About the Project
Chatham County is undertaking Recode Chatham, a project to rewrite its land-use regulations that include zoning and subdivison regulations based on the policy direction in the Plan Chatham Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2017. The project will result in a new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) that serves as the primary regulatory document guiding all development and land use within the county.
The UDO will be a user-friendly document for residents, elected officials, appointed boards, and the development community, with a streamlined development review process tailored uniquely to Chatham County. The goal is that the UDO will develop clear procedures and guidelines that are simple, flexible, and easily administered.
There are many ways to learn about Recode Chatham and to provide your input.
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Attend public events.
Review draft material and provide your comments.
All interested parties are encouraged to participate in Recode Chatham, because the project will be most successful with input from a broad cross section of the community. To sign up to receive project updates, input your information in the form to the right.
News & Updates
UDO Module 2, the Health & Equity Assessment, and Plan Moncure Small Area Plan
The UDO team and County staff have been busy working on several important parts of ReCode Chatham.
Following the March roll out of Module 1 of the Unified Development Ordinance (including zoning districts and uses), we’ve now turned to development standards, including parking, landscaping, open space, buffers, and subdivision, for example. This summer we’ll be working with staff to finalize drafts of these sections of the UDO for public roll out anticipated in the fall.
In addition, we have recently completed a draft of the Health and Equity Assessment and Report, which we are reviewing with Planning staff and the County department of Public Health. This report will summarize areas of the UDO in which we are able to protect and enhance community health and equity related to healthy food access, obesity and inactivity, mobility and multimodal access, environment and pollution, displacement and gentrification, health care and early childhood development, and affordable housing.
Finally, we have been busy at work on the Plan Moncure small area plan. Since January, the small area planning process has included 6 public outreach sessions and workshops, two public surveys, and the development of an existing conditions report and alternative scenario plans, which were presented at public workshops on March 21st and May 24th. The Team updated the Board of Commissioners on our progress on June 5 and is now finalizing a final recommended plan and vision for southeastern Chatham County. At this time, we anticipate completing this process later in the summer, followed by a presentation and consideration by the Planning Board and, in the fall, the Board of Commissioners for final action. Plan Moncure documents and meeting materials can be found by clicking here.
You can monitor this website for ongoing updates related to the UDO.
In addition, to keep track of or participate in the Plan Moncure project, check out the webpages for the small area plan, which can be accessed via the “Plan Moncure” drop-down tab above. The home page for Plan Moncure includes detailed updates for the small area plan, as well as an email list for staying informed.
UDO Task 6.1: Zoning Module Presented to the BOC and Planning Board
March 22, 2023
The consultant team presented the UDO Zoning Module Public Review Draft to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) on March 6 and to the Planning Board on March 7. The presentations focused on major changes proposed to current regulations.
The Zoning Module includes Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Zoning Districts, and Chapter 3: Use Regulations, and is available on the project website under the Documents & Work Products tab. The consultant team will incorporate feedback received on the Public Review Draft Zoning Module into the next iteration of each UDO chapter.
The consultant team is beginning to draft the next module, Development Standards, which includes UDO Chapters 4 through 12. Topics include parking, signs, landscaping, building design, tree protection, subdivision, and environmental regulations. The Annotated Outline provides more detail about the topics covered in each chapter.
Input on the UDO may be submitted anytime to Chance Mullis, UDO Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UDO Task 6.1: Zoning Module Available for Public Review
February 20, 2023
The consultant team recently completed the Public Review Draft of the UDO Zoning Module, which includes Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Zoning Districts, and Chapter 3: Use Regulations. The Public Review Drafts incorporate input received from County staff and the Planning Board UDO Subcommittee. The drafts are available on the project website under the Documents & Work Products tab.
The consultant team will present the drafts to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) at its regular meeting on Monday, March 6, and to the Planning Board at its regular meeting on March 7. The presentations will focus on major changes proposed to current regulations. The BOC meeting will include time for public comment following the consultant team’s presentation.
The consultant team will incorporate feedback received at these meetings into the next iteration of each UDO chapter.
