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County planning needs your input

ASHEBORO — With plans to update the Randolph County Growth Management Plan, the Steering Committee formed to study expected growth is asking residents to complete a survey to help in the process. 


Citizens can visit https://www.randolphcountync.gov/512/GMP-Update and click on a link to the survey. This is an important way to let your voice be heard.


Another way is to attend a public meeting the week of June 26. The exact date, time and location will be published soon.


Impetus for updating the Growth Management Plan comes from the coming Toyota Battery Plant west of Liberty and Wolfspeed just across the Chatham County line. 


With more than 4,000 jobs expected to come, and even more as ancillary companies move in, the Randolph County Board of Commissioners has approved a contract with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) to lead the process during the next few months. The goal: To ensure that the anticipated growth in the northeastern portion of the county is a balance among sustainable economic growth, environmental protection and rural quality of life.


On Jan. 19, Jesse Day, planning director of PTRC, led the kickoff meeting of the GMP Steering Committee, composed of two county commissioners, representatives of five municipalities connected with the northeast quadrant, the Randolph County manager, three members of the Randolph County Planning Board, director of the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority and the county’s Environmental Health director. Support is offered by PTRC staff members and members of the county staff.


The latest meeting of the Steering Committee was May 18 when Day and Jose Colon, another planner for PTRC, reviewed survey responses that had already been turned in. The closing date for the survey is May 31.


According to survey responses so far, most respondents answered that their preferred type of home in northeast Randolph County was a single-family, one-story, followed by single-family, two-story. The most-preferred recreational facilities were parks and trails.


Those taking the survey are asked what land uses they would like in certain corridors. For NC 49, NC 22, New Salem Road and Old Liberty Road, the most responses were for agricultural, followed by residential. Responses to US Business 220 and US 64 had agriculture as the most favored, but commercial, industrial and office/institutional held their own.


The committee members were broken up into two groups, one to discuss environmental quality and the other examining scenic corridor and heritage management. The groups looked at possible changes and/or additions to the Land Management Plan which could be presented to the commissioners later this year.


Surveys turned in by May 31 will be included in how growth management is handled in the coming years. The county’s Growth Management Plan was last amended in 2009.


Day said later that the committee is redrawing maps, looking at adjusting boundaries and considering rural areas that prefer to remain agricultural. He said they have met with representatives of Victory Junction, who wish to preserve that rural area to enhance the camp experience.


He said state projections for growth in Randolph County have yet to be updated for the predictable impact of economic development in the northeastern quadrant. A new model should include the Toyota / Wolfspeed jobs as well as the types of industries expected to come.


“We hope to have more details at the next public meeting at the end of June,” Day said.