Good News and Bad News
We Will Keep Fighting for Citizens!
We learned Friday evening that our latest lawsuit challenging Chatham Park was dismissed in superior court. While we are disappointed to lose this round, the battle is far from over. We believe we have excellent grounds to challenge this ruling through the N.C. Court of Appeals; we plan to do so in order to strengthen the master plan and review process. This keeps our legal challenges alive, and troublesome to Chatham Park, until the appeal is decided, most likely late next year.
Even more important, our original litigation has already forced the town to completely reverse the original master plan provisions that would have put Chatham Park Investors in almost total control of the implementation of their massive development. Our legal claims successfully forced the Town to revise the master plan in order to give unlimited authority to the Town Board to reject or revise proposed Small Area Plans, Additional Elements to the Master Plan (such as affordable housing and transit) and a Development Agreement.
As a direct result of our litigation, the small area plan process now gives the town authority to deny a small area plan proposal if it fails to comply with the requirements of the Master Plan or, more importantly, if it fails to adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. This is a broad reasonable standard that will be very difficult for Chatham Park Investors to challenge in court.
Thanks to your support of our litigation, the town now has the authority to further revise and improve the current small area plan and development agreement review and approval process.
Our litigation has also stalled Chatham Park construction for more than 16 months, giving the Town time to develop a new Unified Development Ordinance to further strengthen the Town Board’s oversight of all development, including Chatham Park.
This also gave Pittsboro voters time to elect a stronger Town Board to fulfill these new responsibilities. The newly elected Mayor and three Town Board members took office this week.
Still Work to be Done
You may recall that we recommended to the previous board that the small area plan process be strengthened by requiring an environmental impact assessment, deliberation before a public stakeholders group and holding formal public hearings.
We encourage you and other citizens to help us continue to press the new town board on these issues and other changes that will improve the implementation of Chatham Park for the benefit of its town and residents.
Finally, we are pleased that the superior court judge in his order rejected an effort by the Town and Chatham Park Investors to have Pittsboro Matters removed as a plaintiff in this lawsuit due to an alleged lack of standing.
While our appeal is litigated by attorneys, Pittsboro Matters plans to continue and increase our community educational efforts to give residents information they can use to work with us, and the new town board, to rethink and improve the plans for Chatham Park.
It Takes a Village
We remain grateful to all of our members and supporters. It takes a village to save our village and we are honored to continue walking arm in arm with you in this endeavor.
Your End-of-Year-Gift Will Make Us Stronger
We continue to need your support as we pursue our legal appeals and expand our educational outreach. You may make a tax-deductible contribution online or by mail to:
PO Box 1001
Pittsboro NC 27312
Many thanks for all you do for our community!