Input may also be submitted anytime to Chance Mullis, UDO Project Manager, at email@example.com.
Plan Moncure Phase 1 Completed and Report Posted
On December 19, 2022, the Board of Commissioners completed the first phase of Plan Moncure, which included a subject matter assessment, visioning process, and development of an action plan for Plan Moncure, which is now underway.
The final report from Phase 1 is posted under the Documents & Work Products tab above. Chapter 4 of the report details the approach to be taken in Plan Moncure, including the adopted Action Plan.
The White & Smith consulting team is now developing a separate webpage for Plan Moncure, which will include documentation, updates, meetings, and notice of input public engagement opportunities, which are starting this month. Once completed, the Plan Moncure webpage will be accessible from this website as well.
Stay tuned for details.
Draft Plan Moncure Phase 1 Report Available for Review
The Board of Commissioners will discuss the Phase 1 portion of Plan Moncure when it convenes in a work session on December 19, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
At this session, the consultants will review the detailed scope of work and timeline proposed for Phase 2, which is the "small area plan" for Moncure and the region immediately impacted by the development of the Triangle Innovation Point (“TIP”) properties. The findings from Phase 1, as well as the scope of work and schedule for the small area plan itself are included in the draft report, which can be found under the Documents & Work Products tab above.
Discussions on December 19th will include, for example, public outreach and input opportunities, demographic and other areas of analysis, potential scenarios for the physical development of Moncure, as well as the project timeline for completing the Plan Moncure small area plan. The BOC also will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the consultant team and staff as the action plan for Phase 2 is finalized.
Phase 1 of the plan began in June of this year, and has included the planning, visioning efforts, and analysis needed to be part of the small area plan for the Moncure community in Phase 2. The current schedule anticipates the small area planning project to begin soon after the new year.
UDO Task 6.1: Zoning Module is Underway
The consultant team recently finalized an Annotated Outline of the UDO based on input from staff. The Annotated Outline establishes the overall structure of the document and indicates where the current development-related regulations will be incorporated into the UDO. The Annotated Outline is a “blueprint” for the UDO drafting stage, but does not represent the final outline for the UDO. During drafting, chapters, sections, and subsections may be added, removed, and reorganized. The Outline is available on the project website under the Documents & Work Products tab.
The consultant team has begun drafting the Zoning Module of the UDO, which includes Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Base Zoning Districts, Chapter 3: Overlay Zoning Districts, and Chapter 4: Use Regulations.
The Planning Board UDO Subcommittee reviewed and provided feedback on Chapters 1 & 2 at its meeting on September 29, 2022. The UDO Subcommittee reviewed and provided feedback on portions of Chapter 4 (related to accessory uses and temporary uses), as well as the proposed Activity Center Zoning District, at its meeting on October 27, 2022.
The consultant team is currently working on drafts of Chapters 3 & 4, which we anticipate the UDO Subcommittee will review at its December meeting.
The Planning Board UDO Subcommittee will meet periodically to review and provide feedback on drafts of the UDO. Meeting agendas and minutes are available online. While their meetings are open to the public, the UDO Subcommittee typically will not directly receive public input.
The consultant team will conduct workshops at several points during the drafting stage to receive input from the community. Input may also be submitted anytime to Chance Mullis, UDO Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UDO Stage 3: Drafting is Underway
On June 6, 2022, the consultant team met with the Board of Commissioners to provide a project update and discuss development principles and policies for the County’s rural and agricultural areas. Through a lens of character, capacity, and economy, the Commissioners discussed three key tools for regulating development—density, subdivision, and land use. The meeting presentation and video are available online.
The consultant team recently completed a draft Annotated Outline of the UDO, which establishes the overall structure of the document and indicates where the current development-related regulations will be incorporated into the UDO. Based on input from staff and the Planning Board UDO Subcommittee, the consultant team will finalize the Annotated Outline in the coming weeks. Once finalized, the Outline will be posted on the project website under the Documents & Work Products tab.
The Planning Board UDO Subcommittee will meet periodically to review and provide feedback on drafts of the UDO. Meeting agendas and minutes are available online. While their meetings are open to the public, the UDO Subcommittee typically will not directly receive public input. The consultant team will conduct workshops at several points during the drafting stage to receive input from the community.
