Pittsboro residents sue over Chatham Park project
Posted August 6, 2014 12:13 p.m. EDT
Updated August 6, 2014 2:26 p.m. EDT
Pittsboro, N.C. — A group of Pittsboro residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday to slow the development of the controversial Chatham Park mixed-use project east of town.
The Town Board voted in June to rezone a 7,120-acre site to allow Chatham Park, which is expected to expand Pittsboro from 4,000 to about 60,000 residents over the next 30 years.
The lawsuit alleges that the board violated the state constitution, state statutes regulating local land zoning approvals and the town’s own zoning requirements. The approved master plan and rezoning are inconsistent with the town’s recently adopted land use plan, a specific requirement under North Carolina law, according to the suit.
“We are not seeking to stop Chatham Park,” Amanda Robertson, a board member of local advocacy group Pittsboro Matters, said in a statement. “Instead, we seek to greatly improve the process for implementing this massive development and to enhance its quality in a manner that protects and respects the environmental resources, small-town character and quality of life of Pittsboro and its citizens. This is what we and many residents sought in our recommended conditions for approval of this development, which were rejected by the town board on June 9.”
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.
“By approving this project without incorporating either Pittsboro Matters’ recommendations or the most important recommendations of the town’s paid planning consultant, the Town Board essentially put the Cary-based Chatham Park Investors in the drivers’ seat to control Pittsboro’s destiny,” Robertson said. “We want to use this legal action to put Pittsboro and its local residents back in the drivers’ seat.”