Memo-02-09-2016-Item8d

February 9, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Citizen Participation Plan – 2016 Comprehensive Plan / Land Use Plan

The Board of Commissioners is asked to formally approve the attached Citizen Participation Plan for the Town’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan / Land Use Plan process that will begin this month and continue over the next year.  The formal Citizen Participation Plan outlines the various methods the Town and Holland Consulting Planners (the Town’s consultant) will use to secure plentiful and meaningful public input into the new plan.

The Town was fortunate to have significant public input in the development of the current plan in 2004, and we are hopeful that all customer groups (permanent residents, second homeowners, investment property owners, the business community, and visitors) in our community will be actively engaged in the 2016 planning process.  Several methods are outlined in the attached Citizen Participation Plan, including:

  • the appointment of a 13-member Steering Committee with diverse perspectives on the future of Emerald Isle,
  • 6 regular steering committee meetings, all open to the public to provide input,
  • an online citizen survey to solicit broad public input at the beginning of the planning process,
  • a special project website, www.planEI.org (will be linked prominently from www.emeraldisle-nc.org ), to update the public on the planning process and seek additional public input during the entire planning process,
  • a special mid-project meeting specifically to seek public input on progress to date,
  • a special open house meeting to present the draft plan and receive additional public input,
  • a presentation to the Planning Board, and solicitation of additional public input, and
  • a presentation to the Board of Commissioners, with a formal public hearing to solicit additional public input.

Additionally, Town staff will be publicizing the planning process via the Town’s website, email newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter platforms in an attempt to maximize public input.

At the end of the process, I am hopeful that the 2016 Comprehensive Plan / Land Use Plan will provide the Town with a clear consensus of our community’s future vision, with clear policies and goals that will guide future new development and investment in public infrastructure.  I believe the Town’s 2004 Land Use Plan has been an accurate statement of the community’s vision for Emerald Isle and has been a valuable tool over the past 12 years, and I expect the 2016 update to be just as valuable over the next decade or more.

I am excited for the Town to undertake this process, and look forward to significant public input in the development of the 2016 plan.