Pittsboro board adopts UDO, approves several land development requests

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PITTSBORO — After about six years in the making, the board of commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the Town of Pittsboro Unified Development Ordinance at the board’s regular meeting on Monday.

The UDO “consolidates, rewrites and replaces multiple ordinances into a single document to manage land development,” according to a presentation from Interim Planning Director Theresa Thompson.

Town policy on such things as “zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance, flood damage prevention, lighting, stormwater and riparian buffer protection ordinances” are all included in the UDO, she said.

Thompson and her team have worked for several months to shape the document per commissioners’ wishes and resident input, presenting several noteworthy town ordinance amendments in board of commissioners meetings, as the News + Record has reported. But their work represents the culmination of several years of deliberation by elected officials, town staff and the public.

“This has been a very long time coming,” said Commissioner Kyle Shipp, “and I’m glad to be at this point this evening. There will always be a lot of work to do on our development ordinances, but I think this is a big step forward ... So, I’m thankful for all the work that went in, and also for all the work that will come.”

While the commissioners elected to officially adopt the UDO, Thompson emphasized that some features are yet incomplete and others are subject to change at the board’s request.

“If we find that there are issues or concerns in the future with the current language,” she said, “it can always be addressed or changed.”

Some commissioners suggested they expect to propose future amendments, especially Commissioner Michael Fiocco, who expressed dissatisfaction with the UDO’s overall approach to development regulation.

“While I think it’s an improvement to our current zoning ordinance, I do find it lacking,” he said. “As far as our aspirations when we started on this project, I’d hoped for a far more progressive product.”

Fiocco described the problem as a missing “funky” factor.

“I think in the last several years, we worked to introduce a little bit of the funk,” he said, “but I think we’re far short of it. I wish we had done a better job, and I look forward to the many amendments that I think will come forth in the endeavor to get this where we would like it to have arrived already.”

Other news

The board addressed and approved several petitions for land use and development permissions in its Monday meeting, most of them from Chatham Park Investors.

• Chatham Park Investors proposed an amendment to the Chatham Park Planned Development District Master Plan to revise the table of permitted uses for two parcels located on Eubanks Road adjacent to its intersections with U.S. Hwy. 64 Business East and the U.S. Hwy. 64 bypass. The approximately 55 acres was originally zoned for research and development purposes. Under the approved revision, Chatham Park may host a broader range of businesses on the land, including manufacturing and industrial, retail trade, wholesale trade and transportation warehouse and utilities.

• The board approved a proposed site plan from Chatham Park Investors for construction of a new, private amenity center to be located in the Vineyards neighborhood along Vine Parkway.

• The commissioners approved a preliminary plan from Chatham Park Investors for a new 129-lot development near the intersection of Chatham Parkway and Suttles Road with 81 single-family, detached homes and 48 townhouses.

• At Chatham Park Investors’ request, the board approved a contiguous annexation petition to annex 130.5 acres along Eubanks Road.

• Green Beagle Kennel requested a special use permit for a commercial kennel, accessory pet daycare, grooming and dog training facility to be located on about 16 acres on Eubanks Road adjacent to and north of the U.S. Hwy. 64 East bypass. The board enthusiastically approved the request.

“Welcome to Pittsboro,” Fiocco said, “thanks for coming.”

“We look forward to you coming here,” Mayor Jim Nass added.

Reporter D. Lars Dolder can be reached at dldolder@chathamnr.com and on Twitter @dldolder.

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