By Mark Pavao
Pittsboro, NC – The North Woods neighborhood in Pittsboro has launched a public awareness campaign (savenorthwoodsneighborhood.com) to highlight concern over the proposed alignment for North Chatham Park Way. North Woods is concerned that the road, which primarily benefits Chatham Park’s development, has shifted slightly to the west, away from land owned by Chatham Park and into North Woods. As a result, the road will take private land, divide the neighborhood and isolate 4 property owners on the other side of the proposed limited access road. The campaign has attracted extensive local media coverage and 2,950+ petition signatures in its first month.
The Chatham Park “Small Area Plan” for the North Village describes in detail the 2,200+ acre development that surrounds North Woods, including the transportation plan which includes North Chatham Park Way. The transportation plan notes that the original road system plan crossed over 40 streams and that the current proposal crosses only 13 streams. Referring to North Chatham Park Way, the plan states that the road has “shifted slightly west to avoid three stream crossings.”
Tim Smith, co-owner of Chatham Park Investors recently commented on this situation and continued this theme in quotes attributed to him in a recent article by Lisa Sorg of NC Policy Watch. Smith is reported to have said that moving the road east of North Woods would cause even more environmental damage. “Extensive stream beds would be destroyed,” he told Policy Watch in an email. “The grading and pollution would also be closer to the Haw River.”
Left unsaid was any concern for the environmental impact of clearing and developing much of the 2,200+ acres that will become Chatham Park’s North Village, future home to 15,551 people. It strikes me as ironic to see Chatham Park Investors waving the environmental flag to justify moving North Chatham Park Way 200 yards to the west away from Chatham Park land into and through my North Woods neighborhood.
I could offer any number of colorful analogies to emphasize the irony in this perspective by Chatham Park Investors, but I won’t. I’ll just ask a question…. “Really?”