At LG Real Estate, we recently recieved this email from a Morrisville resident on the Land Use and Transportation Plan for Morrisville. Although we stay politically neutral, we wanted to offer this letter to our neighbors and we welcome you to comment. Our key point is to increase the awareness of our friends and neighbors of any local government happenings and help you be informed about your neighborhood. We are neither supporting or opposing this opinion, just presenting it. We encourage you to be involved in our community!
Dear friends and neighbors,
Our community is at a critical juncture. Town Staff has recommended, and the Planning and Zoning Board has now approved, a new Land Use and Transportation Plan for Morrisville. This plan is now before the Town Council for evaluation and approval.
My View: Morrisville’s Land Plan on Wrong Track
By Ty Elliott
Morrisville’s planning department has spent more than a year developing a new Land Use and Transportation Plan (LUTP) to guide the town’s growth and road improvements for decades to come. Area residents and commuters will be impacted by the recommendations in this document. The LUTP will set the stage for a number of critical balanced growth issues, so it is important to learn more about these plans at: http://www.morrisvillelutp.org
As a representative of MorrisvilleAction.org, we support responsible growth of a density appropriate to residential communities. Morrisville does not need over-scaled, massive retail/commercial complexes with insufficient roadway infrastructures located atop of its quiet residential areas. We believe the LUTP misrepresents the expressed wishes of the community to maintain our small town atmosphere.
One key issue is the expansion of three Regional Activity Centers (RACs), a designation that allows high-density development of retail, apartments, and other commercial uses to 14% of all land in Morrisville. In Cary, RACs cover only 4.7% of land. Of particular note, the Southern RAC around Park West Village on NC54 will be expanded from 95 acres to 282 acres. Over 800 of us signed a No Park West petition prior to its approval last January. Even more people will oppose tripling its size, which paves the way for more dense development in our community.
The long opposed plan to extend Crabtree Crossing Parkway, eventually connecting it with Triangle Parkway/I-540 via Town Hall Drive, remains in this new LUTP. This extension would funnel large volumes of traffic down Crabtree Crossing Parkway into Preston since it would become a direct access from RTP to Cary Parkway. Rather than fix NC54’s problems, Morrisville’s answer is to send its commuter traffic through established neighborhoods.
Recently the Morrisville Town Council also approved a highway connector for the new Triangle Parkway that will direct high volumes of traffic through the Kitts Creek neighborhood. Sending high-speed traffic through any residential neighborhood sets a poor precedent in the name of “connectivity” and will make Morrisville less desirable as a residential community.
With so much land being reclassified as activity centers where multi-family units are an allowed use, the citizens’ expressed desire for no additional apartments has been ignored. As proposed, the LUTP designates 24% of our total land as RAC, Neighborhood Activity Center, Business Activity Center and Corridor Commercial. By comparison, only 9% of town land is presently designated as Mixed Use, Retail, Service, and Lodging. Re-zoning the underlying land is still required, but once new designations are approved, it is difficult to deny the more intense land uses.
Also, the LUTP does not allocate any additional public green space outside the town center; and even though 22% of Morrisville’s population is under 18, it fails to reserve any land for schools.
Morrisville residents should look carefully at the proposed land designation maps because there are many areas throughout town where more dense uses are planned, and the resulting increase in traffic will impact their own neighborhood streets. Larger maps and more about these plans will be available from Town staff at an Open House on December 9th. The current schedule is:
December 9, 2008 – Town Council – Open House (5:30 PM) – 1st Briefing (6:30)
December 17, 2008 – 6:30 PM – Public Hearing
January 13, 2009 – 6:30 PM – Town Council – 2nd Briefing
January 27, 2009 – 6:30 PM – Possible Decision by Town Council
These meetings are at Morrisville Town Hall, 100 Town Hall Dr.
Ty Elliott lives in Morrisville, NC
What do you think?