Homestead Road is an area of Chapel Hill that has seen the construction of many new communities, and Tri Pointe Townhomes aims to be among the next developments along the road. The City of Chapel Hill and Gurlitz Architectural Group held a public information hearing on July 20 to discuss the future of the property.
One hundred single-family homes are on offer for land at 2217 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, with 15% of new developments being designed to be affordable housing. The property sits between the Carolina Protected Forest and the Courtyards at Homestead Road community for older homeowners.
Richard Gurlitz of Gurlitz Architectural Group said that the main concepts of the project are to create townhouses for single-family use, to achieve the objectives of the future land use plan, to provide missing intermediate housing, to achieve the city’s affordable housing goals and preserve accessible mature forests.
“The slightly more detailed development program is to install 103 townhouses. 86 of them are 26 feet wide with two garages – 17 of them are 22 feet wide with a one-car garage,” Gurlitz said. “They all have driveways that hold extra cars, so if people fill their garages with things other than cars, there’s room on the street for them to park their car.”
Recreational opportunities are also provided at the housing facilities, including trails through the sites, exercise stations, trail connections, and community gathering spaces.
If built, Tri Pointe Townhomes will not be far from another potential development on Homestead Road. In 2021, Chapel Hill approved the Farm Project 2200 with the aim of increasing accessibility to housing for residents. The project includes rental apartments, duplexes and townhouses available at mixed prices.
Gurlitz said that in Tri Pointe Townhomes, affordable housing will be evenly distributed across the community.
Developers at the meeting said they wanted to put more emphasis on Vision Zero to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety. According to the City of Chapel Hill, Vision Zero is a global strategy designed to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all.
Community members had the opportunity on Wednesday evening to share their thoughts on the proposal element of the project – something Chapel Hill resident Diane Morgan said at the meeting that she appreciated.
“I have noted, and you can see this in the design,” said Morgan, “there is a narrow road connection to Kipling Lane which will allow safe access for walkers and cyclists between the two neighborhoods and will allow both neighborhoods to access the Carolina North Forest Trails, and it will also allow unimpeded access to emergency vehicles, which is very important for the elderly population of our neighborhood as well as the population of our neighboring neighborhoods.
The developers also discussed the stormwater management system, since the new townhouses will border the yards at Homestead Road. The proposal indicates that the channels will drain through stormwater drainage piping in the roads to a stormwater management pond at the north end of the site. Inlets will be created along the Kipling Parkway junction and two wet retention ponds will collect runoff water from the site.
Tim Summerville, the manager of construction services firm Stewart, noted that the developer proposes to capture all of the water flowing from the new community’s berm, which he says serves two purposes.
“We put that berm in the back — one, for privacy, but the real purpose behind putting this berm in place was to capture runoff so it doesn’t flow onto neighboring properties,” Summerville said. “We swell that water, but we have inlets in that swell that pick up that water to direct it to the south side. We have placed entrances along the Kipling Drive connection as far as we physically can.
To watch the public information meeting and find application materials for Tri Pointe Townhomes, visit the Town of Chapel Hill’s website.
Photo credits via Gurlitz Architectural Group
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