Local News

Pittsboro could decide on Chatham Park on Monday

Posted June 8

— Months of public meetings and debate have culminated to Monday, which is when the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners is expected to decide whether to approve a controversial development that would change the small Chatham County town.

If approved, 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 by Cary-based Preston Development.

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 by over 1900 percent, from 3,000 to more than 60,000 residents.

The project, which has been in the works for years, was put on hold in November after commissioners tabled a vote to approve a rezoning recommendation from the town’s planning department.

Monday’s anticipated vote would approve or deny the rezoning request. Commissioners are expected to share their thoughts on the project before voting.

The proposed development has led to strong debate between residents. Proponents, like Ed Ungemach, say the project would boost the local economy and bring more jobs to the area.

“Pittsboro can’t sustain itself in its current tax base,” he said.

Bruce Jones believes the project would strain local resources and eradicate Pittsboro’s small town feel.

“If people move to the country, they expect a country environment,” he said. “And I think the park will turn it more into a Cary.”

Chatham Park will consist of 27 sections with five activity centers “that serve as convenient, accessible service and retail destinations for surrounding neighborhoods,” according to the development’s master plan.

A consulting firm hired by the Pittsboro board to review the plan said it “lacks a coherent vision and the necessary performance standards to implement that vision,” but added that, in general, projects of this size can be well designed.

The effort, according to the plan, would require significant investment from Pittsboro and Chatham County, including expanding water and sewer service, building new schools, improving roads and highways and expanding police and fire services.

Monday’s meeting will start at 7 p.m. inside Pittsboro’s administrative office complex.

18 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • Naysayer Jun 9, 5:48 p.m.

    Beautiful country out that way, I hope they don't allow it.

  • Bealzebub Jun 9, 5:19 p.m.

    In Chapel Hill we just went through this. Our council sold us out to real estate developers. I wish you folks in Pittsboro the best of luck but I can say with certainty it will pass. And the way it was handled in Chapel Hill sets up the current property owners and Orange County Tax payers to pick up most of the tab for all the new schools, police, and fire protection. As all of the additional Tax increment is going into paying off the mortgage they took out on city hall to finance the traffic, flooding and other improvements. The city of Chapel hill needs more business development. Not more real estate development that never pays for itself. Take a lesson from Chapel Hill and orange county and focus effort on making sure they don't laso the current tax payers with all the costs and let the devlopers off scott free.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Jun 9, 3:53 p.m.

    What's next in Pittsboro? A McDonalds!!???

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 9, 2:51 p.m.

    What's with the naysayers? The house you live in now was not always there. If jobs and... View More

    — Posted by pause to consider

    -

    The house they live in now may have been there for over a hundred years - long before city slickers came and tried to change their town.

    Many truly LOVE small town life. If you move to a small town, enjoy it!!!

    If you have plants to try to change it, why'd you move there in the first place - cause you could have moved to a larger town to begin with if you really wanted larger town life.

    For instance, Cary was once a lovely little town. Now it's a mess with crime growing there rather rapidly because of little more than greed-driven growth basically brought upon it by out-of-towners.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 9, 2:46 p.m.

    I feel sorry for long-time residents there. I live in a small town of about 2,500 people. I'd hate if this decision was on the table for decision here, because I know politicians and newbies would most likely vote on the side of greed instead of on the side of keeping things the way they are which is beautiful and peaceful.

  • pause to consider Jun 9, 12:55 p.m.

    What's with the naysayers? The house you live in now was not always there. If jobs and lifestyle bring people to NC, then we'd better let them build somewhere - or they'll go somewhere else. (as much as that'd please some of you, ask yourself how you ended up here). At lease have and enforce a plan.

  • disgusted2010 Jun 9, 12:03 p.m.

    I wonder how many of those who so vehemently oppose this are actual long term Pittsboro residents and how many are guilty of the same thing they are now railing against?

  • scubagirl2 Jun 9, 11:23 a.m.

    Doesn't matter if the town decides to nix the project. All the developers need to do is go to... View More

    — Posted by miseem

    And THAT is the saddest thing

    bye bye Pittsboro as we know it.....I so hope this is voted down.

  • Gizmo the Great Jun 9, 11:22 a.m.

    The meeting is at the Chatham Co. Courthouse

  • hiko Jun 9, 11:02 a.m.

    People after money and nothing more. Pittsboro is a small town, needs to stay small. I love... View More

    — Posted by Desiderata

    As of 2014, Cary is ranked the safest city in the United States. It is actually safer to live in Cary than it is to live in Pittsboro. You're closed mindedness is going to kill Pittsboro, which can hardly support itself as it is. You can still have a small town feel while having developments like this, cities all over the US manage to do so. When the only jobs available to adults involve retail and fast food, your town is in economic jeopardy. This project will save Pittsboro and employ thousands.

More...