“We were so pleased with the number of completed surveys we received from October through December,” said Communications Director and Co-Project Leader Cristina Shaul. “We are fortunate that our community members care so much about Davidson, its future, and creating an overarching vision for our town. We look forward to continuing the conversation on January 17 to get more direction on creating the plan."
The Davidson Board of Commissioners identified the comprehensive plan as a priority in their 2018-2019 Strategic Plan. A comprehensive plan is the leading policy document and tool to help a community create a vision and guiding principles for decision-making for their town. It covers a lot of topics ranging from housing and transportation to land use, economic development, environment, health, and other areas. It brings all these topics into one document that is then used by elected officials, town staff, and citizens to guide decisions about our community, such as: How to prioritize what facilities to improve or construct (buildings, parks, streets); what types of land uses are appropriate for different areas of town; what types of programs should we encourage or offer (from government to businesses to institutions and nonprofits); and, how to ensure that our community’s values are represented in each decision made. Generally, comprehensive plans are updated about every ten years, but in high-growth regions such as ours they are often updated every 5-8 years. What’s Next Davidson? features many opportunities for public input over the next several months.
The comprehensive plan is a community-centered initiative. The planning process entails an extended community conversation that intentionally engages all stakeholders – residents, neighborhoods, businesses, the college, town government, non-profits, and institutions. Led by a consultant team comprised of Clarion Associates and Planning Next, the planning process will feature a variety of events, tools, and meeting formats to encourage community members to share insight into our community via in-person meetings/workshops, email, and online as well as hard-copy surveys. Whereas this fall will focus on background research and gathering input “where people are,” in the winter and spring of next year the town will host a series of community-wide events in which all are invited to participate. Together, each of these exercises will gather input essential to forming a community-wide vision and set of policies to support our aspirations. Below is a summary of the process and anticipated timeline:
• October - December 2018: Initial public engagement + community research;
• January 17, 2019: Community meeting to present and discuss findings;
• April 1-3, 2019: Multi-day workshop/event(s) to solicit feedback on policy direction and framework for future comprehensive plan;
• Summer 2019: Drafting of the comprehensive plan;
• Fall 2019: Presentation of draft plan and making revisions;
• Winter 2019-2020: Consideration of adopting new comprehensive plan;
• Winter/Spring 2020: Drafting/review/approval of implementation plan to guide execution of the comprehensive plan.