The Buncombe County Planning Board held a special called public hearing on Tuesday, May 2 to review the Buncombe 2043 Comprehensive Plan and changes proposed during the joint work session with the Board of Commissioners.
Pursuant to N.C.G.S 160D-501(c), Buncombe County is seeking to adopt a comprehensive plan that will help guide growth, conservation, economic development, and other related elements within the County over the next 20 years. North Carolina requires local governments to adopt and reasonably maintain a plan to retain authority to adopt and enforce zoning regulations.
Highlights of the staff presentation included an overview of the process. More than 200 input sessions have taken place over the course of creating the draft plan. See the staff presentation here. The 2043 Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year plan with a long-range outlook. The plan itself is made up of nine main chapters and covers:
- Growth, equity, and conservation
- Transportation and connectivity
- Farms, forests, and environmental conservation
- Economic development, education, and jobs
- Health and recreation
- Hazards and resilience
- Infrastructure and energy
- Implementation of the plan
The plan framework consists of vision themes, goals, policies & actions, with equity at its center. The following issues and requested Plan edits were raised at the Board of Commissioners and Planning Board Joint Review Session held April 19, 2023:
- It was raised that the Growth, Equity, and Conservation (GEC) Map’s designated colors for the growth land use categories (in particular, Mixed Use I, Mixed Use II, and Walkable Destination) are too similar, making it difficult for a reader to distinguish the individual colors. A different color palette was requested.
- It was raised that the County’s support for development of appropriate alternative energy storage capacity infrastructure (and future related technology) is not addressed in the Infrastructure and Energy Actions. The request was made to add a new bullet on pages 197-198 reflecting this support.
See the memorandum here.
Several members of the public commented during the public hearing. The Planning Board voted unanimously to approve the Comprehensive Plan Draft with the changes identified during the joint work session.
Read the draft plan here.
See the livestream here
At 5 p.m. on May 16, the Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing where members of the public can provide comment on the plan. To maintain consistency during the adoption process, the Public Hearing Draft will not be modified during this timeframe. Any requested changes endorsed by the Board of Commissioners or Planning Board will be tracked and documented in a series of memoranda. Following adoption by the Board of Commissioners, the Plan will be updated with all final adopted edits and transmitted to County Planning & Development staff.
Find more background at www.buncombecounty.org/plan2043.