Polk County Comprehensive Plan ready for review

Published 5:45 pm Friday, January 22, 2010

After more than a year of work, Polk Countys comprehensive plan is now drafted and ready for review.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners last week agreed to set a public hearing for the draft plan on March 15. Prior to the public hearing, the county will hold an open house for residents to ask questions and review the draft.
An open house will also be held prior to the March Polk County Planning Board meeting. Commissioners approved sending the draft to the planning board to make recommendations. The planning board received the comprehensive plan draft last week.
The county has been working on the comprehensive plan with a group of about 25 volunteers, with help from Holland Consultants.
The visionary plan advisory committee has held 14 meetings, and three open houses have been held throughout the county. The county also sent surveys to all households in the county regarding land use and other issues, with a response rate of approximately 22 percent.
Polk has spent approximately $90,000 on the comprehensive plan by hiring Holland Consultants.
The draft is packed with statistics and maps of the county as well as historical information and information regarding the countys departments. The draft also includes an action plan, which will help guide the county in the future about how to create ordinances.
Polk Countys vision, as stated in the plan, says, “Polk Countys rural atmosphere and serene natural beauty will be vigorously protected. Visionary and pragmatic county and municipal governments will work together in a cooperative manner as they continue to enhance the quality of life for all Polk County citizens.”
According to the document, “Polk County has undertaken the preparation of this comprehensive plan with the understanding that the plan should be:
Comprehensive in setting goals and objectives for all aspects of the county.
Part of a continuous planning process that is timely and responsive to the needs/desires of the county.
The legal basis for land use regulations and a guide for county budgeting.
In summary, this process will provide a workable, creative, and dynamic plan to guide future long-term growth and development throughout the next twenty (20) years. It provides a foundation for Polk Countys ongoing planning program and serves as the countys primary policy guide for short- and long-range planning, zoning, and land use related decisionmaking within the county.”
The draft plan can be viewed by going to www.polknc.org. The plan is on the countys home page located towards the bottom of the page.

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