Developers vs. residents: The battle for Alston Chapel Road

By Thurman Maness

Pittsboro, NC – Predictable! If you’ve ever attended one of these meetings where the mega developers try and convince the angry crowds that “their development” is going to be wonderful and the best thing to hit town this century, this meeting was no different. They had a “goodie pie” answer and solution for everything; carefully avoiding the fact that folks attending let them know that their development isn’t  needed or wanted.

“Their development” is going to be wonderful and the best thing to hit town this century. (image from FreePik)

Assuming it was going to be a tiny turnout, the small room at the new Chatham Agricultural Center had to be suddenly converted to twice the size to handle the outspoken crowd. Despite how charming, how neighborly, how well planned and seemingly inconspicuous their ‘wondrous’ new high brow community was going to be, there were no takers from the present residents.

Oh, they are going to have “buffers” and watersheds and perfect this and terrific this and terrific that, it was terrifying to sit, hear and swallow all that proposed goodness that “their development” will bring. “Goodness” that will be bad for what is our pitiful little share of current goodness.  Our way of life that is being jerked around, threatened, turned inside and out by “needed greedy” development.

“We want you to go away” one Alston Chapel resident shouted; in a  restrained tone. But as these meetings are to be continued, it is a guess that the tone and sentiment will change. Personal feelings will erupt, spew out and most likely go unanswered or ignored altogether.

Here is most likely how it will all go. More meetings. Pittsboro Town giving in more and more. The developers getting more and more. Apparently all for “the greater good.”

On the subject of Alston Chapel Road historic area; where still remains evidence of early settlers. The spokesperson for the development said in so many words “THIS HISTORIC AREA WILL BE PRESERVED “ That directly from the developer’s mouth.  We should have a legal signed binding agreement from the developers on that. No loop holes, or legal escapements.

“Oh, the water is no problem.” “Buffers and watersheds will make everything possible.” Pittsboro will be a  better place to live. No one is going to miss the old ways, the old days, the good old days. Just remember those buffers folks, when you’re stalled  in traffic going to pay taxes and are dying for a drink of water. Remember those buffers.  Buffers to the rescue.  The one thing that will save Chathamites from being devoured by total building development apparently is “buffers.”

Seemingly, in my mind, what this all boils down to is one thing; money and the greed for it.