Did the Town Council adopt a Land Use Map as part of Chapel Hill 2020?

Yes, on June 25, 2012, the Town Council adopted a Land Use Map as part of Chapel Hill 2020.   Click here to view Chapel Hill 2020, including the adopted Land Use Plan.


Below is the adopted Resolution:




WHEREAS, the Town Council desires to update its long-range plans for the future of Chapel Hill;


WHEREAS, the Council authorized the revision of the Town’s 2000 Comprehensive Plan;


WHEREAS, the Council established an open and broad-based community process to develop the plan that included 13 theme group meetings, community open houses, twenty special topic presentations, electronic forums for community comment, information meetings to provide information and hear community comments, and conducted work sessions on a draft Comprehensive Plan, and held a public hearing;


WHEREAS, the community participated in the crafting of the plan through six theme groups;


WHEREAS, partners in the community such as the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the UNC Health Care System, Orange Water and Sewer Authority and others pa1tici pated in the planning process;


WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill 2020 plan includes the vision and framework for implementation the community’s goals;


NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill that the Council hereby adopts the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Plan as contained in the June 25, 2012 draft submitted to the Town Council.


This the 25th day of June, 2012.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are many ways that you can get involved!

How will my feedback be used?

If engagement efforts are successful, much community input about what the Town should be in the year 2050 will be garnered.  How will community comments and concerns be evaluated?  According to the Town’s Land Use Management Ordinance, the Town Council “adopts and maintains” the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Chapel Hill 2020.  Since the Future Land Use Map is part of the Comprehensive Plan, the Town Council, upon recommendation from the Planning Commission, will adopt the refined Future Land Use Map.  Prior to the Map Adoption Phase, on a regular basis, the Town Council will be apprised of the community input received and will provide direction.

What are the Goals for Citizen Participation/Engagement in the Charting Our Future Project?

The aim of the engagement process for the refinement of the Town’s Future Land Use Map is to deliver a highly transparent and accessible experience for those that live, work, and play in Chapel Hill. The process is designed to:

  • Raise awareness about the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) Refinement Project in particular and local government in general;
  • Educate about the importance of the FLUM, specifically that the FLUM:
  • Together with Chapel Hill 2020, gives direction as land use decisions are made;
  • Provides a degree of certainty regarding where the Town may or may not change;
  • Shows that the Town has thought about how & where development/redevelopment/preservation should occur or not occur; and,
  • Helps insure that land use changes lead the Town toward a desired future.
  • Create a Future Land Use Map that leads to land use decisions that are predictable, function, and intentional;
  • Proactively solicit views on options and issues surrounding potential changes to the Land Use Plan in Chapel Hill 2020;
  • Meaningfully interact and seek opinions from 2500 people, during this phase of the LUMO Rewrite Project, who live; work; play; study; invest; and pray in Chapel Hill;
  • Effectively communicate to participants how input is incorporated, altered, or omitted; and,
  • Encourage collaboration among all Town Staff so that the FLUM is a tool that helps to implement the Council’s Strategic Vision and Plan.
What are the phases, community input objectives, and opportunities for input regarding the refinement of the Future Land Use Map?
Timeframe Phase Engagement objective Method
January –March  2018 Project Planning Provide information to assist in the understanding of the FLUM Project Introduction at Development Review Boards/Commission Meetings
May 2018 Launching the Project Provide residents with information to assist them in understanding the FLUM Project,  to inform them of the opportunities for input, & to begin the public input process Website;  Launch Public Community Meeting
May – October 2018 Evaluation of Alternatives Obtain public feedback on alternatives and work directly with the community throughout the process to ensure that public concerns & aspirations are consistently understood & considered.  Work with the community to provide feedback on how public input influenced decisions. Focus Groups; On-line surveys;

Workshops/Charrette* during 1.5-day Event; “Go where the people are opportunities”

March  – November 2019 Blueprint & Draft Map Evaluation Seek and consider public feedback on the Draft Map while keeping the community informed, listening to & acknowledging concerns and providing feedback on how public input influenced the development of the draft FLUM Community Open House, Online Engagement, Drop-In Studio, Attendance at community events
Winter 2019/ Fall  2020 Map Adoption Obtain public input on the Final Version of the FLUM Online engagement and virtual meetings

* This one and one-half day event will provide an intensive workshop environment in which planning and design ideas are generated, filtered, and discussed openly by participants in order to refine alternative land use scenarios in an interactive environment.

What guides the Town as we gather input from the community?

