By Mark Pavao
Pittsboro, NC – North Woods neighbors announce the launch of a vitally important community awareness campaign named Save North Woods Neighborhood. The goal for this campaign is to inform the Pittsboro and Chatham County community that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) proposes to build a north-south road known as North Chatham Park Way through the North Woods neighborhood, even though a small shift in the design would relocate the road to undeveloped land already owned by Chatham Park and thereby completely avoid North Woods. The North Woods neighbors believe that North Chatham Park Way will primarily serve Chatham Park’s North Village and therefore should be built on land that is owned by Chatham Park.
Chatham Park is a 7,000+ acre mixed use development that will grow Pittsboro NC from 3,500+ to over 30,000+ residents over the next 25 years. The Chatham Park development will require significant new infrastructure, including roads to get residents into and out of the development. An important road is Chatham Park Way which is proposed to run through Chatham Park, east of Pittsboro, and allow traffic to travel north or south to 15-501 without having to drive through the middle of Pittsboro.
North Chatham Park Way
In a December 2020 newsletter to the community announcing a virtual public presentation, NCDOT “in partnership with the Town of Pittsboro and Chatham Park Investors” proposed to construct North Chatham Park Way, State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Project (R-5930). The proposed alignment for the project shows the road running through the North Woods neighborhood even though undeveloped land already owned by Chatham Park is available about 200 yards to the east and 100 yards to the north of the proposed North Woods section of the road.
North Woods is a longstanding neighborhood of 17 homes, on mostly 5 to 10 acre lots, that retains a rural country character within the growing development just north of Pittsboro NC, about 1 mile east of Chatham Park’s Mosaic development. With the proposed North Chatham Park Way, NCDOT would take about 10 acres from 3 neighbors and leave 3 other neighbors isolated on the other side of the proposed road. As a result, the neighborhood would be divided and separated by a limited access road and North Woods would forever lose its longstanding rural character.
“It doesn’t feel fair or proper for Chatham Park to be designing their North Village around a road that requires NCDOT to take land from private homeowners in the North Woods neighborhood, especially when the road could be shifted by just 200 yards to undeveloped land already owned by Chatham Park” commented Mark Pavao, who has owned his North Woods home since 1997.
Diana Dalsimer, another North Woods neighbor, added “we must think about the future and put a priority on protecting the North Woods oasis of greenspace that is surrounded by what will become a very developed Chatham Park North Village.”
Ducka Kelly, a North Woods resident since the 1990s added “how this road project treats North Woods is an important test for NCDOT and Chatham Park and will send a clear message to the Pittsboro and Chatham County community; if NCDOT proceeds to divide North Woods, I worry about what will happen to Pittsboro residents south of US 64 when it’s time to build South Chatham Park Way.”
The North Woods neighbors have launched a website (savenorthwoodsneighborhood.com) and social media pages and are encouraging community members to provide comment to NCDOT opposing the current proposed alignment of North Chatham Park Way by February 7 via the public comment email address or at the Chatham Park Way website.