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MLK/Estes Drive discussion advances

Chapel Hill residents and town staff compared notes Monday in preparation for this week’s Town Council presentation about the Central Estes/MLK Focus Area planning process.

The council will receive three recommendations for the study group and process at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chambers at Town Hall.

There are a few differences – about the group’s name and composition, the planning area and the schedule – but also a number of similarities. The groups have met five times since September.

The Central Estes/MLK Focus Area is one of six small areas identified in the 2020 Comprehensive Plan for more intensive study and planning.

Mary Jane Nirdlinger, town director of policy and strategic initiatives, said a memo with community, Planning Board and staff recommendations was not meant to change or circumvent residents’ desires.

“Your time is valued. We’re here tonight to share our thinking, but I don’t think we would even be at this point if you all hadn’t put the time into those meetings and we hadn’t had a chance to have all the conversations we’ve had, including tonight,” she said.

The Estes Neighbors community group has a petition asking the council to accept the community’s recommendations. The petition – at – had more than 200 signatures Tuesday morning.

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