Tuesday night our project was presented before the Community Design Commission of the Town of Chapel Hill. Our architect, Charles Nickelson, and our site engineer, Vince Chirichella presented the elevations and the lighting plan. They did a great job demonstrating that what we are doing matches what is already on the site in colors and materials, and that most of the new construction is not visible from the public right-of-ways (this is an important point for the Community Design Commission). The few questions and comments were easy to address. Building Committee member Emily Williams also attended on behalf of the church.
The result was that our project was approved right then! Not only did they approve it without any required changes, but they did not wait until their March meeting to approve it, which we had anticipated.
Next steps will be for the Town to complete its review of our ZCP application, and to issue that permit. Once we have that, we can apply for a site work permit and eventually a building permit. Emily asked Charles and Vince after the meeting whether the approval last night rather than in March meant that we gain a month on the project, and they said no, it’s more like we don’t lose a month.
The Commission members clearly love their role and take their responsibility very seriously. They gave very particular attention to minute aspects of other projects that were on the agenda before ours. It was all the more gratifying to receive an unanimous approval from them.