town action

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Resiliency Assessment

In partnership with other Triangle area cities and counties, the Town completed its first Resilience Assessment. This report helps the Town plan for greater resilience by identifying risks and vulnerabilities related to climate stressors like increased rainfall and extreme temperatures.

Staff: Sustainability | GIS | Emergency Management

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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Chapel Hill is among North Carolina’s highest ranking cities for residents who drive electric vehicles. While most charging takes place at home, there are more than 25 publicly available charging stations throughout Chapel Hill. The Town manages stations downtown and at the Aquatic Center.

Staff: Parking Services | Sustainability

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Energy Saving with Rezonings

The Council’s 2007 energy policy sets the expectation that all applicants seeking a conditional use rezoning will provide an Energy Management Plan for their development project. The Plan must demonstrate how the project will perform at least 20% better than the energy standard ASHRAE 90.1.

Staff: Planning | Sustainability

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Green Municipal Fleet

Through the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles and the use of low-carbon fuels like biodiesel, E85, and electricity, the Town’s vehicle fleet operates at 15% lower annual emissions than in 2005. In 2016 the Town earned a Champion Level NC Smart Fleet designation by the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition.

Staff: Public Works | Fleet | Sustainability

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Trails, Greenways and Open Space

The Town currently holds over 947 acres of open space, most of which is in the Town’s greenways system. Chapel Hill currently has more than 15 miles of greenways and natural surface trails. There are plans to build more than 30 miles of future trails, as described in the Greenway Master Plan.

Staff: Parks & Recreation

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Ombuds Program

The Town Ombuds Office provides a safe place for all employees and community members to share their concerns and explore strategies for confidential, informal management or resolution of issues. The Office also collaborates with other staff and provides facilitation services for Town meetings.

Staff: Ombuds Office

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Mobility Plan

The Town’s Mobility Plan envisions a transportation network for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders that safely links neighborhoods, parks, employment centers, transit stops, and other destinations. The goal of the Plan is for 35% of all commuters to bike, walk and ride transit to work by 2025.

Staff: Planning | Transportation

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In partnership with Orange County, waste diversion rates reached 64% in 2014. This exceeded the 1997 goal of 61% and was in large measure due to steady increases in curbside and commercial recycling. For more information about recycling, check out Orange County’s A to Z Recyclery.

Staff: Orange County Solid Waste

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Smart City Project

The Town is piloting smart city technology to improve public services through the Spotlight City initiative. With its partners AT&T and Hitachi, the Town is improving public safety and traffic flow at crosswalks. The project also uses parking data to increase space utilization and reduce traffic.

Staff: Technology Solutions



In partnership with Orange County and the Town of Carrboro, Chapel Hill earned gold designation as a SolSmart Community. Through participation in this federal program, the Town has taken steps to grow the local solar market by making solar more affordable for residents and businesses.

Staff: Development Services | Sustainability

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Chapel Hill Youth Council

The Chapel Hill Youth Council’s mission is to shape the future of Chapel Hill by amplifying the views and opinions of youth, influencing local decision making, and developing community-oriented service projects and social activities. Participation is open to all high school aged students.

Staff: Parks & Recreation

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LED Lighting Upgrades

The Town has made the switch to more efficient, longer lasting LED lighting at several facilities including Town Hall, the Wallace Parking Deck, and the Homestead Aquatic Center. Chapel Hill Transit has also upgraded the lighting at both the Eubanks and Southern Village park and ride lots to LEDs.

Staff: Public Works | Transit | Sustainability

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Energy Upgrades in Town Facilities

As part of its first guaranteed energy savings contract, the Town implemented lighting and mechanical system upgrades at Town Hall and two other locations. Each year, this project yields about $80,000 in avoided utility costs and a carbon savings equal to taking 100 cars off the road.

Staff: Public Works | Facilities | Sustainability

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Explore More at Pritchard Park

Certified as a North Carolina Environmental Education Center in 2018, Explore More at Pritchard Park offers outdoor nature play, environmental education programs, and citizen science opportunities for people to connect with nature at Chapel Hill Public Library.

Staff: Chapel Hill Public Library

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Stormwater Management

The Stormwater Master Plan is a vision for how the Town will manage stormwater infrastructure, mitigate flooding, and protect natural waterbodies within Chapel Hill over the coming years. This work includes water quality monitoring, pollution prevention, maintenance and flood risk assessment.

Staff: Public Works | Stormwater