Morrisville, North Carolina
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Update on Town Center Code Public Workshop


Posted: 3/5/2009

On February 26, 2009, the Town of Morrisville held a special workshop to solicit public input as it works with a consultant to draft a new Town Center Development Code.  About 70 people attended the event at Morrisville Town Hall.  The program included the following:

  1. A recap of the Town Center Plan;
  2. An overview of the Town Center Code project; and
  3. A special keypad polling exercise in which the audience provided instant feedback on photos of different development types.

Special thanks to everyone who participated.  The consultants are now analyzing the results, and will present them to the Planning & Zoning Board at its regular meeting on April 9th (6 PM at Town Hall Council Chambers). 

For more information on the project, please contact:     Ashley Jones, 463-6927

                                                                                Ben Hitchings, 463-6196

Historic Crossroads Committee Releases Recommendations on Historic Preservation
Posted: 6/9/2008

Recommendations:  In February of 2008 the Planning & Zoning Board convened a special Historic Crossroads Committee of residents to develop recommendations on incentives and standards for the preservation of historic properties in the Town Center. 

The goal of this work is to provide recommendations on how to turn the historic preservation goals of the Town Center Plan into action, and help create a vibrant, beautiful, and authentic central gathering place in Morrisville.

The HCC met four times and conducted one walking tour of the historic area during the spring of 2008. It began its work by reviewing the historic preservation strategies currently available to North Carolina communities, then discussed the merits of the different techniques, and concluded by developing recommendations on how best to protect historic properties in the Town Center.

The recommendations on incentives provide input on voluntary preservation programs that the Town might establish.  The recommendations on standards serve as input into the preparation of the Town Center Development Code that is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008.

Next Steps:  The recommendations of the Historic Crossroads Committee will be presented to the Planning & Zoning Board at its monthly meeting on June 12th, 2008.  The meeting starts at 6 PM, and will be held in the Town Hall Board Room at 100 Town Hall Drive.  The Planning & Zoning Board will hold a public comment session on the recommendations at this time.

Immediately prior to the Planning Board meeting on June 12th, there will be an Open House open to the public from 5 to 6 PM in the Town Hall Board Room.  We will have displays presenting the Historic Crossroads Committee recommendations, and staff and committee members on hand to receive input and help answer any questions that folks might have.  Light refreshments will be served.  We hope you can join us!

Please See the 'Resources' Page for Related Documents.


More Information:  If you have any questions  
or comments on this project, please don’t hesitate to contact  Ashley Jones or  Ben Hitchings , or call the Planning Department at 919-463-6194.

Historic Crossroads Committee Created to Study Historic Preservation Strategies

Posted: 2/8/2008

Updated: 2/22/2008

To help implement the Town Center Plan, Morrisville is convening an Historic Crossroads Committee (HCC) to study historic preservation strategies.  The HCC will meet four times during the spring of 2008 to review the historic preservation techniques currently available to North Carolina communities and develop recommendations for what is desirable in Morrisville.   The Committee will focus on two kinds of strategies -- Voluntary Historic Preservation Incentives and Community Historic Preservation Standards.
The Committee will present its recommendations to the Planning & Zoning Board, which will review them and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners.  Recommendations on Voluntary Preservation Incentives will help guide the development of a historic preservation incentive program.  Recommendations on Community Preservation Standards will serve as valuable input in the preparation of the Town Center Development Code, slated to begin later in 2008.

 - Description of Project

 - Committee Members  - Committee Schedule

 Open House for Potential Cultural Arts Center
 Posted: 10/4/2007
 We have seen the Town Center Plan develop, taken surveys about a possible Cultural Arts Center as an anchor for the Main Street, and now it is time to see what the consultant recommends to respond to this input and analysis! Some exciting potential components for a Morrisville Cultural Arts Center include an outdoor amphitheater, art studios, conference spaces, a family theater, adult hobby classes, and much more...

Please join us for an informal Open House next Monday, October 8th from 5:30-6:30pm for a chance to eat, mix and mingle, and see the final recommendations from our consultant. You will also have the opportunity to talk with our consultant and staff, and then we invite you to stay for the beginning of the Board of Commissioners meeting for a short formal presentation.

Town Center Plan Recognized

Posted: 8/1/2007

Morrisville's Town Center Plan has won a 2007 State Planning Award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association!  This award "recognizes plans, programs or processes of unusually high merit, adopted or enacted in the current or past two calendar years".   The award will be presented at the annual NC Planning Conference.  Congrats to all the citizens, elected officials, staff, and consultants who participated in this process.

Public Meeting for Possible Cultural Arts Center

One of the early implementation projects for the recently adopted Town Center Plan is to study the need and benefits of a possible Cultural Arts Facility.  Such a facility could:  

  • Provide a place for the Town of Morrisville and its citizens to gather for social and arts activities;
  • Help anchor the planned Main Street included in the Town Center Plan;
  • Provide a performance space for a non-profit family theater; and
  • Serve as a destination to draw residents, visitors, and businesses to the Town Center.

The Town has hired a nationally recognized consultant -- ArtsMarket -- to conduct a Needs Assessment for such a facility.   Now the Town would like your input. 

