(Click for page-sized Process graphic [pdf/99kb/1p])
The Legacy Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the City-County Planning Board and all of Forsyth County’s municipal and county elected bodies in 2001. The adoption was the culmination of a six-year process involving hundreds of citizens to help define a vision for the community and put together a plan consisting of goals, objectives, policies and action agenda items. Most of the almost 150 action items have been addressed or implemented, and a number of the initiatives that Legacy promoted have begun to take shape and can be seen. A Citizens Oversight Committee met annually after adoption and issued a “report card” on implementation progress which it provided to the Planning Board and each of the elected bodies.
Update, not a whole new plan
The 2001 Legacy Plan was developed with a target year of 2015. Because it is good planning practice to update and refresh comprehensive plans every ten years or so, it is time to prepare an update to the Plan. The City-County Planning Board believes that the vision, goals and objectives of Legacy are still valid — even more so today. Therefore, the process of updating the plan can and should be shorter than the lengthy process of preparing the original Legacy Plan from scratch. Given that this is an update that builds on the foundation of the 2001 Legacy Plan, the Planning Board and staff have developed a process that is interactive, convenient, and compact. Planning Board members — who are appointed by the City Council and County Commissioners and are citizens from Winston-Salem, some of the small towns, and unincorporated Forsyth County — will serve as the Steering Committee for the Update. Input to the Planning Board from the community during the year-long update process will be invited in several different ways, at different times, and at different venues to give citizens a variety of ways to participate.
First Phase of Update Process and Input
The first stage of the process is the development of discussion drafts of the updated chapters. The discussion draft chapters will be developed by Planning staff in stages, and each chapter generally covers what the 2001 Legacy Plan states concerning the subject matter of the chapter, what of its recommendations were accomplished, what issues or opportunities remain or present themselves for the future, and what questions need to be explored as Legacy recommendations are considered that will help prepare the community for the next 20 years.
After a preliminary review of these chapter discussion drafts by the Planning Board, each chapter, as it is done, will be posted on the www.Legacy2030.com web site and available for public review and comment prior to public meetings that will be held to discuss that chapter. The kickoff meetings held on April 26, 2011, at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, presented the Introduction and the first three background chapters covering the accomplishments of the 2001 Legacy Plan, the trends affecting our planning challenges over the next 20 years, and the Legacy Growth Management Plan. On June 7, 2011, at the Anderson Center at Winston-Salem State University, there was a review of the six topical chapters of Land Use, Transportation, Economic Development, Environmental Quality and Sustainability, Healthy Communities (a new chapter added since the 2001 Legacy Plan), and Community Character. On September 20th at 6:00 p.m. in the Winston Room at the Joel Coliseum, we will discuss the three geographic chapters of Downtown and the Center City, Neighborhoods and Small Towns, and the Rural Area. Again, each of the chapters will be posted on the www.Legacy2030.com web site in the weeks before the meetings to discuss them so that citizens can be prepared to give comments at the meeting, or if they cannot get to the meeting, to e-mail or post their comments online. This fall we will prepare the three implementation chapters: Development Regulations, the Role of Area Plans, and Key Public Investments.
Second Phase of the Update Process
After this first stage of meetings to review discussion drafts of the chapters, the Planning Board and staff will review and discuss at Planning Board work sessions the comments and suggestions received. After those discussions, the staff will complete drafts of all the chapters with recommendations added. At that point, the second phase of community input will begin, with the completed draft posted online, and meetings held in diverse locations around the city and county to allow comment and discussion about the chapters and recommendations. These meetings will likely be held in late winter to early spring of 2012. Upon completion of those meetings, the Planning Board will again review the comments received and make any needed revisions for a public hearing draft.
Third Phase of the Process
The third and final phase of citizen input will be the City-County Planning Board public hearing. It is anticipated that this will occur in late spring of 2012, after which the Planning Board would further consider any comments, make any revisions that they believe are appropriate, and forward their recommendation for the Legacy Update to the elected bodies of the County and its municipalities. Each of those bodies will conduct their own public hearing before taking final action to adopt the Update.