People have often expressed criticism of the new style of development in Chapel Hill and the questions often asked are: “Why is Chapel Hill approving such huge monolithic buildings?”and “Why aren’t we building new projects that fit into the college character we love about Chapel Hill?”
At Festifall, we conducted an informal visual preference survey. We presented two images, the first a rendering of what the adopted form-based code is actually producing in Ephesus-Fordham, namely the 90-ft Alexan apartment building on Elliott Road. The second image is a streetscape rendering from the Ephesus-Fordham small area plan that shows what the district might look like after redevelopment.
We asked viewers to place a sticker next to the image that better matched their vision of the kind of new development they would like to see in Chapel Hill.
Image #2, featuring wide sidewalks with canopy trees and 2-3 story buildings that reveal a broad expanse of sky and abundant natural light, was overwhelmingly preferred to the much larger, fortress-like structure in image #1.
The Form Based Code District governs nearly 200 acres including Whole Foods, O2 Fitness, Eastgate and Rams Plaza.
CHALT will continue to advocate for making changes to the Code that will make our town livable.