LELAND – The Town of Leland is asking for the public to help plan the future of the town, at least through the year 2045.
Over the next 10 to 12 months, the Brunswick County town is undergoing a new initiative, dubbed “Leland 2045,” to create a comprehensive plan for how it will use its land for the following 25 years.
As part of the planning process, the town will host several community events in the coming months to gather public input. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. and will include a presentation of what the project entails.
Attendees will also have the chance to take a survey on how the town should maintain its growth and economic development while prioritizing natural habitats and cultural diversity.
“Leland 2045 will create a community-driven vision for the growth and development of Leland while balancing the need for open space, environmental resiliency, housing opportunities and places for the social well-being of residents and visitors,” Ben Andrea, Leland planning and inspections director, said in a news release.
The town has engaged Design Workshop, a planning and strategic services consulting firm, to lead the process. The consultant will help the town build upon previously adopted land use and transportation plans, and will assist in establishing a policy framework for future planning.
Located in one of the fastest-growing counties in North Carolina, Leland’s population is quickly climbing.
U.S. Census Bureau data shows the number of residents rose from 13,614 in 2010 to 23,544 in 2019, an approximate 73% increase.
The town doesn’t expect the growth to die down anytime soon. Projections suggest it will continue at a comparable rate for another 10 years.
The new comprehensive plan will “ensure that future growth is managed responsibly and with the needs of residents in mind,” according to a town press release.
Leland 2045 will tackle a series of objectives, from evaluating demographic and economic trends to developing recommendations for a multi-model transportation network, including ideas for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Other highlights include an examination of environmental assets to pinpoint potential preservation and conservation sites; an inventory of historic, cultural and heritage resources and plans to enhance the area’s history and culture through future development; a review of housing needs; and a game plan for how Leland 2045 will be implemented.
“To be successful, we need to hear from community members about their visions for the future of Leland,” Andrea said.
Two more meetings are tentatively scheduled for March and August 2021.
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