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Future east Lincoln land growth topic of meetings

County officials want residents’ input on the future of eastern Lincoln County land growth.
Residents may attend several meetings with officials from county staff and Centralina Council of Government concerning prospective growth.
“Since plans have been identified by the steering committee, it’s a chance for the residents in those areas to have a voice in how those areas develop,” said Andrew Bryant with Lincoln County Building and Land Development.
The committee and building and land development identified small area plans in places experiencing rapid growth.
The three areas identified are intersections along the new N.C. 16 at Optimist Club Road, St. James Road and N.C. 150.
Bryant said his department believes once the new N.C. 16 opens, the area will experience “explosive” growth.
“We want these meetings to really be for citizen input,” he said. “These citizens in those small areas are going to be affected greatly by how these areas are developed in the next five to 15 years.”
Centralina Council of Governments, contracted for land use plan, will conduct the workshop-like meetings.
“Members from Centralina and county staff will be there to explain things and take notes to discuss what this small area plan means,” Bryant said.
Officials will hold two meetings for each area in east Lincoln.
“We understand that one night to determine what will happen in the next 10 years doesn’t seem very fair,” Bryant said. “This will give people a couple opportunities to come out.”
Officials have not drafted any plans concerning future growth in east Lincoln County.
“We haven’t drafted plans because we don’t live there. We don’t want to go in there with a presumption,” Bryant said. “After the workshop is held, we’ll have an idea of what citizens want and should be able to draft from there.”
The Optimist Club Road area will meet April 25 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at East Lincoln High School.
The St. James Church Road area will meet April 12 and May 2 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Rock Springs Elementary.
The N.C. 150 and N.C. 16 area will meet April 18 and May 3 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at North Lincoln High School.
The first set of meetings are designed to glean community input. The other meetings are to implement comments into the plan.
For holding these meetings, county officials are getting a boost of support from the East Lincoln Betterment Association.
“ELBA is supporting the building and land development group to raise awareness, drive attendance and encourage public participation,” said ELBA member Jack LaPointe. “These meetings are crucial for the community as they are expected to provide for the planning board on how east Lincoln should evolve as it grows.”

For more information on the meetings, contact Jack LaPointe at (704) 489-0011.
Staff writer Jon Mayhew contributed to the article.
by Maribeth Kiser

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