Person County, NC plans for residential and economic growth

Uptown Roxboro, NC. Picture via Roxboro Development Group.

On December 2 and 3, a team of smart growth experts traveled to Person County, NC to help a community achieve its development goals.

In the community’s words: Smart Growth America was brought in “to help local leaders and community members identify how Person County can manage growth and economic development in such a way that our strategies for these two issues complement one another and both contribute to the vision set forth for Person County in the Person Futures Strategic Plan.”

In Smart Growth America’s: through our free technical assistance program, our team met with county and municipal leaders and residents to provide assistance under the Planning for Fiscal and Economic Health tool, supported by a grant from the U.S. EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.

The first day of the workshop featured a presentation open to the public that provided an overview of the fiscal and economic impacts of different development patterns, focusing on the differences between sprawling patterns and more compact, “smart growth” patterns.

The second day of the workshop brought together an invited group of over 50 stakeholders. The group included diverse representatives from the city, county and nonprofit and private sectors.

The invited group viewed additional presentations and also participated in facilitated brainstorming sessions to more deeply identify challenges and opportunities associated with encouraging the development and redevelopment of key sites in the city.

Person County applied for assistance from SGA to explore how smart growth strategies could help them achieve synergies in planning for anticipated residential growth and encouraging economic development. In particular, County leadership were interested in evaluating opportunities and challenges associated with three targeted development sites, namely:

  • Uptown Roxboro/Madison Boulevard
  • Timberlake/Old Helena School District/U.S. Route 501
  • A 1,350-acre potential business park site outside Roxboro

In January 2014, the Person County was one of 18 applicants selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from New Hampshire to California, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.

The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

Workshop materials:

Smart Growth America’s technical assistance has helped over 50 communities from California to Maine achieve their goals. To see results and recommendations from our past workshops, click here >>

Technical assistance