Friday, September 23, 2016

4 Chances to Weigh In on Local Land Use Plan

Residents will be able to share their thoughts on growth and development in Sanford, Broadway, and Lee County at drop-in public input sessions scheduled for September and October.

At these meetings, the public will have the chance to provide initial guidance and feedback on topics that influence land use. A consultant and planning staff will be available to answer questions. Attendees can make comments and submit simple survey questionnaires. There will be no formal presentation.

Land Use Update Underway

Input gathered during the sessions will be used by the Sanford/Lee County Planning Department to update its Land Use Plan, a document that guides development over the next 10 to 20 years. “A modern land use plan is the tool that brings positive, attractive tax base expansion for Sanford and Lee County that makes us the envy of other areas,” explains Chet Mann, mayor for the City of Sanford.

When adopted in 1999, “our current plan was for a much more rural community, with surrounding areas also being predominantly rural,” notes Amy Dalrymple, chair of the Lee County Board of Commissioners. However, with rapid urbanization happening in nearby counties and major plans for more growth on the horizon, Lee County will see tremendous changes in the next twenty years. “In order for that growth to be sensible, sustainable, and affordable, we must have an updated Land Use Plan to reflect our vision,” she says.

An updated plan is especially useful for small municipalities where funding is limited, says Donald Andrews, mayor for the Town of Broadway, as it allows them “to plan for future infrastructure needs and upgrades to meet demand.” The plan also gives the private sector some guidelines for what the community will support, he points out.

To accomplish that goal, the plan must provide a vision for development that “balances the economic, social, and environmental needs of Sanford and Lee County; strengthens the local economy; and preserves a higher quality of life for all its residents,” Mann says.

The updated plan can also help resolve modern concerns like fracking, coal ash, and quarries, Dalrymple says. “These industries have great impacts where they occur because of the environmental and quality-of-life concerns. Having a plan that more specifically addresses conditions for these industries is important moving forward.”

The updated Land Use Plan will include insight from residents, business owners, community leaders, and other stakeholders. The upcoming meetings are “a great opportunity for citizens to have input into what they want their community to look like in the future,” says Andrews.

Share Your Thoughts

Public meetings have been scheduled to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the following days at the following locations.

• September 27, 2016 – Broadway Community Center (111 N Main St.)
• September 29, 2016 – Dennis Wicker Civic Center (1801 Nash St.)
• October 4, 2016 – Deep River Elementary (4000 Deep River Rd.)
• October 6, 2016 – Greenwood Elementary (1127 Greenwood Rd.)

Bonus: On Monday, September 26, Mayor Mann will host a Facebook Live chat session on his Facebook page to discuss the Land Use Plan update and answer questions anyone might have about both the plan and the process for updating it.

Moving forward, the public will be able to submit written comments and questions throughout the update process using the plan’s website.

More Information

Contact: David Montgomery, Long Range Planner for the Sanford/Lee County Planning Department, at 919-718-4657 ext. 5392 or via email.