Cleveland planning board seeks input

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin

Salisbury Post

CLEVELAND — Officials are hoping Cleveland residents will turn out for a public hearing Monday and share their thoughts, desires and ideas on the town’s future.

“It’s important that people come to the meeting,” said Commissioner John Steele. “We just want to see what the people of Cleveland are thinking.”

The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the beginning of the Cleveland Town Board of Commissioners’ regular December meeting.

The board is considering whether to hire Benchmark/CMR, a consulting firm in Kannapolis, to help develop a land-use plan with guidelines on the town’s future growth. Benchmark planners have estimated their fees at $6,000 to $10,000 depending on how extensive a plan the board wants.

Board members have already hired the firm to update the town’s zoning ordinance.

The Cleveland Planning Board, headed up by Ray Davies, has recommended that the town develop a land-use plan to deal with the anticipated growth from the widening of U.S. 70 from a two-lane to a four-lane highway.

Davies said the planning board is concerned with the future development along U.S. 70 and the eventual sale of agricultural land in the area.

“We are trying to determine which areas should end up residential and which should be industrial and commercial,” he said. “This meeting is aimed primarily at getting the opinions of individuals that hold that land currently.”

No decisions have been made on the future use of the land, Davies said, “and perhaps none will be. We’re simply trying to get a feel from the community on how things should develop over time.”

At the board’s Sept. 20 meeting, Davies said a land-use plan should include: a map of the town and its extraterritorial jurisdiction to allow would-be developers, business interests and residential hopefuls to see what growth is likely to occur over time so they can site their facilities and homes accordingly; a provision for possible annexation; flexibility; and a clearer picture of intent so that future governing bodies will have some sense of town officials’ vision.

For more information on the public hearing, call the Cleveland Town Hall at 704-278-4777.

Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or