08/02/06 — Residents can give input on land use

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Residents can give input on land use

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 2, 2006 1:47 PM

Wayne County residents will have a chance next month to offer their opinions of a long-term, county-wide development plan being created by a group of citizen volunteers and community planners.

The Wayne County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee started work on a vision statement for the county. On Tuesday night, committee members put the finishing touches on the various components of the statement, which will be presented at a public meeting Sept. 21 at the Wayne Center.

The purpose of the plan is to create a blueprint for where county residents want Wayne to be 15 years from now.

Consultant Glenn Harbeck has worked with the volunteer members of the steering committee to come up with the statements, which address problems the county is expected to encounter over the course of the next two decades and beyond.

Residents who attended a January public meeting were able to give their input into what the plan should entail.

At the September meeting, Harbeck said residents will be able to join in the discussion about how the county can make the visions contained in the statements come true. Residents will be invited to help committee members prioritize goals. Among the issues that were identified by the committee were transportation, the funding of county services, agricultural preservation, growth management, water and sewer service, education, housing, public safety, the revitalization of downtown Goldsboro, parks and recreation, community appearance and intergovernmental cooperation.

The statements are written in the past tense, as if the desired result has already been reached. For example, the vision statement on transportation says "local governments in Wayne County have worked proactively with the state Department of Transportation toward an efficient system of local roads and major thoroughfares, developed in accordance with a carefully prepared county-wide transportation plan. Advanced planning and sophisticated signal timing has resulted in a functional system of streets and highways, as well as interstate-quality bypasses for U.S. 70 and 117."

Other transportation goals include more sidewalks, trails and bicycle paths in urban areas to encourage walking and an expanded public transit system.

To make the visions a reality, it will take participation by a wide range of county residents, committee chairman Connie Price said, regardless of their age, occupation or interests.

Harbeck said this would benefit the amount of discussion and brainstorming possible at the September meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. With a consensus, the county and its communities can begin to work toward accomplishing the goals its residents see as most important, he said.

"After the public sees the vision, we can start working on the policies to make it happen," Harbeck said.

For more information on the committee, the Sept. 21 meeting, or on the comprehensive plan, call the county Planning Department at 731-1650.