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Polk County continuing process to develop 20/20 Vision Plan

In November, 2008, Polk County began the process of preparing the Polk County 20/20 Vision Plan, previously known as the Comprehensive Plan. &bsp;

The plan is intended to provide a guide for future long-term growth and land use within the county. Funding for development of the plan is being provided by a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation Unrestricted Fund Grant and Polk County. &bsp;

An 18-member advisory committee representing all county townships and towns was appointed by the county commissioners to oversee development of the plan. The committee has been meeting monthly.

The 20/20 Vision Plan is being developed based on the results of the Polk County visioning study distributed to Polk County households in 2008. &bsp;

As a result of information collected from the study, the 20/20 Vision Plan is focusing on the concerns of: future growth, the environment, farmland reservation, housing, water supply, and the provision of community facilities and services. &bsp;

In addition, preservation of the county&squo;s natural assets, affordable housing, and improving the local economy have been discussed as major areas of concern.&bsp; The plan will include specific policies and implementing actions designed to address these concerns.

To date, the advisory committee has conducted 11 work sessions and reviewed the following draft sections of the plan: population and economy, environment, existing conditions, and Polk projections/future demand. &bsp;

These draft sections are available on the Polk County website, www.polknc.org, or in the Polk County Planning Department. &bsp;

The advisory committee currently is in the early stages of discussing the draft future land use map and formulating the policies and implementing actions which may be included in the plan.

Citizen participation is a vital component of the plan development process. The next advisory committee meeting will be held on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m., at the Isothermal Community College, Polk County Campus. &bsp;

At the August meeting, the committee will be discussing the future county water system and policies/implementing actions.&bsp; In September, public information meetings will be held in: Saluda on Sept. 21, 5 p.m. at the Saluda Senior Center; Green Creek on Sept. 24, 5 p.m. at the Green Creek Fire Station; and Mill Spring on Sept. 24, 7 p.m. at Sunny View Elementary School.

These meetings will present the results of plan preparation to date and provide the public the opportunity to offer comments and ask questions. The meetings will be further advertised and the public is encouraged to attend.