Granite Quarry urged to create a new comprehensive plan
GRANITE QUARRY — Town Planner Steve Blount urged the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen on Monday night to write a new comprehensive plan.
The current document, created in 2000, probably hasn’t been updated in the past 17 years, Blount said. It was originally supposed to cover a 20-year period with updates every five years.
In a memo to the town board, Blount said the process in coming up with a comprehensive plan examines all facets of community life, such as employment, entertainment, recreation, education and transportation. It considers the mix of housing options and available jobs and how those meet the demographic makeup of a town, Blount added.
A comprehensive plan also is important in establishing a set of guiding principles or policies that future zoning and land-use decisions are supposed to be based on. Blount noted that when the Planning Board or Board of Aldermen votes to approve a rezoning, they are asked to include for the record a statement of consistency.
“When a Uniform Development Ordinance is developed, revised or amended, those decisions must be consistent with the CP’s (comprehensive plan’s) policies,” Blount said. “When other plans are created, they must be consistent with the CP.”
Blount stressed that when courts decide on zoning issues brought to them, they look for evidence the town has followed a statement of consistency as it relates to its comprehensive plan.
Blount suggested these moves to get the process going on writing a new comprehensive plan:
• As a start. the town should build on the data and public input it collected in generating the 2016 Downtown Master Plan.
• It also should update information included in the current comprehensive plan but add important details such as what will be the impact of a proposed U.S. 52 bypass. “(The bypass) needs to be touched on and touched on very quickly,” Blount said.
• An ad hoc committee should be created, made up of members of the Board of Aldermen, Planning Board, Revitalization Committee, town manager and town planner to review all the information and make suggestions for modifications, corrections and additions.
• If the ad hoc committee sees a need for additional public input, it should work with staff in setting up a time and venue.
• Following suggestions from the ad hoc committee and public input, the planning Blount would draft a preliminary 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which could be posted on the town’s website for additional review and public comment.
• Changes could go back to the ad hoc committee, a final plan could be written and a public hearing held before final adoption by the Board of Aldermen.
Mayor Bill Feather said Monday night the board can work toward establishing the ad hoc committee.
Blount’s ability to work on the plan may initially take a back seat to downtown design guidelines he is now working on.
There will be more reporting from Monday’s meeting in Wednesday’s edition of the Post.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
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