Chatham County residents unite against Pulte Homes’ rezoning

By Connie McAdams

Pittsboro, NC – Over the holiday weekend, adjacent landowners on Alston Chapel Road received another letter inviting us to another “neighborhood meeting.” This meeting will be held on Thursday, June 6, at 6:00 pm at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center.

This will be the second required neighborhood meeting hosted by large national developer, Pulte Homes. At the first meeting in April we learned that Pulte has a contract, contingent on rezoning, to purchase 63 acres of woodland (Parcel #60804 on the Chatham County GIS map) along Alston Chapel Road near the intersection with Old Goldston Rd, just outside the Pittsboro town limits. The property is currently zoned for residential (one house per acre) or agricultural use. The rezoning request is to allow much denser development with single family homes and townhomes. Pulte’s preliminary plans in April showed a plan for 190 housing units (96 single family dwellings and 94 townhomes). Apparently the original plan has been revised necessitating this second informational meeting.

Like the meeting in April, the purpose of the second meeting is for Pulte representatives to “describe the nature of the rezoning request, provide updates since the first neighborhood meeting, and field any questions from the public.” Public officials may or may not be at this meeting. There will be other opportunities later (public comment sessions, public hearing, etc) to communicate with them.

Parcel 60804 is located in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) for Pittsboro, which means the Town of Pittsboro (not Chatham County) will make the rezoning decision. The property is identified in the Pittsboro Land Use Plan as a Natural Resources Conservation Target Area. It is 63 acres of woods surrounded on 3 sides by about 4,000 feet of a horseshoe shaped curve of Robeson Creek. Those woods and the surrounding creek are home to a wide variety of plants and animals. There is also a small historic cemetery on the property.

The adjacent landowners on Alston Chapel Road are extending this meeting invitation to all of our neighbors. If you live, drive, walk, bike or jog on Alston Chapel Road, you are our neighbor. If you attend Alston Chapel Church or Grace Hill Church, you are our neighbor. If you live on Alex Cockman Road, Old Goldston Road, Pittsboro Elementary School Road, Woodberry Forest, Adolph Taylor Road, Brown Street or Thrift Street, you are our neighbor. If you live anywhere in Pittsboro or Chatham County and you care about development issues, you are invited to this meeting. If you care about protecting green spaces, wild habitats, or wetlands and creeks, you are invited to this meeting. Unfortunately, Pulte scheduled this meeting for the same night as Northwood graduation, but if you’re able to come, please remember to be at the Chatham Agriculture and Conference Center at 6:00 pm on Thursday, June 6!

After this neighborhood meeting, the rezoning process will go to the Town of Pittsboro. It will be considered by the Town of Pittsboro Planning Board and they will make a recommendation. Then the proposal goes to the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners. There will be a public hearing, then a decision will be made by the Board of Commissioners. Based on the current schedule, it appears that this issue will be on the Planning Board Agenda for their July meeting. There are opportunities for public input at Planning Board and Commissioners meetings. The commissioners meet on the 2nd Monday of each month and the Planning Board meets on the 3rd Mondays. These meetings are held at the Ag Center at 6:00pm. The Public Hearing will be officially announced in advance and will likely be at the Commissioners Meeting prior to their vote.

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