Community engagement is a purposeful process to seek meaningful input that requires a positive working relationship between the Town and everyone that lives, works, plays, studies, invests, and prays here.  The Town wishes to have respectful dialogue between everyone involved and to do so, sets forth the following Engagement Principles and pledges to follow these Principles during ALL engagement opportunities:

  • During engagement opportunities, be mindful of the following:
    • All participants have useful information;
    • Each of us sees things other people may not;
    • People may disagrees with me & still have pure intentions;
    • Differences are opportunities for learning; and,
    • We all could be contributing to any misunderstandings.
  • During engagement events, remember to:
    • State views & ask sincere questions;
    • Share all relevant information;
    • Use specific examples & agree on what important words mean;
    • Explain reasoning & intent;
    • Focus on common interests, not positions;
    • Test assumptions & inferences; and,
    • Discuss undiscussable issues.
  • Build trust through transparency and responsiveness
  • Encourage openness and learning
  • Set clear expectations
  • Plan and prepare carefully
  • Engagement is effectively designed
  • The information provided will be jargon free and understandable.
  • Make it easier for people to take part
  • Coordinate and collaborate
  • People are informed about the impact of their contribution.
  • Inclusiveness - Engagement opportunities are planned to: Involve and include people of different ages, genders, social class, ethnic groups, and geographic locations; and, Involve and include marginalized and seldom-heard groups.
  • The engagement event/opportunity treats participants with respect. Participants feel valued, comfortable, and welcome. The can rely on:
    • A non-confrontational atmosphere in which they can express their views freely;
    • A well-managed process that provides them with confidence in the engagement activity; and,
    • A friendly and informal environment where they feel they can speak openly.
  • Learn from engagement opportunities in order to improve upcoming engagement opportunities
What is a Future Land Use Map?
  • A compass for future growth management
  • A tool to implement community vision
  • Indicates areas to be developed or preserved
  • Designates broad land use types (residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, etc.)
What is Charting Our Future?

Charting Our Future is a unique Project to refine the Future Land Use Map in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Chapel Hill 2020, and rewrite the Town’s Land Use Management Ordinance (LUMO).

Chapel Hill 2020 is the community's comprehensive plan that sets a vision and a path for Chapel Hill's future.  On June 25, 2012, the Town Council unanimously adopted the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan. The Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan is a reflection of the values, aspirations, and ideas of the community. The participants in the Chapel Hill 2020 process envisioned a town that is accessible, affordable, and sustainable; asserted the importance of protecting the community's natural resources; and emphasized the importance of a vibrant downtown and active neighborhoods.

More Information about Chapel Hill 2020

The LUMO is a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).  A UDO contains local regulations for zoning as well as other desired city regulations, such as design guidelines; sign regulations; and floodplain and stormwater management standards. The UDO also sets minimum criteria for dimensions of lots, setbacks for buildings, and maximum building sizes.

The first phase of the Charting Our Future Project is refining the Town’s Future Land Use Map, which is called the Land Use Plan in Chapel Hill 2020.

What is the difference between a Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and a Zoning Map?

The FLUM depicts a snapshot, thirty years into the future, of the Town’s preferred future mix of land uses, but a zoning map is a regulatory map showing what the Town has already decided to allow today.   The FLUM and the Zoning Map are like a leader and a follower. The FLUM is the leading map that recommends and advises and the zoning map is the following map that authorizes and entitles.

Who is working on updating the Town’s Future Land Use Map?

This community-wide effort is being coordinated by the Town’s Planning and Development Services Department, with assistance from a consultant hired by the Town, with participation and involvement from community members and a diverse array of stakeholders, including the Planning Commission; staff from other Town Departments; and other public agencies.

Why did the Town Council initiate this Charting Our Future Project?

The Charter for this Project establishes a goal to improve the Land Use Management Ordinance and associated land use tools and processes so that they are more predictable, functional and intentional.

Why is a Future Land Use Map Important?
  • The Future Land Use Map together with Chapel Hill 2020 gives direction as land use decisions are made
  • Provides a degree of certainty regarding where & how the Town may change
  • Shows that the Town has carefully considered how & where development/ redevelopment should occur
Why should the Future Land Use Map (Land Use Plan in Chapel Hill 2020) be updated?

The updated FLUM, together with Chapel Hill 2020, gives direction as land use decisions are considered.

It also provides a degree of certainty regarding where & how the Town may change and demonstrates that the Town has carefully considered how & where development/redevelopment should occur.