Image: City of Wilson Growth Plan: 1999 Update

Long Description: City of Wilson, North Carolina

This City of Wilson Growth Plan: 1999 Update consists of the revised growth policies and map recommended by the update committee. The committee consisted of Planning Board members and their appointments of residents from within the community, as well as representatives from real estate, development, business, industrial and engineering interests who help influence growth and development.

In preparing the revisions, the committee evaluated each policy category, inviting representatives from other agencies or organizations to discuss policies of importance for their interests. The results are policies that address areas of current interest and needs and are refined into a consolidated set of policies to guide growth and development over the next ten to twenty years. The recommended policies modify, eliminate, add to, and/or expand upon the ones in the earlier Wilson Growth Plan and provide more relevant policies of current importance to the City of Wilson in its growth and development.

Use of the Policies

The growth policies and map reference a variety of growth and development related issues. The Policies for Growth and Development and accompanying Growth Strategy Map serve as a relevant guide where there is land use conflicts. The adopted growth policies and map serve as a foundation upon which future decisions can be made regarding capital improvements, ordinances, development requests, zoning matters, subdivision approvals and other development related issues. Different users of these policies, including planning staff members, developers, residents, and members of the Planning Board or the City Council, can evaluate the policies according to their interests and formulate a decision based upon the priorities they assign to the various policies. As these evaluations lead toward established policy priorities, the policies serve as a relevant foundation to guide growth and development within the community.

Vision and Values

Reflecting a shared vision of Wilson as "a friendly and prosperous community growing together with full, viable and obtainable economic development and cultural enrichment equal for all", the City of Wilson Growth Plan: 1999 Update contains policies that

In preparing the City of Wilson Growth Plan: 1999 Update, the committee also valued a fact-based plan, not only realistic enough to accomplish desired goals, but flexible enough to serve as a working document, keeping economic reality and needs in sight.

Plan Summary


The City of Wilson Growth Plan: 1999 Update was prepared by the Planning Board Appointed Growth Plan Update Committee with the assistance of the Planning and Development Services Department of the City of Wilson. The Committee recommended its adoption in July 1999. In September 1999 the the Planning Board approved the plan and the City Council adopted it as a guide in October 1999.

In 1990 the City of Wilson and the County of Wilson adopted the 1990 Wilson Growth Plan. This plan established planning principles in the form of general growth policies for development of the community. A Growth Strategy Map with growth boundaries to promote orderly growth was delineated. Although critical growth factors, such as economic development needs and population outlook that influenced the 1990 Wilson Growth Plan remain relevant, growth patterns, related development interests and public improvements have evolved since 1990. While some growth policies remain valuable in influencing development, others are no longer important. Also, the 1990 Growth Strategy Map is 10 years old and many of its boundaries are not valid.

Recognizing that revisions were needed to the growth policies and map, the City of Wilson Planning Board established a Growth Plan Update Committee with the mission of revising the policies and map.

Image: 1990 Growth Strategy Map

9. Community Appearance:

Policy 9.1: Major roadway entrances into Wilson are measures of community image and quality, and their significance should be recognized through landscape, signage and other visual improvements. The City should work jointly with State DOT, private property owners, and developers to improve the appearance and design of major street rights-of-way and adjacent corridors through improved landscaping, sign control and building design.

Policy 9.2: Sign policies and standards should be periodically updated to enhance community identity and create a high quality business image.

Policy 9.3: Measures to improve the effectiveness of landscaping and buffering standards for new and existing developments shall be encouraged. New developments shall provide landscape improvements to the maximum extent.

Policy 9.4: New development, redevelopment and rehabilitation of structures and sites should occur in ways that are consistent and supportive of the neighborhood and architectural context of the surrounding area. New large retail development or revitalization shall incorporate architectural features and design variations in their fa├žade, roof and other architectural elements so as to contribute to the overall enhancement of the community.

