Wednesday, November 1, 2000
As officials laud UNC's Master Plan, critics
ask if the University can balance its needs
for expansion and its duties as a neighbor.
Town, UNC Maintain Positive Ties as Plan Takes Shape
Despite many divisive issues surrounding
UNC’s Master Plan, Chapel Hill officials
remain optimistic about the relationship
between the town and University.
The Master Plan is a blueprint for future campus
growth that has sparked controversy between UNC
officials and town residents who fear UNC’s borders
will begin to creep into their neighborhoods.
University and town officials
have worked to ensure that
issues of mutual concern b y Ben
over the Master Plan o+linn
between the University and VJ and 111 M y
town are addressed appro
Town Council member Jim Ward said it is not in
the UNC’s best interest to plan without town input.
He said the interests of the town and University are
intertwined and neither side can act exclusively.
“The University does not benefit at all by trying to
go at it alone and go against the town,” Ward said.
“Chapel Hill is a vibrant place to live because of the
“What’s good for the town is good for the
University, and what’s good for the University is good
for the town.”
Chapel Hill Mayor Rosemary Waldorf said the
drafting of the Master Plan is essential for the
University so they can adequately project their needs
“A Master Plan is certainly appropriate,” she said.
“It’s a good planning exercise to go through.”
Town Council member Flicka Bateman also said
UNC is doing what is necessary by planning for
“(The University) is doing what they are expected
to do by taking on more students,” Bateman said.
“They probably do need to expand.”
But she said the plan does have some drawbacks.
Bateman said UNC should further investigate other
facets of the plan, including a special-use permit for the
From Page 1
Pardue agreed that South Campus is
in need of attention and said it is living
motivation to plan ahead. “I realize that
South Campus will never be as beautiful
as North Campus, but we can do a bet
ter job than we’ve done.”
Jim Leloudis, director of thejames M.
Johnston Center for Undergraduate
Excellence, said rapid growth in the
University’s past now haunts the future,
creating an obstacle to successful growth.
“Some of the growth was done without
plans - I’m not sure they were thinking
back then,” said Leloudis, who has done
extensive research on the history of
UNC’s campus. “The Master Plan has put
a lot of time in, through the experience of
the designers, to enhance the growth.”
And with Chapel Hill residents
putting pressure on UNC to stay within
its existing boundaries, officials realize
that growth will have to be harnessed.
Board of Governors member John
Sanders, also a member of the Master
Plan Executive Steering Team, said
dwindling land space at UNC demands
a plan. “It’s necessary because we have a
limited amount of land and a great
amount of need - those facilities need to
be placed on land in a way that makes it
efficient for student use,” he said.
“Buildings need to be placed in ratio
nal relation to each other.”
Sanders said any long-term plan will
encounter bumps in the road, such as
funding limitations, changes in leadership
and new trends in culture and technology.
Pulley agreed, saying the current
Master Plan should not be criticized for
A provision of the special-use permit states that
there can be no construction within 200 feet of the
University’s property border, creating a buffer
between UNC and surrounding neighborhoods.
“I have questions about the revising of the special
use permit for the Dean Dome to reduce buffering for
the surrounding neighborhoods,” she said. “Also, I’m
concerned about the road change in the Mason Farm
But Ward said that while the plan is reasonable for
the University to ask, it does have some problems
such as additional traffic caused by more students and
patients at the hospital and, of utmost concern, a pro
posed transit corridor, which would cut through
neighborhoods to alleviate traffic on Manning Drive.
“I don’t think that we all understand the traffic
implications,” he said. “The lightning rod for debate
is the mass transit corridor.”
UNC, in conjunction with Chapel Hill, Durham,
Duke University, the Triangle Transit Authority and
the N.C. Department of Transportation, is studying
the possibilities for a transit system between Ninth
Street in Durham and UNC Hospitals.
This could include a light railway commuter train,
a bus-only roadway or a bus system similar to what
now connects Chapel Hill to the rest of the Triangle.
Ward said the plan now includes a corridor which
would accommodate the most invasive method - light
rail. If adopted, noise levels in the affected neighbor
hoods could increase, the corridor would be wider
and eight homes would be demolished. Ward said he
is opposed to that option but would support a busway
because the impact on Chapel Hill neighborhoods
would be less.
“The technology being focused on has a restricted
ability to fit into the rather tight community of Chapel
Hill,” he said. “My belief is that a dedicated busway is
better for the community.”
Town Manager Cal Horton said that although the
University and the town have differed over housing
and road improvements in the past, they have always
found common ground.
looking too far into the future. “You
can’t envision the future with perfect
success ... Things are going to happen
that you don’t anticipate,” she said.
“It’s not a sign that earlier plans were
defective - it’s just reality.”
Sanders said constant revision as
times change will eliminate errors in
judgment that could result in mistakes.
“Buildings have a permanence. You
have to live with it for a long time to
come. Any building commitment is a
Board of Trustees Chairwoman Anne
Cates said the plan likely will need to be
revised often, but because of necessity
instead of error. “The world is changing
so quickly -as the world changes, it will
have to be adapted,” she said.
Constant growth in the University
itself will likely demand constant atten
tion to the plan. With Moeser at the helm
pledging to make UNC the best public
university in the nation, the University
could take ambitious leaps that will send
ripples of change through campus.
“To move ahead, to improve the
quality of the University’s performance,
then we clearly are going to need better
facilities... I think die facilities that are
to be provided for by the ($3.1 billion)
bond and (the Master Plan) are essential
to realizing the kind of vision
Chancellor Moeser has projected,”
Student Body Secretary Michael
Woods said it is the vision behind the
Master Plan that sets it apart from past
blueprints. “It’s much more of an ideol
ogy than a concrete plan,” he said.
