Local News

Development could bring 20-fold population boom to Pittsboro

Posted August 21, 2013

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Often viewed as the epitome of quaint, small-town living, Pittsboro could become the region's next boom town.

Chatham Park, a multi-use development covering more than 7,000 acres on the east side of town, has already received a recommendation from Pittsboro's planning department. The town's Board of Commissioners is expected to review the master plan Saturday and could vote on rezoning the area for development as soon as Sept. 9.

Philip Culpepper, a spokesman for Cary-based Preston Development, said the project would be completed in phases over 30 years and eventually increase Pittsboro's population from 3,000 to 60,000.

"We can develop a project that actually doesn't create sprawl but creates a town or adds to the town in a way that's a benefit to the town," Culpepper said, noting each phase would have to be approved separately in the future. "The rezoning gives us no right to go and build anything."

The project will intermingle homes, businesses, research space and parks, he said.

"It's a unified development that's a live-work-play project," he said.

Map of Chatham Park project in Pittsboro Pittsboro weighs Cary developer's master plan

Dana Russell said that, when she moved to Pittsboro six years ago, she figured the small town wouldn't stay that way forever.

"When you look at the map, this is the only place on the map that isn't full of stores and buildings," Russell said.

She said she hopes Pittsboro's growth means more customers for her salon and other downtown businesses.

"Right now, the building next to us has been for rent for four years, and (the landlord) is waiting it out, waiting for it to come," she said.

Still, some in Pittsboro are wary of the development.

"We won't have any small towns if we keep bringing in these big neighborhoods," resident Blake Brooks said.

Town Manager Bryan Gruesbeck said Pittsboro officials are paying close attention to preserving the town's atmosphere and the concerns of local residents.

"All the concerns are valid, and the community has raised concerns that we are all going to work to address," Gruesbeck said.

41 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • IPayYouPay Aug 23, 2013

    For those who moved to Pittsboro for that small-town life: Like Brenda Lee used to sing "I'm sorry."

    I stayed in NC for a reason. If I'd wanted the "night life" and the "hustle bustle of New York", I'd gone to NY, but I didn't. I feel so sorry for Pittsboro - oh, btw, I live in Raleigh... was nice...not anymore. Good luck, Pittsboro.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Aug 22, 2013

    "But I guess the developers don't care so long as they can wipe out the same woods and fields and start stacking in the condos and houses on top of one another...Since they are selling them as fast as they can build them, don't you think just maybe the home buyers are more to blame than the developer? The developer is simply fulfilling a need in the marketplace." - btneast

    In any case, it would be nice if the developers could be persuaded somehow to purchase more expensive land closer to the city center for their mega-development, instead of virgin land on the periphery and all new infrastructure.

    After all, the developers won't be around in 50 years when their development is complete, and the traffic has become unbearable, and the maintenance of all of that infrastructure is becoming ever more expensive for future taxpayers.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Aug 22, 2013

    "...Me and the wife drove down #1 to 55 to head to Harnett county and all we saw were houses built on top of one another and the sad part were the older residents living on the road with it all happening behind them.I for one wouldn't live like a bunch of pack rats if my life depended on it." - thomasl

    Your love of open space is sweet, but it is nostalgia. Welcome to the 21st century with a world of over 8 billion people.

    Most people want infrastructure and services, and those amenties are only sustainable if living quarters are arranged tightly around city centers. What you are seeing in Harnett County and may soon be seeing in Chatham County is called "sprawl", and most modern scientists, engineers, and anthropologists recognize that sprawl is too expensive, and too destructive of our planet's ecosystem.

    You do want your children and their children to get to see open space, too, right?

  • Get your IDs Aug 22, 2013

    Those actions that hadn't happened or kicked in when those lists were written?

    You do realize that, right?

    junkmail5

    I realize you make lots and lots of excuses. I just heard the news about Raleigh yesterday and NCGA has been in pffice for how long now? How do you know when the lists where made? The info about Apex just came out a few weeks ago. So you're saying that those list are basically old news? Then why even bother printing them?

  • aprince27 Aug 22, 2013

    Folks worried about the impact on the town. Remember there is no guarantee on this. Wasn't Wendell Falls supposed to do the same thing in East Wake?

    Heck, Wells Fargo finally agreed to finish building all of the roads in that development. It will most likely be 2-5 years before even any housing, retail, or other services will be built nearly 10 years after it was first proposed.

    I am sure parts of it will be developed but I don't think the lofty expectations will occur.

  • HappyGoAshley Aug 22, 2013

    This is great news. Our family built a house in one of the newer neighborhoods in Pittsboro in 2006. We have since moved to Chapel Hill but still own that house and have had to rent it for he last 4 years...only because the market tanked so far below what we owe on it.

    Peoples' heads are in the sand if they think Chatham County is on course for some kind of miraculous revival. Still years and year of inventory to sort through. Jobs in Chatham are essential to ever fully recover.

  • btneast Aug 22, 2013

    But I guess the developers don't care so long as they can wipe out the same woods and fields and start stacking in the condos and houses on top of one another.

    Since they are selling them as fast as they can build them, don't you think just maybe the home buyers are more to blame than the developer? The developer is simply fulfilling a need in the marketplace.

  • ThomasL Aug 22, 2013

    Just another good small town like apex was going to the mass flooding this state to crowd it too.Me and the wife drove down #1 to 55 to head to Harnett county and all we saw were houses built on top of one another and the sad part were the older residents living on the road with it all happening behind them.I for one wouldn't live like a bunch of pack rats if my life depended on it.

  • ThomasL Aug 22, 2013

    Oh controlled development is not good,leaving our state the way it was with open fields and woods is better than the concrete jungles more people and worse traffic.

  • ThomasL Aug 22, 2013

    So what do they plan on doing with all the Mexicans that took over that small town years ago?Raise land values so high like they did in holly springs area to run them off.But I guess the developers don't care so long as they can wipe out the same woods and fields and start stacking in the condos and houses on top of one another.Urban sprawl and spreading the shiiit farther out.

More...