Plan is required by law; Union County is last in the state to adopt one
At a public hearing Monday, Union County Council was seeking comments on the proposed County Comprehensive Plan 2031. The state requires counties to have a comprehensive plan in place, to review it every 5 years, and update it every 10 years. Union County is the last county in the state to enact a comprehensive plan, though the law has been around since 1994. Members of the Planning Commission spoke about the process of coming up with the plan, with work beginning back in 2017 with focus groups meeting. Curtiss Hunter, who has been part of the Planning Commission meetings since the beginning, said untold late hours were spent in putting the plan together.
Stephen Allen with the Catawba Regional Council of Governments praised the plan:
(audio below story)
Community members who asked questions and gave input included Bill and Rebecca Rochester and Rev. Jerome Brown. Bill Rochester asked about funding for the projects contained in the plan. William Jeter with the Planning Commission stated without having a plan, it’s hard to put funding in place, whether grants, public/private partnerships, or anything else. Supervisor Frank Hart stated the plan can help to set priorities, and from there, funding can be sought for the various topics. Rebecca Rochester asked about how quickly specific strategies listed in the document could be implemented. Community Development Director Kathy Jo Lancaster stated that the Planning Commission’s work has only just begun. She said the group will have monthly meetings to help work on specific strategies and how best to implement them. Rev. Jerome Brown applauded the commission’s work, and stated now it is time to get the community on board, to ask them which projects they most support, and allow the community to drive the implementation of the plan.