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Citizens group files motion to stop Chatham Park construction

Posted April 13, 2015

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— A citizens group aiming to stop a mixed-use development that would increase Pittsboro’s population by nearly 2,000 percent has filed a motion to halt construction.

Pittsboro Matters wants all work on the development to cease until other legal challenges filed by the group are resolved in court.

The motion, filed Friday, asks a judge to grant an injunction that would stop work on a Chatham Park roadway and overpass just north of the U.S. Highway 64 Bypass. It would not impact ongoing work on a 25,000-square-foot medical office that would be occupied by UNC Health Care specialists. Plans for the building were reviewed separately from the development, the citizens group said.

“When it comes to this outside development corporation, the current town board majority is either unwilling or unable to enforce the requirements of its planning ordinances in order to protect our community,” Pittsboro Matters Chairwoman Amanda Robertson said in a statement. “Thus, we had no choice but to seek this injunction to stop the bulldozers before they destroy more of our pristine forests.”

The group filed a lawsuit in December, claiming the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners violated state and local zoning rules, including a lack of proper meeting notices, and wants a judge to overturn Chatham Park’s rezoning and master plans and block town leaders from issuing development permits.

Chatham Park Investors LLC, the project’s funders, claimed in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that the group is influencing legislation, which they say is against the group’s articles of incorporation, and that funds collected by Pittsboro Matters as tax-deductible charitable contributions have been improperly spent on attorney fees related to their lawsuit.

Chatham Park, a multi-use development of homes, businesses, research space and parks that would encompass more than 7,000 acres between the east side of Pittsboro and Jordan Lake, is expected to be completed in phases over 30 years. Developers broke ground on the project in December.

The development, which is three times Pittsboro’s current area and equivalent to the size of Research Triangle Park, is expected to increase the town’s population from 3,000 to more than 60,000 residents.

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