Regional planning project hosts open houses

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SALISBURY – The population of Rowan County and the surrounding Charlotte region is expected to grow by 50 percent in 20 years and double within 40 years.
How will the region handle that kind of dramatic growth? You can have a say.
Centralina Council of Governments will host a drop-in open house for the Connect Our Future project from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Salisbury Civic Center to hear what residents consider the county’s biggest challenges connected to growth.
The Cabarrus County open house is set for 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis in Room 115 of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College building at 399 Biotechnology Lane.
The open houses aim to identify qualities and characteristics that each community values and wants to preserve for the future, as well as the challenges the community and region face.
Connect Our Future planning project is an opportunity for people living and working in the 14-county Charlotte region to work together and create a regional planning framework to address shared challenges.
Open house topics will include:
? How can we best maintain our community’s character?
? Where and how will everyone live and work?
? How do we avoid the negative sides of growth?
? How do we encourage strong economic growth?
? How do we build needed infrastructure with limited public funds?
In a similar process, the Salt Lake City region identified $4.5 billion in infrastructure savings, according to the Centralina Council of Governments.
Connect Our Future is supported by a $4.9 million HUD Sustainable Communities Grant and $3 million in local in-kind public and private matching resources.
Representatives from communities, counties, businesses, schools, non-profits and other organizations are encouraged to attend to identify existing conditions, future plans and needs and potential strategies.
Input will be used to help evaluate options to promote regional growth including housing, land use, transportation, water and sewer, diverse economy, protection of open space, environmental quality, infrastructure, transportation, safe and healthy environment and high quality education systems.
To learn more, contact Sushil Nepal, project manager at the Centralina Council of Governments at or visit