"Health & Equity" in the UDO
Chatham County has set aside a portion of its Healthy Communities grant funding to augment the UDO rewrite and ReCode Chatham project. The consultants will develop a standalone “Heath & Equity Assessment” report to increase focus of the new UDO on health and equity issues in Chatham County. Areas addressed will include healthy food access, obesity/inactivity, mobility and multi-modal access, environment and pollution, health- and childcare access, displacement/gentrification, and access to affordable housing. The consultant team kicked-off this component of ReCode Chatham on May 24, 2022 by holding a work session with County staff and members of the County Department of Public Health. The deliverables for this subtask will be posted to the website and resulting UDO revisions summarized in the final report.
UDO Drafting Kick-Off / Moncure Megasite
The Board of Commissioners will meet in a work session on June 6th at 1:00pm in the Historic Courthouse located in Pittsboro to discuss the UDO and provide direction on specific topics outlined in the Recode Chatham audit.
The Board also will discuss incorporating considerations of the Moncure Megasite into the UDO and the initiation of a countywide planning process focusing on the site.
The consultants will incorporate the Board's feedback as they begin UDO Stage 3: Drafting and the assessment phase of Megasite planning effort.
Moncure Megasite and the UDO
On March 29th, Governor Roy Cooper announced that automaker VinFast selected Chatham County as the location of its first North American assembly plant for its electronic vehicles. The plant is planned for development at the Moncure Megasite in Southeastern Chatham County.
In anticipation of this historic project, the County is initiating a wide-ranging planning effort to assess countywide impacts of the project, to prepare an action plan to address those impacts, and to develop an area plan for the County lands expected to be most directly impacted by development of the Moncure Megasite site.
Board of Commissioners Review Code Audit
On April 4, Tyson Smith and Kelly Cousino presented the draft Code Audit to the Board of Commissioners for its consideration and its feedback on the report. The Board also received initial public input on the UDO Code Audit and UDO rewrite project. The Consultant Team now will finalize the Code Audit and post it to “Documents and Work Products” tab above. The Audit serves as a guide to the development of the County’s new Unified Development Ordinance.
Code Audit Available for Public Review and Comment
The public review draft of the Recode Audit is available under the “Documents & Work Products” tab above.
The Audit serves as the “plan” for preparing draft revisions to the County’s land use codes during the Recode process. It reflects the extensive feedback already received from the Board of Commissioners, Planning Board, County staff, and County advisory boards and committees.
The Audit will be presented at the Board of Commissioners meeting on April 4th, starting at 6 PM. Public comment will be received.
Draft Code Audit Under Review
The consultants have provided a preliminary draft assessment of the County’s current land use codes, which staff is reviewing now.
Following staff review, a draft of the audit will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at its 6:00 meeting on April 4th. Public comment will be received at this meeting as well, to ensure a complete inventory of issues to be addressed during the recode process.
The draft audit will be posted under the “Documents and Work Products” tab above prior to the April 4th meeting.
The Code Audit is Underway
County Staff has reviewed the consultant's initial versions of the UDO Code Audit, in the form of a stakeholder "Issues Identification Summary." The consulting Team is now putting the formal Audit together with completion expected next month.
Stage Two is Underway
Having completed Phase One’s listening sessions in December, the Team has begun developing the UDO "Code Audit," which will identify the subject areas to be revisited during the recode process, based on feedback received during Phase One. In coordination with County staff, the Consultant Team is working on initial drafts of the Audit and we anticipate an update on our progress in a few weeks.
Stage One Nears Completion
The Board of Commissioners will meet in a work session on December 8th to complete Stage One of Recode Chatham, Project Orientation.
Stage One’s listening sessions will be followed by preparation of a Code Audit and Drafting Blueprint, which summarize input received during the Project Orientation, as well as our Team’s assessment of code revisions to implement Plan Chatham's recommendations and initial guidance from the Board.
The project website has launched! Check back here for information about the project including upcoming meetings and events!