Preserving the character of Pittsboro?
The Chatham Park developers continue to insist they can preserve the small town, rural character of Pittsboro. “It’s a very special place”, they claim, adding “that’s why people want to come here”!
Well, they’ve got that right! All of us who live here believe Pittsboro is a very special place. Those of us who weren’t born here, I could almost guarantee, came here for those very same reasons.
So, isn’t it incredibly selfish not to want to share it with a bunch of new folks who may have similar aspirations to most of us? Normally, I’d have to say yes … were it not for the fact that Chatham Park is anything but “normal”!
It won’t be just another 3,000 or perhaps 4,000 new folk contributing to the ambience, comfort and “artsyness” of the town, and gradually doubling, even tripling, the population of Pittsboro over the next 15-20 years. It’s another 55,000, possibly as many as 70,000, new folks probably arriving – if Reston, VA is anything to go by (a project they have compared Chatham Park to) – over the next 10 years. That’s fourteen times the number of existing Pittsboro residents.
Wow! Can you imagine the constant road building, timber sawing, land grading, frame hammering, clay soil sliding, construction traffic beeping, filling our noses, ears and eyes, slowing our travels, spattering our cars, clogging our boots, day in, day out for the next 5-10 years?
But, when it’s over? The diggers, the air-hammers, the mud is gone, will the character of Pittsboro remain?
Chatham Park Master Plan proposes somewhere (depending upon which page of the plan you turn to) between 22,000 and 28,000 new homes, with an average of 2.5 people per home, in a space of roughly 11 square miles.
Let’s do the Math: 69,925 people in 10.97 sq. miles = 6,374 people/sq. mile1.
How does that compare to other towns? See if you recognize any of the places in the following chart.
Chatham Park fits somewhere between Pittsburgh, PA and Baltimore, MD. This is Baltimore today:
You can decide if the character of our town will be preserved.
For a perspective closer to home than Baltimore see: Chatham Park: the view from 50,000 ft.
1 Chatham Park PDD Master Plan (Rev. 11/21/2013) Land Use Summary Table: 27,970 DUs at 2.5 people/DU = 69,925 people; 7,022.2 acres = 10.97 sq. miles.