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Stream valleys and forests will frame Chatham Park’s neighborhoods

By Thomas D'Alesandro
Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - From the town of Pittsboro public hearing on Chatham Park

Hello. My name is Thomas D’Alesandro. I live in Wilmette, Illinois and I have been working on Chatham Park’s master plan for over two years. I build live-work-play communities that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. The National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and the American Planning Association have recognized Columbia, Maryland, Reston, Virginia, The Woodlands, Texas and other places I’ve helped develop.

While each of these communities is unique, they are all alike in that people love them. We meld an appreciation for natural features and local culture with the best planning practices from the around the world. Chatham Park will be unlike any other place.

To celebrate Pittsboro’s natural resources, we will design with nature, so stream valleys and forests will frame Chatham Park’s neighborhoods. Residents will enjoy the same proximity to nature that originally attracted you to Pittsboro. Every resident of Reston lives within walking distance of parkland. Every resident. And that is our intention at Chatham Park.

To celebrate Pittsboro’s cultural heritage, we’ve planned village centers with plazas to promote local traditions of live music, farm fresh organic, artesian and comfort food, and artistic craftsmanship. And, with dozens of historic places all around Chatham County, our planners will have a rich architectural legacy to draw upon in designing these gathering places.

The Chatham Park zoning combines the benefits of planning at large and small scales. Planning on a large scale allows for balancing the built and natural environments and for enhancing urban systems. Designing at the human scale of the Small Area Plans allows for attention to the little details that people love.

What we have not included in Chatham Park’s zoning is a high-density transit oriented district like Reston Town Center. Reston’s 85-acre Urban Core is supported by its connection to Washington Metro’s regional transit system. This mixed-use zone represents only about 1% of the land in Reston, and beyond its borders are lower density neighborhoods, shops and offices, open spaces and other uses that were developed at scales comparable to Meadowmont, Southern Village and Fearrington Village.

Let me close by assuring you that your approval of Chatham Park’s Planned Development District will be a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable part of Pittsboro that people will truly love.

Finally, to show you what nearly 2,000 acres of open space can mean for Chatham Park, I’ve brought copies of “The Nature of Reston” for your review.

Thank you for your attention.

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