Request for Proposals

Comprehensive Plan

City of Burlington

Burlington, NC

Posted: 09/20/2013
Submittal Deadline: 11/01/2013


The City of Burlington, North Carolina is seeking proposals from qualified, professional consultants who will assist the City in the preparation of a Comprehensive Plan. The consultant awarded this contract will have primary responsibility for developing this document and will work in coordination and consultation with the City of Burlington Planning and Community Development Department. The City has other studies which provide resources for and should be referenced/incorporated into this plan. In addition, the City’s Planning Department staff, will assist the consultant with preparation and writing of the plan.


Proposals should include a strong emphasis on creative, strategic approaches to issues faced by the City, and include clear goals, objectives, and solid, implementable action strategies. Also, thanks to a Community Transformation Grant, healthy active living should also be emphasized. This outline is not necessarily all-inclusive and the Consultant shall include in the proposal any tasks (or alternatives) and services deemed necessary to satisfactorily complete the project. Special consideration in plan development should include:

• Creation of an economic climate that enhances the qualities that make Burlington great and increase the opportunities for businesses of all sizes to start, expand and thrive

• Assistance with shaping the built environment in making physical activity/active living/active transportation a routine part of citizens’ lives

• Help existing places to thrive and creating great new places by sustaining and building vibrant enduring neighborhoods and attractive communities that people, especially young people, do not want to leave


The proposed planning horizon for Burlington’s comprehensive plan is 20 years with implementation broken down by short-, intermediate-, and long-term strategies.

The Comprehensive Plan should be compiled with a significant amount of broad-based community involvement, to help create the vision and goals of the City. Community input will be incorporated throughout the plan development through use of a steering committee, workshops, social media, public review periods and other methods as deemed appropriate. After the initial kickoff/ visioning meeting, the majority of public input will be conducted by City staff. The consultant will minimize travel costs by utilizing technology wherever possible. Any additional meetings needed shall be arranged as an addendum to this scope.

A. Community Assessment
The consultant shall conduct a thorough community assessment including:

• A review of all existing policies, plans, and studies (Burlington Downtown Master Plan; Recreation & Parks Comprehensive Master Plan; Burlington Pedestrian Master Plan; Burlington 2000 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the 1996 Southwest Area Plan, etc.), some of which are to become components of the new comprehensive plan

• A review of City resources: community facilities, infrastructure, environmental, etc.

• Evaluation of health indicators including access to healthy food and health equity

• Evaluation of the City’s quality of life and recommendation of future enhancement possibilities

• Input resulting from community participation and tools such as visual preference surveys

• Identification and summary of community strengths, opportunities and aspirations

B. Issue Identification/Needs Assessment

The consultant will evaluate the findings of the community assessment and identify key issues and needs that should be addressed by the plan, including areas where contradictions may exist. The consultant will prepare a report of these findings for review prior to proceeding with subsequent phases of the process.

C. Recommended Plan Development

The consultant shall prepare a final comprehensive plan which shall include detailed goals, policies, objectives, implementation strategies, all necessary supporting materials, illustrations, documentation, and a final proposed Future Land Use Map. The plan shall be prepared in narrative and graphical format that is easy to understand by persons of all backgrounds. Some of the issues covered should include:

• Existing and projected demographic and socio-economic profile and anticipated impacts (including aging and related service provision)

• Economic development (including retention, recruitment, growth areas identification) and tourism

• Optimal land uses, efficient land use mixes and the potential for compact development through smart growth and healthy, active living

• Public facilities, infrastructure development, complete streets and transportation

• Parks, recreation, environmental sustainability, public safety and hazard mitigation

• Community design and aesthetics, historic preservation, gateways, and LEED/energy conservation

• Housing affordability, accessibility, choice and neighborhoods

• Regional issues, influences, impacts (Triad and Triangle), and local intergovernmental coordination

D. Project Reporting

A series of project management meetings, in person or via telephone, between City staff and the consultant shall be held at key intervals throughout the plan process and at least once a month. The consultant shall be expected to prepare brief written monthly progress reports suitable for distribution to the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council.

E. Project Deliverables to Include

• Questionnaires, maps (most maps will be prepared internally by City staff), progress reports, and other tools for community involvement, including an internet component, to disseminate information and solicit community input and comments throughout the process

• Coordination and facilitation of initial public workshop, including community visioning, and public hearing on final draft of the plan before City Council

• Statement of Community Issues resulting from Sections B & C

• Final plan document including appropriate goals, objectives, implementation strategies, maps, illustrations, and all necessary background information and appendices

• Action plans for integrating the implementation strategies into ongoing planning, evaluation and budgeting processes for both capital and operating budgets.

