When I think about Chatham Park as currently proposed, I can’t stand the thought of losing our downtown, our wilderness, our clean water, and our night sky.  Here is my most recent video about it:



Today our natural capital is at risk.  If Chatham Park Investors have their way, they will convert our community of four thousand souls into a fifty five thousand person scar on the earth.

I’ve been making short movies about it.  This was my first.  People sometimes refer to Chatham Park Investors project as a “mini-RTP.”  That’s incorrect.  At 7,000 acres, the proposed development is larger than RTP itself.

One of the issues surrounding this project is water quality. The natural world is better at cleaning water than we are. Nowadays most communities are trying to preserve their natural watersheds in order to avoid costly chemical plants funded by tax increases. Apparently the Town of Pittsboro and Chatham Park have not figured this out yet. While New York City is buying up big swaths of the Catskills, as a method of reducing water costs, we are contemplating building a concrete jungle on top at the confluence of the Haw River and Jordan Lake.

It is hard to comprehend how our town, with one planner, and a volunteer planning board can possibly have the resources necessary to properly plan this project. Chatham Park Investors claim they have been planning this for years. The public is just seeing their plans for the first time. It begs the question: Will this be the community we want? Or are we just going to accept what they propose…


6 comments on “Chatham Park Investors
  1. Maryphyllis Horn says:

    Excellent videos, information and concepts, Lyle. I concur completely.

    I hope you’ll forward these videos to our mayor and town board. We need to encourage a lot more people who will “just say NO!” to them. I shudder at the profound loss we all will experience if Chatham Park goes through.

  2. Alex Buob says:

    Granted I am a Transplant from Vermont, this horrendous development sickens me,
    however, my fear is that since the developers own the land, ultimately they will do what they want.
    In Vt, there was a mega land owner and slum lord who decided to build a small development in the middle of a town owned rec area. several of us reported his ignoring buffers, etc to the state who made an attempt to monitor him. Then all proceeded as he wanted.
    I hope NC can do better than my small town.

  3. Shelly Paradis says:

    I attended the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Durham last week. By hosting a film festival event in our community, we will inspire activism. Together we can foster an environment where people can get involved and make a difference.

  4. Sara Kane says:

    Lyle, these videos are so beautifully done. Thank you! So clear. The sanity shines out.

    We know population growth will bring change but it doesn’t have to be like this. Once again, the profit-takers will benefit, leaving a wake of destruction that they are not aware of and do not care about. Those who value the natural world must somehow have an influence. Your videos express some of the important issues so well, more than words can say. These developers cannot have the right to destroy so wantonly, even if they think they are creating “improvements” and bringing progress.

    Another issue is the great suffering this will bring to wildlife due to loss of habitat, although I know this is given no importance by the business world.

  5. Glenn Carter says:

    I just watched the Chatham Park Investors movie on YT. My heart is breaking at the thought of all that beautiful land torn up in the name of greed. I was born and raised in NYC. Fifty years from now, after Preston and the politicians who support them have made their money and are gone, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be living in what I ran from. And Google is coming here? Why not give some land to the NSA for another fusion center while they’re at it…

  6. claire kane says:

    Alex, unfortunately, with the governor we have in office right now, and the legislature, there is not much hope of that in my opinion. The developer will find only the most sympathetic of ears when he runs there, if he has not already done so.

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