Archived Story

Plan focuses on five key areas

Published 7:51pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One recommendation in Washington’s draft comprehensive plan is to allow commercial use of the city’s docks.
Other recommendations call for continuing efforts to bring a hotel to the downtown area and improve public access to the water by building a pier for use by the community.
The draft plan — “Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future” — lists three initiatives that should be pursued first. They are:

  • supporting efforts to promote the downtown/waterfront areas;
  • actions that are feasible, inexpensive and relatively easy to complete quickly;
  • new opportunities to implement and pursue medium- and long-range ideas.

The 2030 plan was prepared to “articulate a vision for the community’s future and a road map for how to achieve that future,” reads the draft plan’s preface. The draft plan is organized around five major themes — downtown and the waterfront, economic development, community appearance, historic preservation and tourism, including eco-tourism.
“The plan both sets forth the long-term vision, and serves as a resource for day-to-day decision-making,” reads the preface.
Among the things a comprehensive plan addresses are land-use and zoning matters, along with other growth- and development-related issues, according to John Rodman, the city’s director of planning and community development. It also sets policies regarding those matters. The City Council has final say on the plan.
In the summer of 2011, the Planning Board decided it wanted a “fresh” comprehensive plan. The city awarded a $30,000 contract to Clarion Associates, a Denver-based firm with an office in Chapel Hill, to produce the plan.
During a board meeting last summer, board members said they want an updated plan that’s actionable, not one that will sit on a shelf gathering dust because there’s no money to make it happen.
A comprehensive plan outlines what kinds of development are desired in the city and where those types of development should occur. It also addresses the issue of preserving and protecting historical and cultural buildings, sites and landmarks in the city.
City officials use the comprehensive plan when reviewing requests for land to be rezoned to see if the requested rezoning would be in compliance with the comprehensive plan.
For details contained in the plan, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.

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