Citizens Invited to Rural Area Plan Kick-Off Meeting & Charrette: November 16-19

Citizens are invited to participate in the creation of the Town of Davidson’s Rural Area Plan from Monday, November 16 to Thursday, November 19. We are undertaking a Rural Area Plan for our extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which comprises approximately 3,848 acres of mainly rural landscape interspersed with large-lot subdivisions and a sparse transportation network (please see map below). Several large contiguous tracts of farmland remain undeveloped, many connecting to significant natural features such as bluffs, riparian buffers, and waterways. The area also contains several public parks that provide a foundation from which to expand conservation efforts. 

rural area map
Rural area shown in green

These areas face rising development pressures as Davidson’s location 20 miles north of Charlotte places it directly in the path of development from this burgeoning metropolis. The town’s planning ordinance is based on traditional neighborhood design and smart growth principles, strategies generating compact development patterns and fostering Davidson’s unique sense of place. However, the ETJ’s current regulations permit uncoordinated, low-density development that presents serious land, transportation, and environmental concerns in the near future. Moreover, many believe that the current rules do not treat all landowners equally.

The town stands at a crossroads with respect to rural development and conservation practices. The question is not whether Davidson will face development pressure, but how the town will accommodate, direct, and manage growth; and, how landowners and stakeholders will benefit from this growth. The proposed rural area plan presents a significant opportunity for citizens to directly contribute to the creation of a coherent land-use and transportation plan that will manage and guide development in the rural area for the next 20 to 30 years. 

The town selected planning and design firm Stantec to facilitate the Rural Area Plan process. Specifically, the consultant will lead and/or assist with background research and meeting preparation; conduct stakeholder interviews; facilitate the design charrette; produce conceptual plans envisioning conservation and development opportunities in the rural area; and, produce a report with recommendations and implementation strategies to guide the town in administering the Rural Area Plan. 

Citizens are invited to participate in the following ways:

•    Attend the kick-off meeting for all Davidson citizens scheduled for Monday, November 16 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Davidson Town Hall board room to explain the goals, process, and encourage participation; 

•    Attend the design charrette – a multi-day meeting technique used for community involvement to generate design solutions for the rural area – scheduled for Monday, November 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Tuesday, November 17 through Thursday, November 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Davidson Town Hall board room; and,

•    Attend recap and feedback sessions each evening from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Tuesday November 17 through Thursday, November 19) in the Davidson Town Hall board room. We encourage citizens to stop by to see what the design team has sketched, based on the input received throughout the day, as well as to provide feedback.

•    On Wednesday, December 9 at 6:00 p.m. at Davidson Town Hall, we will conclude the charrette process with a closing presentation summarizing the conceptual design principles developed through the stakeholder meetings, design exercises, and charrette event. The principles will be used to formulate a plan guiding development in the rural area. 

In late winter/early spring 2016, we will present a proposed final plan to the Davidson Planning Board for a recommendation and Davidson Board of Commissioners for approval. 

Request for photos:

As part of the rural area plan process, we would like to capture images of the rural parts of Davidson. We encourage you to send us photos of your favorite rural scenes around town – we will use them on our website, social media, during the charrette, and possibly in the final rural area plan document itself. Please send your entries to Public Information Officer Cristina Shaul at cshaul@townofdavidson.org and provide her with the location of where the photo was taken and a photo credit.

“We encourage all Davidson citizens to get involved in this process, regardless of land ownership in the rural area, to help guide us in the creation of a plan of lasting value,” said Planning Director Jason Burdette. 

You may view additional information on the Rural Area Plan at www.townofdavidson.org/ruralareaplan.

For more information, please contact Senior Planner Trey Akers at takers@townofdavidson.org or 704-940-9633. 

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