On November 3, the JM Teague Engineering and Planning staff and Linda Giltz, consultants working with the Town to draft its Comprehensive Plan, met with Town staff to discuss the process for crafting the Plan, to receive input from the staff, and to answer questions about the project. Town staff present included the Town Administrator and several department directors. JM Teague is based in Waynesville and provides engineering and planning services to several western North Carolina communities. Linda Giltz is an independent consultant who works with communities on planning and community outreach. After a brief explanation of the role the Town staff will play in the planning process, they were asked for their input on a number of issues and their aspirations for Woodfin in the next 10 – 20 years. The staff’s responses included:
- The Town of Woodfin needs to maintain a separate and unique identity.
- The Town is recognized for its recreational facilities.
- The French Broad River is the Town’s most valuable asset.
- Residents enjoy Woodfin’s small town character.
- Woodfin lacks a true town center. The Town Hall area was the original center, Weaverville Highway has lots of businesses, and Riverside Drive is an industrial corridor transitioning to a mixed-use corridor.
- Woodfin will continue to grow.
- The Town needs to better manage the development along main roads (Weaverville Highway, Elk Mountain Road, and Riverside Drive).
- The Town needs new ordinances and development review procedures to manage growth and development.
- Maintaining the affordability of housing is important.
- Areas such as the Weaverville Highway corridor offer an opportunity to accommodate future growth due to its existing character and its ability to support mixed use and more dense development
- Adjust height and density restrictions along this corridor
- Maintaining Woodfin’s infrastructure, especially streets, and providing a high level of services, such as police and fire, garbage pick-up, and parks, will be important as the Town grows.
- The Town should protect environmentally sensitive areas.
- The Comprehensive Plan will provide a clear voice and vision for the Town.
- A property maintenance code is needed.
- As greenways and blueways are developed, connections to neighborhoods that facilitate safe access for pedestrians and bicyclists will be needed
The comments from Town staff will be used in the development of a survey designed to gather input from Town residents and stakeholders. The survey results and public input obtained at community meetings will guide the drafting of Woodfin’s Comprehensive Plan. Please watch this site for updates on the Comprehensive Plan and for the survey.