What is a “Master Plan”?
If done according to “best practices” for a private development seeking public approval, it is a comprehensive, long term planning document that establishes the framework and primary elements of a site. It should reflect a clear vision and path for development, created and adopted through an open process that brings together civic and public goals and desires. A master plan gives this vision structure and organization, and defines a realistic plan for implementation. It identifies the distribution, location, and extent (e.g., density, intensity, etc) of land uses , and identifies regulations and criteria for the development of the site. To this end, it should include a development schedule and identify where development will begin and how it will progress as the project grows.
The master plan should identify funding sources and strategies needed to build the project, as well as recommend a plan to maintain it moving forward.
And a master plan should include guidelines for design and development to ensure the project maintains a strong aesthetic and adheres to the established vision such that each piece contributes to the overall organization and character of the landscape.
A master plan is reviewed for potential effects on neighboring properties, an evaluation of existing and necessary roadways to support the project, and the impact the environment.
Below is a map of the current zoning in Pittsboro, along with a black outline that shows the land that Chatham Park LLC has included in their proposed master plan for Chatham Park. As you can see, the vast majority of current zoning is for rural and residential agriculture (the dark and lighter green areas, respectively), requiring a 2-5 acre minimum lot development.
Below is the proposed Land Use Plan included in the proposed Chatham Park Master Plan. As you can see from this map, they are requesting significant changes in the current zoning on their property to allow for much greater density development. If approved, with the numbers they’ve requested, we could be looking at a population density of 70,000. To put this in perspective, this is more than two and a half times that of Cary’s density in the Preston development area.
When you consider what is typically included in a master plan, particularly for one of this size, the proposed Chatham Park Master Plan is missing some significant elements. You can view a long list on this website under “What’s Missing.” Some high level items that are pretty glaring include:
- Evidence of citizen input and design charrette to utilize the Southwest Shore Environmental Assessment in designing the overall land use layout of the community
- Utilization of the Environmental Assessment in designing the community
- Vision statement with objective measurable goals
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Traffic Impact Assessment
- Fiscal Impact Assessment
Download the most recent documents associated with the proposed Chatham Park Master Plan on the Town of Pittsboro’s website. http://pittsboronc.gov/