Hoping Chatham Park will turn out better than Powell Place

by Linda Bienvenue

Pittsboro, NC – I had to chuckle at the most recent Chatham Chatlist post regarding Chatham Park living up to the commitment under Pittsboro’s planned development ordinances. I live in the densest development in Pittsboro – “Powell Place.” This development was approved as an MUPD (a mini “Meadowmont”) back in 2002 under archaic ordinances that are still in place, when nobody even knew what an MUPD was. Therefore, any further building in Powell Place cannot be restricted because it was approved 16 years ago, using 50+ year old regulations/ordinances.

powell placeNow, we are having to deal with 264 unit, three-story apartments being plopped right in the middle of single-family homes on a street that cannot handle the flow because it was approved under those archaic ordinances. There are no rules about conformity of design to match the existing neighborhood, or worries about stormwater runoff, impervious surfaces, trees being cut down, or pollution to streams and watersheds here. So much for commitment to exceptional design that you are exalting about Pittsboro. We are all about density here, which I notice you have no problem with, as long as the environment is protected.

chatham park logoAnd, of course, don’t forget the beautiful “Meadowmont-style” walking village with restaurants, stores, professional buildings, and the like that we have at the entrance to Powell Place, which is the gateway to Pittsboro. What? There is nothing there except for a gas station, bank, Subway and Auto-Zone? Darn! I hope that with someone at the helm of Chatham Park like Jim Goodnight, Chatham Park will be exceptional, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally in line, something that Powell Place is not.

It ain’t all just about stormwater, which, by the way, is a natural occurrence when it rains, and has been since the beginning of time.