Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager




J.B. Culpepper, Planning Director


David Bonk, Long Range and Transportation Coordinator




Process for Revision of the Comprehensive Plan




November 20, 2006





The memorandum responds to comments made at the October 23, 2006, Council meeting and proposes alternate steps to conclude the process to revise the Comprehensive Plan following a review of the plan carried out by the Planning Board during 2006. The attached resolution would direct the staff to draft revisions to each chapter of the plan and for the Planning Board to review and make recommendations to the Council on the draft revisions. The process envisions opportunities for citizen input if desirable.




On January 12, 2006, the Council endorsed a process for revising the 2000 Comprehensive Plan. The Council requested that the Planning Board oversee the process as outlined below:



During the spring of 2006, advisory boards reviewed the Comprehensive Plan and, during September, the Planning Board reviewed and compiled those comments into a report for the Council. Please see Attachment 1, Planning Board report.


On October 9, 2006, the Downtown Partnership forwarded to the staff comments on potential revisions to the Comprehensive Plan. These comments were not incorporated into the Planning Board Report but are now addressed in Attachment 2 which is a matrix of all the comments received to date.


On October 19, 2006 the Community Design Commission held a work session on the Comprehensive Plan, and we expect the Commission to provide comments following their meeting on November 15, 2006.


On October 23, 2006, the Council received a report from the Planning Board which compiled the comments and suggestions from boards and commissions for potential revisions to the Comprehensive Plan.




On October 23, 2006, the Council discussed the Planning Board report. Council members stated that many of the items identified by the boards and commissions were already contained in the plan, also that the Council has implemented or was implementing strategies and actions of the plan, which would address many of the comments. Some Council members suggested that the plan does not require wholesale change, just minor modification to reflect changes that have occurred since 2000. Council members proposed that a revision to the plan identify and communicate the actions that have been implemented since 2000. The Council expressed its desire to continue working on items contained in the plan, which remain to be addressed.


On October 23, 2006, the Council deferred action to hold a public forum and directed the staff to identify any items that needed to change in response to the Planning Board review. They also requested staff to advise it how to integrate these in the plan to complete the review process.


Attachment 2 is a matrix of the comments and suggestions received from the boards and commissions. The matrix identifies which board or commission identified the comments and suggestions and provides a staff response addressing the comments and suggestions. The matrix also identifies a location in the plan where the matter is already addressed or where it could be addressed by way of an addition or modification.


In response to the Council direction on October 23, 2006, we propose to redraft chapters of the Comprehensive Plan as outlined in the staff response section of the matrix. In addition to the matters identified in the matrix, we propose to update any other information which has now been superseded by formal actions of the Council. For example, in Chapter 8, Land Use and Development on page 63, we would describe the extension of the provisions to reserve potential school sites as approved in 2005. Please see Attachment 3 which is a list of formal changes made to the Comprehensive Plan since 2000.



The Planning Board Report identified four potential new major themes:


We believe the plan addresses environmental protection in Chapter 9 Natural Environment and in a number of other locations. Environmental protection together with economic and social goals, objectives, strategies and actions of the plan can be addressed under the wider topic of sustainability. Therefore, we believe that the Chapter 2 Major Themes could include these topics under the umbrella theme of sustainability.


We believe that adding health promotion as a major theme in Chapter 2 is appropriate; this would lead to discussion in various chapters of the plan about active living by design, healthy living and active lifestyles. For example, the Town’s Active Living by Design program could be discussed in Chapter 8, Land Use and Development, Chapter 10, Transportation and Chapter 12, Community Facilities.


Regarding public art, this is a component of the existing theme Community Character and will be more fully explored in the proposed Public Art Contextual Master Plan. The Public Art Contextual Master Plan, once established by the Council, could ultimately be adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan.


We believe that most of the other matters identified by boards and commissions can be integrated into the plan by updating or modifying the existing discussion of topics. We believe that in Chapter 3, “Community Character”, it would be appropriate to add additional discussion about redevelopment and infill development, and about density in relation to the downtown and other locations where there are opportunities for transit oriented and transit supportive development.




We propose that the Planning Board review the chapters as they are drafted, culminating in recommendations to the Council for any additional changes at the end of the drafting process. As the chapters are considered by the Planning Board, citizens would have the opportunity to comment. At the end of the drafting process, citizens would be invited to a public hearing on the proposed revised plan. During the drafting process, the Planning Board could determine if there was a need for additional outreach to boards and commissions or citizens about particular topics to verify that the drafted revisions adequately addressed the topic.


We propose that the staff draft the revised plan during 2007 with ongoing review by the Planning Board during the year as chapters are drafted. We estimate completion in fall 2007, with a public hearing before year end.


There are several levels of reporting that staff could provide to the Council as the revision proceeds:


We recommend periodical status reports to the Council on the task. We believe that quarterly reports would keep the Council apprised of progress and allow the staff to raise matters that may require Council consideration and direction much sooner than would be possible if waiting to the end of the process. Staff may also recommend referral of draft chapters to appropriate Advisory Boards for review and comment. We believe that quarterly reports would also allow the Council to be more closely engaged in the revision process.




We recommend the Council direct the staff to draft revisions to each chapter of the plan and for the Planning Board to review and make recommendations to the Council on the draft revisions. We recommend that the Council direct the staff to provide quarterly updates in order to keep the Council apprised of the progress of the Comprehensive Plan revision process.



  1. Planning Board Report on Comprehensive Plan October 3, 2006 (p. 1-1).
  2. Matrix of comments from boards and commissions with staff response (p. 2-1).
  3. List of formal changes made to the Comprehensive Plan since 2000 (p. 3-1).