Weeks after Fuquay-Varina approved a comprehensive overhaul to its development ordinance, the town is in the midst of another massive planning project.
With the help of public input and other stakeholders, Fuquay-Varina is revising what’s known as its 2035 land use map, a document that seeks to outline in general terms how the remaining developable land – and redevelopable land – in town should be put to use. Contrasted with the town’s zoning ordinance, the land use map is more about what would be preferred in certain parts of town rather than what is allowed.
And unlike the zoning ordinance, the new land use map also will outline the town’s plans for land in its extra-territorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, and its urban service area, a line theoretically bounding the town’s urban expansion.
To solicit and compile the public’s thoughts on the matter, Fuquay-Varina is hosting what it calls a charrette – or a series of meetings – Monday, Oct. 31 through Friday, Nov. 4. at the town’s recently opened Public Service Center on Holland Road.
Fuquay-Varina’s location at the edge of rural lands south of Wake County means it has more room to grow and annex than its counterparts closer to Raleigh. The town, according to a news release, has grown by nearly 20,000 residents in the last 20 years, and the town continues to be inundated with requests from developers to build new neighborhoods.
Planning Director Mike Sorensen said the town ideally would be updating this long-term plan every three to five years, but that Fuquay-Varina hasn’t done so since 2005.
“Things slowed down enough with the recession that they didn’t think it was necessary,” Sorensen said. “So what we’re doing is actually not updating the current plan we have. We’re rewriting a brand new plan.”
The town is paying planning firm City Explained $132,000 to consult with the town and help develop the plan. Consultants will be present at the Public Service Center for each of the public input meetings.
Sorensen that the town is taking advantage of new software for the first time that could analyze the town’s planning and map data to suggest ideal land uses. Sorensen also characterized this most recent revision of the plan as more intentional and focused than in previous versions.
“2005’s plan, to me, was a very generic-type plan,” Sorensen said. “This is going to be more focused on where we think certain uses need to be, what level of infrastructure needs to be there to serve those uses.”
That means an increased focus on traffic woes, which have multiplied since 2005 to become residents’ single-biggest gripe, Sorensen said. The planning department also will attempt to respond to concerns related to over-development and preservation of green space, he added.
Public input opportunities continue through the new year. Some version of the plan is expected to be adopted by the Town Board during the second half of March and made effective immediately.
Gargan: 919-460-2604; @hgargan
Want to go?
A week of meetings will be held at the Public Service Center, 1415 Holland Road, Fuquay-Varina. The sessions are all day and cover a variety of topics, from general planning concerns to transportation, utilities and parks and recreation. A schedule is at fuquay-varina.org/713/Land-Use-Plan.