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 July 31 Meeting

At the meeting on July 31, the university and Ayers Saint Gross presented the draft plan for the Carolina North campus. They discussed possible strategies for development over the next 50 years, with a focus on the next 15, specifically in relation to design, infrastructure, and land use.

Below are comments responding to information presented at the meeting, arranged by topic. Email carolinanorth@unc.edu if you'd like to add a comment.

Design

  • Limiting max building height to 6 stories should be reconsidered — make it higher.
  • Looks great! Development patterns are very logical. Perhaps explanation of improvement to current brown field sites will prove attractive to community.
  • You called the Municipal Drive intersection "the front entrance to Carolina North" — Really? Tell me more.
  • I am concerned that the buildings erected by private developers will not be held accountable to achieving university building standards. Please clarify any differences anticipated between public and private buildings, public and private parking access, energy sources that will be used, one building vs. another, etc. While I am very enthusiastic about attracting private investors and stimulating economic development in North Carolina, I would not want to "give away the store" to attract them.
  • Remind folks it is taxpayer dollars that build public universities, basically. Requiring very high-cost strategies could mean higher taxes.
  • Require individual buildings to provide physical linkages above the ground level — this requires a certain degree of architectural congruence, provides a certain degree of flexibility such that departments that grow can stay put and grow horizontally. Therefore, allow building structure to cross streets above ground level.
  • Co-locate SPH water research building and UNC Institute for the Environment building!
  • Missing: spine of this campus — organization of positive and negative space and circulation and orientation through campus — a physical vision.

Land Uses

  • More housing. Full school, not just First School!
  • Referring to the Horace Williams Citizens Committee Report: the same 50-75 folks tend to run for office, be appointed to town committees, and attend town meetings. The majority of our population is busy working, raising families, caring for ill friends and family, etc. Very recently an active 70-something woman asked me with interest, "When are they going to start building Carolina North?" In other words, folks in general want to see Carolina North happen.
  • I'd like to see playgrounds mixed in with the housing units.
  • Housing can be a land trust, right? Can I buy a house/town home and UNC retain the land? Like OCHLT?
  • Daycare, please!!
  • Jim [Ward]'s statement: where is attempt to utilize the existing landscape, as is, in a way that supports the academic mission of the university without further construction? Why more development?
  • Outstanding foresight to plan surface parking for use as footprint for future building.
  • Central east-west core a strong unity for campus. Reinforce this core by requiring buildings in core to clear most of ground floor level to provide for visual linkage and circulation through east-west core.
  • Require staged development to occur at beginning point and expand outward — lessening disruptions to established facilities.

Utilities

  • Don't fragment forest with utility, infrastructure...lines to/from site.
  • ID additional geo-thermal well field sites beneath "athletic" field...and reconsider this technical option for more than just residential use.
  • Even with the closing of the airport, please maintain the NWS weather station there. Thanks.
  • Excellent presentation again. Great concept to research water reuse and incorporate into Carolina North.
  • Pervious pavement in short-term parking areas might be seen as a way to eliminate storm water runoff and act as an additional improvement to existing conditions.

Transit/Transportation

  • Put transit on MLK Jr. Blvd., not on new road.
  • Continue to try to use rail line for commuters.
  • Very exciting plan, especially on sustainable design. A big question remains — how will Chapel Hill collaborate with UNC to ensure a sustainable transit system?
  • I'd like to see a transit stop on Airport Drive between Giles Horney and the Administrative Office Building. Can a Park and Ride shuttle service those buildings, too?
  • Important to have "balance" in transit. As stated, some tenants will need parking; also, technology will soon expand mpg for fuel and reduce carbon emissions, as began in the Oil Embargo of 1970s but was dropped soon after. It's now "in."
  • Why build a new highway (proposed north/south road) connecting with existing neighborhoods to transport employees out of the housing-deficient CN development? This spells auto-centric design, no demonstrable concern for existing neighborhood impact outside of CN, admission that many will be travelling from I-40 and out of town to work at CN, and the assumption that our transit will ultimately fail necessitating such a road.

Greenways/Connections

  • Phase I should provide the locations of possible bicycle and pedestrian and greenway infrastructure that connect CN to the wider community, such as Seawell School Rd. We should not have to wait for build-out for these connections.
  • Develop greenways in first 15 years.
  • Phase I should provide landscaped, shaded sidewalks along MLK, Jr. Blvd. on west side from Critz Drive to Estes Drive.
  • If the Innovation Center moves forward at Municipal Drive location, sidewalks must connect it along MLK to existing sidewalk network.

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