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Expansion request brings Chatham Park back to Pittsboro commissioners

Posted November 24, 2014

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— Chatham Park developers will go before the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners Monday night to request approval for an additional 45 acres to the massive project.

The request means commissioners will, once again, vote on the entire development. 

Monday’s meeting comes amid a lawsuit and upcoming groundbreaking for the controversial project. A month after Pittsboro commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the project in July, a group of Pittsboro residents filed a lawsuit alleging town leaders violated state and local zoning rules, including a lack of proper meeting notices.

The residents want a judge to overturn the rezoning and master plan for Chatham Park and block Pittsboro officials from issuing any permits for development.

Pittsboro Matters, which filed the lawsuit and has been critical of the project, believes Monday’s meeting is an opportunity for Cary-based Preston Development to get things right.

The group believes Monday's request is due to their efforts, while the developer says it is part of a routine process to make necessary changes.

Meanwhile, a groundbreaking ceremony for a UNC Health Care building in Chatham park is scheduled for Dec. 2.

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.

The massive development, 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 – or by more than 1900 percent.

The project’s initial approval came after months of public hearings and debates, where residents for and against the project expressed their views in meetings lasting long into the night.

Proponents say the project, which has been in the works for years, would boost the local economy and bring more jobs to the area. Opponents believe the development would strain local resources and eradicate Pittsboro’s small town feel.

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  • 678devilish Nov 25, 2014

    One day it will pass. Just like Wal-Mart, many certain people did not want it. But look at today. We do have a Wal-Mart in Siler. The ones that did not want it, shop there too. So go figure. Cannot satisfy everyone.

  • Trevor Nov 25, 2014

    Many of us in Chatham are glad to see this happening, we need jobs and would rather spend our time in county and not traveling out of county for work.

  • Erik Vinson Nov 25, 2014
    user avatar

    This is surley to be poor planning and even poorer development.

  • davidhartman Nov 25, 2014

    I feel sorry for Pittsboro residents.

    Welcome to unchecked urban sprawl, taxes, & congestion AKA Cary & Garner. You will be forced to pay for a myriad of infrastructure improvements, which are already woefully overloaded, while Preston Development reaps the profits.

  • Eq Videri Nov 25, 2014
    user avatar

    This area on the Triangle's edge is destined to grow and develop regardless of who owns it.

    I would much rather have it master planned and developed methodically over several decades instead of piecemeal and uncoordinated, like so many other places around here that were poorly planned.

    It's much better to get ahead of the inevitable growth and plan for it in large chunks, then let it develop sensibly over time.