Noise, Light, Environmental Resources
(PDF version of this document)
Noise levels from the development proposed in the Development Plan will not exceed those allowed by the Town of Chapel Hill Noise Ordinance in effect at the time the Development Plan is approved.
Each Site Development Plan for buildings within the approved Development Plan will conform to the attached Noise and Light Performance Standards.
These standards are intended to establish maximum acceptable noise and light impacts on property* outside of the OI-4 Zoning District which result from development and redevelopment associated with an approved Development Plan.
Noise levels on property* outside of the 01-4 Zoning District and resulting from development and redevelopment associated with an approved Development Plan shall not exceed noise levels allowed by the Town of Chapel Hill Noise Ordinance as established at the time the development or redevelopment receives final Town approval under Article 16 of the Development Ordinance.
Each application for a Site Development Permit associated with an approved Development Plan must include a signed and sealed letter from a Professional Engineer, licensed in the State of North Carolina and with demonstrable expertise in acoustical design and attenuation practices, certifying that any increase in measurable noise above existing pre-Development Plan noise levels on property* outside of the 01-4 Zoning District will not exceed the levels allowed in the Noise Ordinance.
Design Requirements: All lighting, including that used in and around buildings, recreation areas, parking areas, walkways, roadways, and signs shall be designed to minimize spillover of light onto property* outside of the 01-4 Zoning District. Lighting shall also be designed to prevent glare that could impair vision and/or otherwise deteriorate normally accepted qualities and uses of property* outside of the 01-4 Zoning District.
Standards: The following standards apply to new lighting associated with an approved Development Plan.
- Outdoor lighting, except sports and athletic field lighting, shall be mounted at heights no greater than fifteen (15) feet for non-cutoff lights; and no greater than thirty-five (35) feet for cutoff lights.
- Lighting for sports and athletic fields must include glare control features and must be designed so that primary illumination is directed onto the play area and immediate surroundings, and such that offsite illumination/glare is restricted.
- Increases in illumination on property* outside of the OI-4 Zoning District shall not result in lighting levels in excess of 0.3 foot-candles, measured at ground level. On property* outside of the OI-4 Zoning District, where existing ambient lighting levels are in excess of 0.3 foot-candles, no increase in measurable lighting levels will be allowed as result of an approved Development Plan.
Submittals: Each application for a Site Development Permit shall include a lighting plan that shows existing and proposed lighting fixture types and locations. The plan shall indicate, by isolux contour diagram and grid points, the measured and calculated pre-development and post-development foot-candles at grade both on the development site and on property* outside of the OI-4 Zoning District where lighting impacts are expected. The lighting plan must be sealed by a Professional Engineer licensed in the State of North Carolina and with demonstrable expertise in lighting design and mitigation strategies.
*These Noise and Light Standards shall not be enforced and need not be met on property outside of the OI-4 Zoning District that is in the same ownership as property within the OI-4 Zoning District.
- Balance Growth with Preservation of the Natural Drainage System
- Maximize water conservation
- Enhance the natural beauty of the campus
- Manage Stormwater as an Opportunity, Rather than a Problem
- Manage total stormwater volume on-site. To the extent feasible, maximize on-site infiltration of stormwater ( existing and future) to mitigate impacts of flood and drought.
- Protect water quality, minimize erosion and sedimentation, and provide for beneficial reuse of rainwater
- Recognize that The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is part of the Cape Fear Watershed
- Enhance and protect the water quality of streams to meet water quality standards
- Protect Jordan Lake, a major downstream drinking water supply and recreation area
- Reinforce the University’s role as a Role Model
- Optimize open space/habitat protection and management to restore ecological functions of natural areas along streams and on steep slopes adjacent to streams.
- Implement Best Management Practices
- Design to reduce negative environmental impacts of development and to maximize opportunities to restore natural systems.
- Use natural topographic features to minimize grading, preserve trees, reduce water runoff and soil erosion, increase water infiltration and protect watershed
- Use natural features of the site to reduce building energy requirements (passive heating, cooling, natural ventilation, daylight)
- Landscape should be self-sustaining and should support the conservation and restoration of biological and water resources, including species diversity and habitat protection, soil stability, fertility, and aeration.
- Site should support facilities for pedestrians, bicycling, carpooling, mass transit, and other less polluting means of transportation.
- The University campus was recently designated by the American Society of Landscape Architects as a National Landmark for Landscape Architecture.
- The beauty of the campus is due in large part to the park-like setting of the historical quadrangles with their large trees. Protecting trees during construction is therefore of paramount importance.
- A Campus Tree Inventory is currently being prepared by the Grounds Department. This inventory will provide more accurate information regarding tree locations and significance. This knowledge will guide construction and renovation project design.
- The University recently put in place new guidelines to protect trees from damage by construction activity. A separate tree protection plan is required for all projects. The plan identifies size, species and location of all trees affected by the construction project. It clearly indicates which trees and shrubs are to be removed from the site, which are to remain and which may require limbing to prevent damage during construction. For trees and shrubs that are to remain, protective fencing and mulch is required. When tree removal is carried out, trees and other landscape features that are to remain are protected.
- The tree protection plan indicates routes of all trenches necessary for installation of underground utility lines. Trenches must be designed to avoid encroachment into the drip lines of trees. In some cases tunneling may be necessary to avoid damaging tree roots.
- The tree protection plan also indicates the area designated for the project construction staging, parking, material storage, and waste removal. This area should be outside the drip lines of trees so as to avoid compaction of roots. If this is impossible, the plan should call for the installation of logging mats to protect tree roots within the construction staging area.
- Tree protection plans are developed, in consultation with the University Grounds Department and the Facilities Planning project manager, during the schematic or design development phase of the project. They are reviewed and approved by Facilities Planning, Construction Management and Grounds Departments. The plans become part of the design and construction documents for the project.