“Although it’s a broad vision, as things
come up, the Master Plan will alter
“The history of town-University relations is that the
University has always been willing to work together to
resolve issues of mutual interest,” Horton said.
Despite some drawbacks of the plan, Chapel Hill
Planning Director Roger Waldon said one aspect of
the plan he especially likes is its focus on preserving
UNC’s natural spaces.
“The emphasis on protection and restoration of the
natural environment that the plan proposes is very
helpful,” he said.
Even with all the divisive issues surrounding the
plan, Waldorf said UNC has not involved her or the
council directly in the planning process. She said they
have only participated in informal informational ses
sions. “I’ve been on committees and meetings,” she
said. “It is more the (Town Council) being exposed to
the planning process.”
Waldon said University officials have invited him
to respond to each planning detail affecting the town.
Waldon also said he has been to committee meetings
to offer his input on the Master Plan.
“Everybody around here has appreciated the way
the University has acted,” he said. “There is a lot of
communication between (UNC and the town).”
Horton said UNC’s new chancellor, James Moeser,
could create some new challenges in town-gown rela
tions. He said it takes time to develop a good working
relationship between UNC and town officials.
“With any new person taking the helm, there is
always a period of adjustment,” Horton said.
“(Moeser) has to
learn an awful lot
said it has not
been very diffi
cult to adjust She
said he has been
very helpful and
eager to work in
Woods said the Master Plan officials
have done an impressive job of covering
all bases when it comes to assessing the
University’s needs. “I think they’ve
done a very good job making sure
they’ve consulted a lot of professionals
about what can be done here,” he said.
“They’ve been compiling the best
minds and the best advice.”
But Woods said the plan is lacking a
key factor - the voice of students who
make UNC what it is today.
“Maybe (student input) is not a cru
cial part, not necessarily in a critical
sense, but important to have.”
He expressed concern that in the
University’s mission to cultivate the intel
lectual climate on campus, buildings will
become more important than recre
Woods suggested that the plan be
revised annually by officials -and stu
dent representatives - to keep the vision
saying the plan is
not imperfect but
has great potential.
“It may turn out
that the Master Plan
is too ambitious
we won’t be able to
raise the money,”
he said. “It’s a goal
for us all to shoot
for, but it’s going to
take many years to
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University Editor can be reached
PLAN C includes anew road providing access to UNC Hospitals on property the University ow
corridor. In Plan C, the transit service would be provided by buses operating on streets as the
From Page 1
University and town officials say the plan favors the latter.
“The Master Plan protects a lot of the beauty of campus as
it stands today,” said Robert Humphreys, director of the
Chapel Hill Downtown Commission.
Town residents say the intimate feel
ing of campus contributes to the appeal
of Chapel Hill, helping to connect the
town and University.
Maggie Lindquist, interim director of
the Chapel Hill Preservation Society, said
the academic climate in combination
with the manageable size of the town
contributes to an integrated community.
“(I like) the intellectual stimulation, the
feeling of closeness and (the fact) that it is
a smaller, not huge city, but at the same
time has a cosmopolitan feel,” she said.
New York City native and senior
Andy Shapiro, who chose UNC over
Cornell University, was impressed by
the campus’ consistent beauty across a large space. “Although
this is a big campus, it doesn’t really feel that way,” he said.
conjunction with town officials on all issues including the
“(Moeser’s) great,” she said. “I think he’s very open
minded. He seems very committed."
Waldorf and Moeser formed a committee Oct. 18
composed of Master Plan Director Jonathan Howes,
UNC Senior Counsel Susan Ehringhaus and UNC
Board of Trustees member Richard Stevens as
University representatives, and to represent the town,
council members Kevin Foy, Lee Pavao and Bill
Strom. Waldorf said she chose the council members
because they have no ties to UNC.
Waldorf said the committee hopes to create a dia
logue between town and University officials on long
term solutions to problems, specifically the Master
Plan, housing and transportation.
Ward said UNC and the town need to work for
lasting solutions on divisive items. Despite differences,
the town and University need to jointiy address many
other pressing issues, including transportation and the
Horace Williams tract, which is owned by UNC but
houses many of the town’s municipal services, he
“Both the University and the town have a number
of other topics to discuss,” Ward said. “While our
agendas are different, we need to work together for
our own interests.”
The City Editor can be reached
UNC faculty members agree the appeal of the physical
campus attracts students, saying the intellectual climate of the
University is complemented by the campus atmosphere. rCr
Jim Leloudis, UNC history professor and director of the
James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, said
the compact size of North Campus further enhances the intel
lectual climate. “Across the disciplines, we are very l closely
clustered, he said. “I don’t have to walk clear across campus
to speak with another department.”
But students and town officials say the beauty of North
Campus does not extend down south. “The feel of South
Campus is disgusting and horrible,” said Kate Sowder, a
sophomore living in Morrison Residence Hall. “You wake up
and there s construction, and at night the sunset is between the
hospital building and the water tower.”
University officials also are aware of the disparities between
the feel of North and South campuses. A1 Calarco, the associ
ate director of housing education, said the initial sight of high
rise residence halls gives South Campus an urban feel.
When you’re coming up Manning Drive, the first thing’
you see is die Morrison Residence Hall,” he said. •
But Calarco also said the feel of South Campus would change
after the construction of four new residence hall communities,
a project that breaks ground in November.
Leloudis said plans to simplify the cross-campus wialk,will
reduce the perceived distance of South Campus to North.
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