Troutman officials, consultant plan June 21 kick-off for work on strategic master plan
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Town officials and a consultant hired to guide development of the Town of Troutman’s Strategic Master Plan, which will focus on the town’s and citizens’ future needs and desires, will begin the months-long process on June 21 with two citizen input kick-off meetings.
The goal of the process is to develop action strategies for the town’s government and community for the next 10 years. The plan will build on the current 2035 Comprehensive Future Land Use Plan, using several input and planning sessions to help officials and consultants understand, visualize and act to realize improvements to meet the needs of individual communities as well as the town as a whole.
During its May 10 meeting, the Troutman Town Council approved a contract with Stantec for the creation of a Town of Troutman Strategic Master Plan. A steering committee considered submitted requests for proposals on the project and selected Stantec for an interview.
The council approved up to $98,900 in compensation for Stantec’s services.
A steering committee made up of Council members Paul Henkel and Paul Bryant, Town Manager Justin Longino, Town Planner Erika Martin, Town Finance Director Steve Shealy, Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson, and Planning and Zoning Board Chairman Layton Getsinger worked with Stantec to create the plan process.
“We hope this plan will guide the future of Troutman,” said Longino. "We know that we have a lot of growth and changes coming, and we want to make sure that all of that happens in a manner that is consistent with what the citizens want, so that’s why we encourage everybody to come out and have their voice heard and make the future the way they want it to be."
To start the process off in a more informal, entertaining way, the town and Stantec consultants will host two open meetings on Thursday, June 21, one at the J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library (215 W Church Street) at 4 p.m. and a second at the Cedar Stump Tavern (152 South Main Street beside Subway) from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
“Part of the reason we picked those two locations was to get out of Town Hall and separate from the formal side of government things," Longino said. "We want everybody to feel comfortable to have an open conversation and dialogue between the community and us."
Officials will introduce the Strategic Master Plan project, raise awareness of its goals and process, and ask for citizens’ ideas about where the town needs to focus its attention.
FOUR-DAY CHARRETTE PLANNED FOR AUGUST
The next phase of the project involves a four-day “charrette,” a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions. This work is schedule for August 8-11 at a location to be announced.
At this workshop, designers, engineers, and planners will come together with citizens, town officials, and employees to refine issues and interactively generate concepts and specific recommendations for achieving Troutman’s future objectives.
Community members can drop in any time to participate as ideas are being developed. They can attend a focus group, come to the “Reveal” events in the evening, or attend all of the transparent creation process.
Focus groups on various topics will occur throughout the charrette, and the public input sessions will feature keypad polling and interactive design and mapping stations.
On the final day, Stantec will conduct a public presentation summarizing the results of the charrette and then follow up with staff and elected officials for additional input before assembling the final draft.
Stantec will next develop the Strategic Master Plan, which will estimate the demand for community services and create a set of policy and infrastructure recommendations that bridge the gap from the Troutman of today to its preferred vision.
Stantec will conduct an existing plan and policy review, collect data, and examine existing conditions. The consultants will also help staff and policy makers identify guiding principles as part of the preliminary visioning process for the plan.
The consultant will make several presentations to town staff and officials in September and continue refining the strategic master plan document creation. Consultants will present the draft plan documentation and summarize the results of focus groups, surveys, and meetings to show how Stantec developed its recommendations.
After receiving feedback from the town and community, Stantec consultants will finalize the plan.
Included in the plan will be a land-use market analysis, a buildout analysis and scenario, an amended 2035 Future Land Use Plan, and an implementation strategy.
After draft approval by town staff, the plan will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Board and the Town Council for final input and edits before the final product is created.
Delivered to the town by October 30, the completed Strategic Master Plan will include project costs, partnerships, and implementation strategies for short-, mid-, and long-term goals in one comprehensive document that will help guide the town’s growth, governing, and community for the next ten years.
PUBLIC INPUT MAP
Citizens can also give input using the Public Input Map at http://stantec.maps.arcgis.com/apps/CrowdsourceReporter/index.html?appid=0c5c1ac3f67c4c258c6d8f648aa25979
Data collected through this map will help Stantec and town officials understand community priorities and make targeted recommendations to shape land use, transportation, utilities, economic development, and other important elements of the community.
Visitors can add points to the map to indicate areas where community members think certain types of development should occur and locations where the transportation system needs improvements.
Visitors should first select whether they wish to add Proposed Land Use or Transportation Issues comments from the drop-down menu (at right). Then, they can use the "Add Point" button (at bottom) to choose the type of point and place it on the map. The magnifying glass (at left) can be used to find a specific location.
Users can add their thoughts in the comments field to provide detail on each point they add. They can also click on points placed by others to "like" them (using the heart icon) or add their comments to an existing point placed by another visitor to the map.
WANT TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
Citizens can express their ideas for the town’s growth and future by sending a letter to Town Planner Erika Martin at 400 North Eastway Drive, Troutman, NC, 28166 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also reach her by phone at 704-528-7600 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Community members can also contact Stantec consultant Scott Lane at email@example.com or by telephone at 919-865-7387 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The current 2035 Land Use Plan is available to examine at https://www.troutmannc.gov/vertical/sites/%7B212D0B0F-A03E-4846-A212-4AB2C3F1B2C5%7D/uploads/Adopted_2035_Troutman_Future_Land_Use_Plan.pdf
Follow Strategic Master Plan news and the process at https://www.plantroutman.com. Citizens can sign up for email update alerts to get the latest information.