Wednesday, January 16, 2013

OBEY CREEK (A WCHL Commentary)

Let’s take a survey.  If you are against the current plan for the development of the parcel known as Obey Creek, shout out, I’m Against It!  OK, I hear some of you shouting, and that’s interesting because my commentary today is about that fact that there is no current plan to be against.  In March 2010 an Initial Concept plan presented to the Town Council.  It went nowhere.  In September 2012, a 2nd Concept plan was presented to Town Council; significantly, scaling back the initial proposal to correspond to the Chapel Hill 2020 recommendations. 

The Council referred the plan back to staff to begin working on a review process.  And in November, the staff came back to Council asking for approval to initiate a Development Agreement process by hiring a consultant. The Council granted approval and stipulated that there must be further dialogue and information gathering before any formal process may begin.  Clearly, large developments attract diverse opinions, but I think it is only fair that a developer should expect guidance and direction from the Town staff and Council in a timely fashion.  Three years is not only too long, but it is also very expensive.  

 I have no opinion on any Obey Creek proposal at this point, but I do believe that we can and should do better. Somehow, other jurisdictions not only ace us out but they seem to have a development process that works and serve the interests of multiple stakeholders; why can’t we? 

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