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We can use the power of planning to help you improve your community. Here are some past projects that we've led.
MORRISVILLE FOOD HUB PROJECT: What do you get when you combine a farmers market and a community garden at the crossroads of a local greenway network? A catalyst for healthy living! Ben Hitchings led the development of the Morrisville Food Hub project as Planning Director for the Town of Morrisville, in partnership with the Western Wake Farmers Market and the Morrisville Community Garden. This included writing a successful grant for $210,000 to help fund the initiative.
CHAPEL HILL WALKABILITY STANDARDS AND DESIGN GUIDELINES: How do you improve walkability in an aging suburban commercial district? Update the district’s form-based code to promote more walkable blocks, and draft new design guidelines to create more attractive streetscapes! As Planning Director for the Town of Chapel Hill, Ben Hitchings led the staff who managed this project. As a result of this work, the Blue Hill District continues to develop in more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly ways.
MORRISVILLE TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND CODE:
How do you set the table for transit supportive development before the trains start running? Draft a visionary Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Small Area Plan with the community, and adopt TOD Development Standards to implement it! Ben Hitchings led this project as Planning Director for the Town of Morrisville. Now Wake County is developing the commuter rail service that will help make this vision a reality. The plan won an Outstanding Planning Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association.
CHATHAM COUNTY COMPACT COMMUNITIES ORDINANCE:
How do you focus development in a fast-growing county on the urban fringe? Develop an innovative Compact Communities ordinance to allow for mixed use development in a semi-rural context. This ordinance guided the development of the Briar Chapel mixed use community in Chatham County, south of Chapel Hill. As Land Use Program Manager for the Triangle J Council of Governments, Ben Hitchings worked with a community task force in Chatham County to draft the ordinance. This initiative won an Outstanding Planning Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association.