The Carrboro Board of Aldermen will open a public hearing Tuesday on plans for a six-month development moratorium on nearly 4,000 acres north of town.
The hearing is scheduled during the boardâ€™s regular meeting at Town Hall, which begins at 7:30 p.m. (Check www.carrborocitizen.com for exact times and details).
Mayor Mark Chilton said the moratorium is aimed at giving the townâ€™s new advisory board for the area time to look at the pace and type of development in the area and work on changes to the townâ€™s land use plan.
There are two things driving the moratorium effort, Chilton said Tuesday evening.
â€œThere are two different concerns out there,â€ Chilton said. â€œThe first is the pace and amount of growth in general.â€ The other concern, he said, is that residential development is moving so fast that the area could be built out before any commercial development happens there.
The Northern Study Area Implementation Review Committee will look at the idea of reserving some areas for commercial or mixed-use (commercial and residential) development.
The town is pursing the moratorium in collaboration with Orange County. While 37 percent of the total area is under Carrboroâ€™s jurisdiction, most of the areaâ€”roughly 2,300 acresâ€” is under the jurisdiction of a joint planning agreement between the county and town. Both governments will have to agree to the moratorium for it to take effect. Orange County commissioners have scheduled public comment on the plan for April 26.
Chilton said while there are no plans already in the pipeline that would be affected by the moratorium, he expects to hear some objections to the moratorium from people who are preparing to take development concept plans to the town.
A concept plan is the first step in what is typically a two-year review process for large developments. Under the rules, the town wouldnâ€™t be able to accept any concept plans during the six months the moratorium is in place.
â€œSome people are worried that theyâ€™re looking at two years and six months instead of two years,â€ he said.
Dan Coleman said he and other members of the board want the Northern Study Area committee to have time to do its work and not be faced with a major development to consider while they try to draft new rules for the area. He called the moratorium, â€œa prudent safeguard.â€
â€œWe want to stay focused on the principles and land uses without the distraction of a particular project.â€
The Chapel Hill Town Council recently discussed a moratorium on development in the north and northwest parts of town, but is waiting on more information from town staff before making a decision. Council members have expressed concern about growth in the northern region including worries that growth might lead to further widening of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
On Monday, the Council is scheduled to consider setting a date for a public hearing on a moratorium.