Talking Zoning

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Let the BOC know that you are in support of countywide zoning with an interim zoning measure that would later be adapted to an updated comprehensive land-use plan and map. This zoning would exempt agriculture and the related agricultural businesses that might exist on a family farm. A public process to identify and list agricultural uses will be needed. Additionally, this zoning would exempt minor and family subdivisions, and would grandfather commercial and industrial uses that are already in existence. Owners of a farm or property currently in agricultural or residential use that choose to convert the property to a major residential development or a commercial or industrial use (not related to the agricultural use) would have to seek a zoning change, and that process would require community input and hearing.

Note that of the 100 counties in North Carolina, only 23 are unzoned.

It is particularly important for those in the unzoned areas to speak out! Ask for an updated comprehensive Land-Use Plan and Map:

The county presently has a Land-Use Plan that was adopted in 2001. It is basically a very good guideline, and was developed with much public input. The findings and goals of the plan are still relevant; however, much has changed since 2001, and the current growth patterns and projected development necessitate an update. It is also clear that Chatham County is diverse in land uses, and a one-size-fits-all may not be appropriate at this time.

The primary defect of the existing plan is the absence of a land-use map to accompany the written text. Without such a map, planning staff and officials do not have a framework for governing land uses. This results in ad hoc and haphazard development.

Chatham has a chance to get planning right. We are hopeful that we will!     PDF of Talking Points

Why Zoning Now

  1. Protect Your Property
    Chatham has recently been assaulted undesirable uses in unzoned areas. This includes 3 quarries and a shooting range this year. Our close proximity to Wake, Orange and Durham counties invites further exploitation of Chatham as a dumping ground.
  2. Degraded Environment
    Without modern land use controls environmental damage from oil and gas fracking and coal ash disposal will be exacerbated. There are currently 12 open pits in the unzoned area vulnerable to coal ash disposal.
  3. Agricultural Protection
    The strong urbanization of Chatham, which is upon us, will threaten our growing agricultural community. This intrusion of development will inevitably cause conflicts with the farm community.
  4. Jobs
    Recent economic proposals such as Chatham Park, the Siler City Megasite, and the Moncure Megasite will provide jobs and prosperity to our community. Good investment requires that adjacent sites be compatible neighbors. Uncontrolled land use leaves this to chance.
  5. Wise Investment
    Infrastructure investment in schools and utilities needs to be planned so that taxpayer funds are not wasted. It is projected that a new school will need to be constructed every two years. A look at school overcrowding in neighbor counties is a clear warning that a wise response to growth is very necessary if we value education.
  6. Quality of Life
    People move to Chatham to enjoy the quality of this place we call home. Protection and preservation of our way of life be it urban, suburban, or rural needs to be consistent with our citizen’s vision.

“The land will care for you, if you care for it.” Thomas Berry

 


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