Affordable Living: The Basics
Pittsboro prides itself on being an integrated community. Chatham Park should commit to a socially, economically, racially and age integrated community.
As a starting point this requires that the development include a wide-variety of housing choices in terms of price, type, and size, owner-occupied and rental. This objective impacts the design of the community because mixed-use and clustered residences lowers costs and makes transit feasible. Transit availability is key to developing an integrated community
To make this happen, transit and affordable housing need to be incorporated into the overall design of the development, which means residential or commercial development should not be allowed in Chatham Park, nor small area plans be considered, until these overall planning elements have been approved by the town. Housing units developed remain in perpetuity in the affordable housing pool or be subject to one-for-one replacement. This means that any required donation land for the building of affordable units needs to include providing necessary legal, administrative and maintenance funds for any land trust and affordable homeownership program.
A plan needs to be developed for a neighborhood rehabilitation trust fund to allow existing lower income and distressed neighborhoods in Pittsboro to be protected from rising property values and taxes and to be enhanced through community controlled neighborhood rehabilitation programs.
Currently, the Planned Development District ordinance gives the developer the power to decide which of the recreation, open space and other facilities and amenities in Chatham Park are private or public. This should be a decision of the town board. Some may require fees but virtually all of these facilities and amenities should be open to the public. This includes banning gated residential communities.
There are many other affordable living that affordable living issues this blog will address such as local hiring and contracting, requiring “living wages,” early child education facilities and programs, healthy food access with community gardens.