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Town of Davidson Kicks Off Comprehensive Plan Process
“What’s Next Davidson? Share Your Voice. Shape Our Future.”

This fall the Town of Davidson is kicking off a comprehensive plan, its first such effort since 2010. The Davidson Board of Commissioners identified the comprehensive plan as a priority in their 2018-2019 Strategic Plan. Generally, comprehensive plans are updated every five to ten years.

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.

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 findings;
  • March 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.
We’ve assembled two groups of community members to help us with this process:
  • The Plan Advisory Group, which will play a role in shaping the comprehensive plan process and serve as a sounding board to guide the development of the plan; and
  • The Publicity & Outreach Committee, which will leverage our community members’ personal networks, communications and marketing skills, and ability to get the word out about upcoming engagement opportunities.

“We’re looking forward to this process and want you to know that all community members are invited to participate,” said Senior Planner Trey Akers. “You’ll see us around town at a variety of events – the farmers market, Davidson College athletics events, the grand opening of the new park, etc. – to share information, encourage people to take our online survey, and invite the community to our town-wide workshops in the early part of 2019.”

Homepage of website

We encourage you to participate in the following ways:

  • Visit the project-specific website and complete our online survey at www.WhatsNextDavidson.com and
  • Sign up for our new “What’s Next?” eCrier to receive news and information at www.townofdavidson.org/eCrier (type in your email and click the “What’s Next?” list at the bottom), and
  • Mark your calendar to attend the “Conversation on What’s Next” on January 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Lilly Gallery at Davidson College.

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