UPDATE 7/20: A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 24th, where the project consultant will share preliminary results from her analysis.  The meeting will be held from 6:30 - 8:30 PM in Town Hall Board Room.

Town Center Plan Adopted By the Morrisville Board of Commissioners!


On Monday, January 22, 2007, the Morrisville Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the Town Center Plan.  Special thanks to everyone who participated in the plan development process.  

Board Review of Town Center Plan

The Morrisville Planning & Zoning Board has unanimously recommended adoption of the Town Center Plan. The Board of Commissioners will now conduct a two-month review of the document.

The BOC review will include the following meetings:

Monday, December 11th, 2006: BOC receives first briefing on Town Center Plan
Tuesday, December 19th, 2006: BOC holds public hearing on Plan
Monday, January 8th, 2007: BOC receives second briefing on Plan
Monday, January 22nd, 2007: BOC votes on adoption on Plan

A standing display of the planning process is viewable in the Town Hall Board Room. 

Town Center Plan Implementation Meeting

On Tuesday, August 22th, about 30 people participated in a public review and discussion of possible strategies for implementing the Town Center Plan.  Town staff and consultants presented background information on implementation strategies, and then facilitated small group discussions on potential strategies for addressing the following topics: Historic Crossroads; Transportation Improvements; Parks and Greenways; and New Development Opportunities and Visual Identity.  The input gathered provided a basis for a general listing of implementation strategies included in the Town Center Plan, with more details to be worked out through the various implementation projects.

Town Center Design Workshop a Big Success!

The Town Center Design Workshop held at First Baptist Church of Morrisville on Tuesday, July 18th was a big success.  About 100 people turned out to enjoy a barbecue supper and participate in a group design exercise to solicit input on the plans for the Town Center.  The evening also included live music and special appearances by Elvis Presley and McGruff the Crime Dog, which made for a relaxing community atmosphere, with lots of conversation and camaraderie. 

In the design exercise, participants worked in small groups to come up with ideas.  At the end of the work session, a representative from each group presented their ideas. Citizen input called for:

  • Protecting historic character
  • Providing civic uses, small business & residential uses
  • Strengthening visual identity
  • Ensuring safe pedestrian access
  • Managing physical constraints, including roads, railroads, and flood zones

Highlights of the Town Center Concept Plan

Design consultants Raybould and Associates then used this public input to craft a draft Town Center Concept Plan, which it presented to the community on Thursday, July 20th.  The concept plan incorporates a number of design features, including:

  • Protection of the historic crossroads community around Church Street
  • Creation of a community gathering place lined with small businesses and anchored by a civic/cultural facility
  • Establishment of a Civil War Park and Rural Heritage Park
  • Linkage of parks with greenways
  • Investment in transportation improvements, including reworking NC 54 into separate north and south sections, adding an eastbound lane on Morrisville-Carpenter Road, and installing roundabouts at selected locations to mark transition into the Town Center

Over 74 people turned out for the presentation and a lively discussion about the process and product.

Town Center Workshop 7.18.06 003.jpg Town Center Workshop 7.18.06 015.jpg Town Center Workshop 7.18.06 010.jpg
Marylyn Slinkard and Michelle Moorman talk about the planning process so far.
All eight groups hard at work.

Group 1 presenting their work to other participants.

Town Center Planning Process

To honor its past and create a vibrant focus for the community into the future, the Town of Morrisville is working to create a Town Center at its historic crossroads around the intersection of Chapel Hill Road (NC 54) and Morrisville-Carpenter Road/Aviation Parkway. The first step is to develop an updated Town Center Plan that describes the community’s vision for this area. This summer, the Town of Morrisville's citizens and staff will be working together with a design consultant to draft a new concept plan for the Town Center. This initiative is being led by the Morrisville Planning and Zoning Board, with staff support from the Morrisville Planning Department.  Community input from a series of planning meetings held during the spring of 2006 will be incorporated into the plan. 

  Morrisville Town Center, 11-18-05 073.jpg

Morrisville’s Distinctive Place in the Triangle

In 1852, Jeremiah Morris donated three acres of land to the North Carolina Railroad for a train depot, and Morrisville was born.  In recent years, as the Triangle’s population has exploded, so too has that of Morrisville, growing from a community of 251 residents in 1980 to nearly 14,000 today.  In the process, Morrisville’s location has developed into one of the best in the state, with great access to employment, transportation facilities, and other regional destinations.  Yet, it still remains a small town.  The Town Center Plan provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Morrisville’s distinctive place as the small town in the heart of the Triangle.  All members of the community are invited to come participate in this process.  Please check this website for upcoming events and new information about the project.

Christian Church - Web.JPG

Past Events
The first part of the process was a series of three meetings, each open to the public. Topics included the following:

Historic Resources and Town Center Themes
Wednesday, January 25th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Agenda                       Meeting Notes

Transportation, Stormwater & Utility Infrastructure
Thursday, February 23rd, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Agenda                        Meeting Notes

Civic Facilities
Thursday, March 23rd, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Agenda                     Meeting Notes


the heart of the triangle
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