CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The town of Chapel Hill may follow neighboring Raleigh in adding more dense development inside municipal (city or town) limits.
A recent Chapel Hill housing report shows people pay a premium to live in Chapel Hill compared to neighboring communities.
Still, town planners said demand is present and the need to increase housing production by 35 percent to catch up is imperative. That’s roughly 500 new units annually.
That’s why leaders are looking to allow duplexes, triplexes, quads and smaller homes on lots in what have traditionally been single-family neighborhoods.
“It’s one tool in the toolbox, one arrow in the quiver, it’s just part of a much broader set of answers,” Town senior planner Tas Lagoo said.
The changes are a welcome idea for Melissa McCullough, a climate activist and Chapel Hill resident.
“We need to densify things and make it so people can walk and ride places so that they don’t have to get in their car and ride everywhere,” McCullough said.
Others in the town spoke out against the plan at a public hearing on Wednesday, worried about impacts on single-family areas mixed with affordability.
“When you create the opening for developers to come in, it might start as a dribble, but there’s going to be a building boom at some point,” resident Fred Stang said.
The changes would not affect neighborhood conservation districts.
The town of Chapel Hill will be hosting multiple community events across the next month before bringing it back to the town council in late February.
Meeting and full proposal information is available here.