

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