The consultant shall provide twenty-five (25) bound copies of the final document for distribution to City Council, Planning & Zoning Commission, and City staff and an electronic copy formatted and indexed for easy download from a Website. All documents shall be provided in both hard and digital copy. The consultant shall also provide flash drives of all digital products in the following forms as appropriate:

Text: MS Word and PDF
Spreadsheets: MS Excel
Databases: MS Access
Mapping Products (if any are produced by consultant): latest edition ESRI software


All associated documents and deliverables for this project are anticipated to be completed within 18 months of contract finalization and a notice to proceed is issued. The finished product should be ready for adoption by the City Council at a public hearing in mid-2015. City staff will actively participate in the project by assisting the consultant with provision of data, community history/ background, GIS mapping, and conducting public surveys and all public workshops with the exception of the first community visioning/input session. City staff will also create and manage the comprehensive plan website. To the largest extent possible, data needed for the plan will be based on existing reports and studies, which will also be incorporated elsewhere within the plan (ex. Recreation and Parks Master Plan will be heavily used where parks and recreation facilities are referred to in the comprehensive plan). The consultant should submit a proposal consistent with these goals. The final product should be unique to Burlington.


The City of Burlington is interested in procuring services from a consultant or team of consultants that possess the following skills:

• Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of urban planning, comprehensive planning and strategic planning, with the ability to evaluate plan alternatives for economic impact

• Thorough knowledge of the use of GIS as a planning tool, specifically ESRI products

• Thorough knowledge and experience in public interaction, conflict resolution, and consensus building

• Ability to attend and effectively conduct public workshops and public hearings

• Knowledge and ability to translate planning goals and objectives into action plans that can be implemented and integrated into the City’s capital and operating budget processes


Interested firms should submit background information about their company, its employees, and its experience with related projects and related clients. Information should also be provided which describes the range of abilities and experience of the firm as related to the required qualifications. Specifically, the response should address the following information in order:

1. A detailed narrative statement of the firm's perception of the project requirements, outlining any unique features or conditions that appear to need special attention and that the firm and proposed project team may be particularly well qualified to address, along with expertise with this type of project.

2. Company name, address, year established, and size of company and staff, including job titles. If there are multiple offices, identify location and staff for offices where the work for this project will be performed.

3. Professional resumes for key personnel that would be assigned to this project, including level of responsibility for projects similar in scope.

4. Information about any sub-consultants that might be used to perform services. Identify consultant by name, address, telephone number, contact person, and names and job descriptions of key personnel.

5. Project summaries, including reference contact information (name, title, community, and current telephone number for each), which are similar in scope to this project, and which demonstrate pertinent corporate and key personnel experience.

6. A proposed project task outline, timeline/schedule, budget with personnel assignments and benchmarks for completion of each task and final report, along with a not-to-exceed cost for all proposed services.

7. Provide any additional information the respondent believes to be relevant to the City of Burlington’s selection efforts.


The City will review each proposal based on the following measures:

• Availability and interest in providing services and in working in close cooperation with City staff, including having GIS and most public workshops handled by City staff (15 points)

• Understanding of local economic, environmental, and geographic conditions (15 points)

• Experience (30 points)

* Related experience of the firm and project team assigned to this project

* Project management capabilities

* References for similar projects from similar clients, revealing quality end product

• Project Design (20 points)

* Understanding of the project requirements as presented in narrative statement

* Specialized or appropriate expertise in this type of project

* Other information or unique qualifications regarding firm that may prove beneficial to the City

• Outcomes (20 points)

* Organization, quality, clarity and readability of proposal as proof of project capability

* Clarity of the role and level of involvement of City staff

* Ability to fulfill the objectives of the project within available budget resources and pricing competitiveness, scheduling


The City shall not be responsible for any expense incurred by the firm in preparing and submitting a proposal. All Proposals submitted shall become the property of the City. Submit six (6) hard copies of the written proposals and an electronic version (PDF format). All hard-copy proposals must be signed in ink by principal(s) of the firm authorized to negotiate and contract for the work. Proposals are to be submitted in sealed envelope(s)/ container(s) and be received by the Planning & Community Development Department no later than 4:00 p.m. local time, Friday, November 1, 2013. Proposals by telephone, e-mail, or facsimile shall not be accepted.

For questions or to submit proposals:
David Beal, Assistant Planning Director
City of Burlington
425 S. Lexington Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215
(336) 513-5417

The City of Burlington reserves the right to request clarification of submittal or additional information from applicants. Failure to provide additional information, if requested, within a reasonable amount of time, shall be reason for the firm’s offer to be considered non-responsive. The City of Burlington reserves the right to disqualify from consideration proposals received after the time and date specified above. Any proposal may be withdrawn or modified by written request of the respondent, provided such request is received by the City of Burlington at the above address prior to the date and time set for receipt of proposals. In submitting these qualifications, it is understood by the respondent that the City of Burlington reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to be the sole judge of the value and merit of the proposals offered.

If a proposal includes any proprietary data or information that the respondent does not want disclosed to the public, such data or information must be specifically identified as such on every page on which it is found. Data or information so identified will be used by the City of Burlington solely for the purpose of evaluating proposals and conducting contract negotiations.

The procurement of these professional services shall be in accordance with the North Carolina Public Procurement Act. The City of Burlington is an Equal Opportunity employer.