Policy 9.5: The significance of street trees in providing visual relief, summer cooling, improved air quality and livability shall be recognized through public policies and actions to encourage their planting and maintenance.

Policy 9.6: The placement of utility wires underground shall be required, where feasible, in all public and private developments.

10. Environmental Quality:

Policy 10.1: Continued improvements to public sewage collection and treatment facilities shall be supported, with priority to servicing existing or planned densely developed areas where environmental and economic benefits can be realized.

Policy 10.2: Development activities in the 100-year floodplain or near lakes and streams shall be carefully controlled. If development must occur, low intensity uses such as open space, recreation and adequately buffered agricultural activities shall be preferred. Note: Also, see Growth Area Development policy 7.4.

Policy 10.3: Runoff and drainage from development and agricultural activities shall be of a quality and quantity as near to natural conditions as possible, with special emphasis given to critical watershed areas.

Policy 10.4: Development that preserves the existing natural features of the site, including topography and significant vegetation, shall be encouraged.

Policy 10.5: Local area requirements for solid waste disposal facilities shall be anticipated through advanced planning; facilities shall be located and designed to not adversely impact significant natural or man-made resources.

Policy 10.6: The City and County recognize the need for a regional solution to the solid waste issue, and will support efforts toward that end.

Policy 10.7: Research and development of recycling and resource recovery programs, whether public or private, shall be encouraged and supported.

Policy 10.8: The location of hazardous waste storage and disposal facilities within Wilson County shall not be supported.

Policy 10.9: Industries producing noise, odor, air and water pollution, or other harmful impacts, shall be discouraged in non industrial areas, unless such adverse impacts can clearly be overcome through effective mitigation.

Policy 10.10: Within industrial and other areas, harmful environmental pollutants resulting from manufacturing, production or other land use activities shall be mitigated or minimized so as not to exceed water, land and air quality standards or laws.

Policy 10.11: The development of a county-wide comprehensive drainage and flood management plan, including public and private actions in support of plan implementation, shall be supported.

11. Education:

Policy 11.1: The attainment of a quality educational system shall be recognized as one of the most important factors in the future economic development of Wilson County.

Policy 11.2: The importance of hiring and keeping dedicated, creative and highly motivated teachers shall be recognized through a commitment to improved student/teacher ratios and better incentives, including higher pay.

Policy 11.3: Responsibility for improvements to the educational system shall not be placed solely with policy makers, professional educators and administrators. Programs and actions, which emphasize 1) parental involvement and 2) assistance from the business community, shall be strongly sought.

Policy 11.4: Non-traditional and alternative approaches to educational programming shall be supported.

Policy 11.5: Technical training and other educational programs shall be encouraged to help unemployed, underemployed and other local residents take advantage of business expansion, stay abreast of new technologies and meet the ever changing job needs of existing and future development within our community.

12. Central City Development:

Policy 12.1: Public policies and actions shall continue to support the maintenance and revitalization of the Central Business District and adjoining neighborhoods as the historic and cultural center of the community with emphasis on economic development, revitalization and compatible redevelopment, and elimination of urban decay and blight.

Policy 12.2: The City, in concert with the County, other agencies, organizations, property owners and merchants, shall encourage collaborative and innovative public and private initiatives and revitalization efforts in the Central Business District and adjoining areas. Such initiatives include development of pedestrian oriented open space systems, streetscape improvements, incorporation of art into public and semi-public spaces, sufficient and appropriately designed and landscaped off-street parking lots, compatible reuse or redevelopment of multiple buildings or disused areas, and effective marketing. Also, improvements to central city residential neighborhoods, including redevelopment or renewal activities that compliment the overall revitalization of the central city area, are encouraged.

Policy 12.3: A variety of mutually compatible and supportive mixed land uses that compliment the existing major business, industrial and institutional anchors within the Central Business District shall be encouraged, reinforced and supported in order to promote a quality and vibrant central city image that benefits the entire community.

