The Pittsboro, N.C., Board of Commissioners approved the master plan for Chatham Park, a massive residential and commercial project that could bring 60,000 people to Pittsboro over several decades.
The proposal for the small town near Research Triangle is believed to be the largest single development plan in North Carolina’s history.
The developer bought roughly 7,500 acres over nearly a decade in preparation for the project. The proposal drew passionate opposition from some residents who are concerned about how the project would drastically change the character of the town that is home to 4,000 residents.
Construction on Chatham Park may begin immediately for up to 5% of the project’s residential areas and 15% of its commercial space. With the plan’s final approval, Pittsboro could follow a growth pattern similar to those of cities like Reston, Va., Columbia, Md., and Irvine, Calif. Those cities were seeded by single companies in the 1960s and 1970s, and their populations today have reached as much as 230,000.