Charting the Course for Successful Planning Projects

You'll learn about:

  • The numerous benefits of creating a Plan Charter for major planning projects  
  • Navigating the course of the process with staff, the governing body, and key stakeholder
  • Exploring the successful experiences of a variety of jurisdictions that used the Charter components to create meaningful outcomes.

Creating community plans can be a daunting task for any planner. Making sure that all parties involved share the same vision for the purpose, focus, process, approach, and schedule of the project can be a significant challenge. This session will identify how planners in Loudoun County, Virginia, and Cary, North Carolina, created charters to guide updates to community plans. 

Loudoun County, Virginia, located 25 miles from our nation’s capital, remains one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. With the last comprehensive review occurring in 2001, the need for the new Comprehensive Plan was readily apparent due to evolving land use, economic conditions, and numerous conflicts with current rezoning applications. This session will describe Loudoun County’s experience with developing a Plan Charter, a roadmap for completing the New Comprehensive Plan, in less than three months that was comprehensive and receive a unanimous endorsement by a 9 member Board of Supervisors. 

The Town of Cary has for decades been one of the premier communities in North Carolina and the Southeast, and is increasingly being recognized as one of the best places to live in the country. In late 2010, the Town of Cary began considering the need to update several of the Town’s existing area plans. It became clear that a more pressing need was to undertake a comprehensive update to the entire policy context rather than updating individual component parts. Due to the complexity of the undertaking, the Town decided to approach this initiative in two phases: development of the charter (the plan for the plan), and development of the comprehensive plan. This session will describe how the plan charter was instrumental in setting the stage for development of the plan, and how the project managers used the charter to help address unforeseen hurdles that arose during the process.