Policy 12.4: Land uses and conditions that promote signs of urban decay and blight in the central city area shall be discouraged or eliminated with emphasis on rehabilitation and/or removal of deteriorated buildings and implementation of strategies that aid in the overall economic and market restructuring of the area.

Policy 12.5: Residential neighborhood improvement and/or redevelopment activities as well as other coordinated public policy actions, including abatement of blighting influences and conditions, shall be encouraged and sustained in support of overall central city revitalization.

New Policy 12.6: Adaptive reuse of buildings in or near the Central Business District for residential purposes shall be encouraged, including rehabilitation of upper stories of appropriate buildings for residential uses such as studio-type apartments.

13. Planning Coordination:

Policy 13.1: Coordinated inter-governmental planning for land use and development, transportation, utilities, environmental management, law enforcement, education, recreation and tourism development shall be encouraged.

Policy 13.2: Public involvement shall be encouraged in decisions on land use and development by making the public aware of proposed developments at the earliest opportunity, as well as fostering communication between developers and the general public.

Policy 13.3: Neighborhood and special area planning shall be encouraged, where feasible and appropriate to foster public involvement in the production of closely tailored, action oriented special area plans and programs.

Policy 13.4: Specific functional plans and implementation tools shall be supported as part of a comprehensive planning program and economic development strategy for the City and County.

Policy 13.5: Urban type development within the Urban Growth Area should meet appropriate City standards.

Policy 13.6: Properly planned, mixed use developments that promote efficient provision of public services shall be encouraged within the Urban Growth Area.

Policies for Growth and Development

1. Economic Development:

Policy 1.1: The community's pro-growth/pro-active economic development approach supports new and expanding industries and businesses that help:

a)Diversify the local economy,

b) Increase employment, preferably by training and/or utilizing a more highly-skilled labor force,

c) Increase area residents' incomes,

d) Equitably distribute development throughout the community, and/or

e) Encourage small business start-ups, expansions and spin-offs.

Policy 1.2: The community's economic development strategy encourages the promotion of environmental quality and balanced growth, as well as enhancement of a high quality of life, image and cultural amenities and improvements for all segments of the population.

Policy 1.3: Economic growth is fully encouraged within the community's Urban Growth Area boundaries and especially where urban development fosters compact or infill growth and inner city revitalization.

Policy 1.4: Partnerships and others are encouraged to revitalize the physical character of declining commercial and residential areas.

Policy 1.5: The community's built resources are important, and their use, preservation and maintenance are encouraged with destruction of significant architectural or historic resources discouraged.

Policy 1.6: Promotion and development of local and regional tourism is encouraged.

2. Transportation:

Policy 2.1: The adopted 1996 City of Wilson Thoroughfare Plan or revised thereof shall be employed to promote a hierarchical, functional road network and to promote the proper arrangement of land patterns by controlling the location of city and state streets and roads.

City of Wilson Growth Plan: 1999 Update

Planning and Development Services Department

Growth Plan Update Committee Members Growth Plan Resources Members

James Bissette, Chairman of Committee & Planning Bd. James Bradshaw, Development Serv. Dir.

Jack Wiggins III, Planning Board Member Charles Pittman, Deputy City Manager

Kevin O'Brien, Planning Board Member Gary Mills, City Engineer

Maurice Coble, Planning Board Member Kent Montgomery, Dir. of Parks & Rec.

Doris Jones, Planning Board Member Will Aycock, Planning Intern - GIS Maps

Cleveland Flowe Eddie Philips, County Planning Director

John Campbell, Appearance Comm. Chairman Tom Corbett, Downtown Director

Bill Bartlett, Engineer Russell Landen, Assist. Superintendent

Jennifer Lantz, Ex. Dir. Of Economic Dev. Council Kathy Garner, Planner - GIS Maps

Barbara Blackston, Realtor

Russell Hesmer, Realtor

George Leach

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