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Planning Department Updates: July 2019


This updated message contains a corrected date of adoption anticipated for the Mobility Plan. 

Good Morning Davidson Community Members, 

This is the latest installment of the Planning Department “eCrier,” a message highlighting various plans, projects, and events currently or soon-to-be underway. Below you’ll find a list and short description of things that we’re working on, along with how to find additional information about each topic. We hope you find this information useful. If you want to follow up with us about any questions you may have, please do so – our contact information is available on our department’s homepage, which also contains this same list of information on a News tab at the top of the page. Check back from time to time for updates.

- Town of Davidson Planning Department

 
UPDATES


1. Mobility Plan:  The Davidson Mobility Plan is a local comprehensive transportation plan (CTP) that provides a town-wide vision of projects, policies, and programs to manage congestion and improve multimodal travel within and through town. This plan provides a detailed transportation guide to the community that will serve residents as the region continues to experience significant growth. The vision of the Mobility Plan is to provide a balance and connected network of comfortable facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and drivers; where mobility options are efficient, safe, and convenient; and where Complete Street design is prioritized in all roadway and development projects.
To achieve this vision, the plan includes recommendations for policies, programs, and projects to encourage Davidsonians to think differently about mobility. This plan formed from extensive public engagement, feedback, and analysis over an 18-month process. Once adopted, this plan will help the Town implement its goals for transportation while setting clear priorities for the future.

After receiving positive recommendations from the Planning Board and Livability Board, the Davidson Board of Commissioners will review the Mobility Plan for adoption at its August 13 public meeting. Learn more, and read the Final Draft of the Mobility Plan at www.davidsonmobilityplan.com.

2. Comprehensive Plan: Davidson has a long, successful history of planning that created the vibrant community we love today. What’s Next? is a public engagement process to build upon previous successes and update the town’s comprehensive plan. The updated plan will act as a guide for Davidson to ensure the town continues to embody the character and special qualities for which our community is known. Above all else, What’s Next? is an opportunity to make an already great Davidson even better in the future.
Between January and April 2019, the What’s Next team, led by consulting firm Clarion, conducted the second and third rounds of public engagement. Key touch points included a Conversation on What’s Next community dialogue in January, and the multi-day Shaping What’s Next workshop in April. Published in late May, the Testing Policy Direction Public Engagement Report presents an overview of activities, feedback, and conclusions drawn from these events. Included are the public responses to topics like growth management, community character, open space, housing, transportation, and diversity. This report, along with a video of the Shaping What’s Next event, is now available online at www.whatsnextdavidson.com.

The release of this report ended the Testing Policy Direction phase of the project, and began Phase 3: Plan Development. The project team, with guidance from the Plan Advisory Group (PAG) citizen steering committee, have begun drafting the comprehensive plan based on public feedback. A draft plan will be presented for public input in the Fall.
Learn more about the comprehensive planning process, and read the Engagement Report, at www.whatsnextdavidson.com

3. Fee Schedule Update: As part of the FY 2020 budget adopted by the Board of Commissioners at their June meeting, an updated fee schedule was also approved. The majority of the fees had not been updated since the early 2000s. The increases better align with feeds in benchmark communities, as well as staff time dedicated to project review. To view the updated fee schedule, click here

4. Development Proposals:  
  • Summers Walk Phase 6: Located at the front of the existing Summers Walk neighborhood, Blue Heel Development proposes to construct 40 townhomes and one single-family detached house along or adjacent to Summers Walk Boulevard at its entrance near the intersection of Summers Walk Boulevard and NC 73. The Planning Board reviewed the master plan for the third and final time on Monday, April 29, 2019 at their regularly-scheduled monthly meeting. Staff noted the positive responses that the project team had made in response to earlier Planning Board comments, including the preservation of a 38-inch oak tree as a focal point within the development. The Master Plan was approved in early May. The project team must now receive approval for their construction documents before any work on the site can begin.
  • Kenmare: NVR-Ryan homes is in the process of developing a 52-acre neighborhood on June Washam Road called Kenmare. This project is occurring after the original developer was foreclosed upon by their lender. The development will feature 82 single-family detached housing units. Homes at Kenmare will be built on lots of up to 1/3 of an acre, and roughly 21 acres of the property will be preserved as open space. The developer is coordinating with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Davidson regarding the realignment of a portion of June Washam Road in order to provide additional traffic calming measures to support safer mobility in the area. Grading and infrastructure is in place, and construction on homes is expected to begin by the end of summer 2019. 
  • Westbranch: Construction at WestBranch is well under way. Once completed, the new neighborhood will include 199 detaches homes, 107 townhomes, 51.7% open space (+/- 88 acres), and new trail connections to the greenway. Additionally, a new street connection to Davidson Wood via Hudson Place is under construction. Clearing started in early July, and the connection is expected to be completed by mid-September. 
5. Text Amendments:  At the direction of the Davidson Board of Commissioners, several proposed text amendments are currently under development by the board of commissioners, staff, and the Planning Board/Livability Board:
  • Davidson Planning Ordinance Section 9, Tree Preservation, Landscaping, & Screening: This section of the ordinance regulates the preservation and cultivation of a mature, healthy tree canopy and natural landscape throughout town. The board of commissioners included revisions of this ordinance as part of their 2018-2019 Strategic Plan passed last year. Planning Director Jason Burdette, Senior Planner Trey Akers, and Planning Board Ordinance Committee (PBOC) Members Dave Cable and Ellen Donaldson presented the first round of draft text amendments for tree canopy revisions at the June 11, 2019 Board of Commissioner’s meeting. A finalized draft, which included information on violations and fees, was presented at the July 9 Board of Commissioners meeting, with PBOC member Shawn Copeland joining the previous group of presenters. A public hearing on these revisions was presented at the July 23 Board meeting, the PBOC will make a recommendation at their July meeting, and commissioners may consider approval at their August general meeting.  
  • Local Historic District Expansion: The Town of Davidson is exploring the expansion of its local historic district, which currently only includes the two to three blocks that comprise downtown. While a large portion of “old” Davidson is on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the smaller local district (originally established in 1989) that contains the legal provisions to protect historic properties and guide historically-sensitive repairs and construction within the district. The Town hired Mary Ruffin Hanbury, a historic district consultant, to determine which neighborhoods are most appropriate for local historic district designation. Since Fall 2018, Hanbury has led public information sessions and conducted a windshield survey of the areas in the National Register District. The Town of Davidson, with the approval of the Board of Commissioners, will begin a rezoning process for the properties the consultant recommends be incorporated into the local historic district. This process will include additional public input, a recommendation from the historic preservation commission and the planning board, a public hearing, and final Board of Commissioners approval. Click here to learn more. 
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