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Coming Soon: 2043 Comprehensive Plan

Welcome to Buncombe County’s 2043 Comprehensive Plan. Beginning in August 2021, the County is starting a two-year planning process to create a Comprehensive Plan. The goal of a Comprehensive Plan is to guide growth, address community needs, and identify goals for Buncombe County. “It’s vital when we look to the future of Buncombe County that we are intentional about addressing growth and how we want to look five to ten years from now… and beyond,” says County Manager Avril Pinder. “In order to do that, we need to start planning now.”

Think of the Comprehensive Plan as a long-term map or guide that helps us equitably and intentionally plan for important aspects of our community:

  • Livable neighborhoods
  • Access to jobs
  • Infrastructure
  • Clean and healthy environments
  • Sustainability and conservation
  • Hazard mitigation
  • And more

This map is created by utilizing new and existing data, anticipating future trends, and applying input from all residents of the community. With those components in place, the Comprehensive Plan’s three main goals are:

  1. Establish a vision for the County's long-term growth and community needs.
  2. Provide policy guidance for growth, development, and services. 
  3. Create broad action items to implement the long-term vision.  

Planning Director Nathan Pennington says the Comprehensive Plan is crucial for preparing a plan to address how the community may change in the future. 

How is this different than the County’s Strategic Plan?

We know, you’re probably wondering, “Is this different from the 2025 Strategic Plan?” The short answer is yes. The Comprehensive Plan is an important guiding document that works alongside the current 2025 and future Strategic Plans, and will help to provide a framework for policies, funding decisions, and regulations. A Strategic Plan covers a short, five-year time period and focuses on specific, limited areas. A Comprehensive Plan covers a long, 20-year time period and focuses on broad community needs and conditions. 

Comprehensive Plan Areas of Focus (Subject to Change)

The Plan will address a variety of needs including the areas identified below:

Comprehensive Plan Areas of Focus (Subject to Change)


Healthy Communities

Sustainability, environment, and conservation Land use/Development

Critical facilites/Concurrency


Tourism Nodes/Small area plans
Farmland and food security Affordable housing/Gentrification prevention Transportation
Aging population and demographic trends Economy and industry Infrastructure
Hazard mitigation/Resilience Early childhood, youth, and multi-generational needs Equity
  Emergency management and public safety  


What happens next?

Resident input is the essential backbone of the Comprehensive Plan. The County, with the help of a consultant, will conduct broad, inclusive, and equitable public engagement activities over a two-year period to raise awareness about the planning process, gather input from communities, and engage residents in meaningful dialogue. Through a variety of in-person and online formats, it’s our goal to reach county residents from all walks of life. 

A Steering Committee comprised of Buncombe County residents with representation from the listed focus areas will help guide the Plan development. The Committee will also provide feedback and advice, assist the project team with community outreach and plan drafting, and act as liaisons and advocates. Because it is a long-range plan, youth participation is a key component. To that end, we will be working with our school districts, higher education institutions, through virtual and in-person town halls and other ways to engage the youth community. In addition, two youth ambassadors will sit on the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

Applications for residents to apply for the Steering Committee  are being accepted through May 17, 2021. Click here to visit the Comprehensive Plan page, view the Steering Committee application, and more.


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Updated May 03, 2021 03:50 PM
Published Apr 30, 2021 03:57 PM