Comprehensive Plan will guide future growth in Williamston

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Appalachian Council of Governments representative Jeffrey Guilbault, AICP recently presented highlights of the new Comprehensive Plan to Williamston Town Council at their August 1 meeting.
The Comprehensive Plan includes a set of policies intended to serve the Community’s Vision and guide development over a 10 to 20 year period, Guilbault said.
It takes into account Population, Economic Development, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, Community Facilities, Housing, Land Use, Transportation, Priority Investment and Resiliency.

Highlights of the Plan include focusing on Quality Development, Quality Connections, Healthy Neighborhoods and Attractive Corridors in the town.

Quality Development is based on Traffic Impact Studies, having Design and Landscaping Standards and Parking. Managing Growth includes planning for public service/infrastructure and coordinating with Anderson School District 1 on development in or near the town.

Quality Connections include enhancing existing road connections, improving and maintaining existing roads and sidewalks. This includes planning proactively for future connections through improved bike/pedestrian connections between neighborhoods and downtown. Also ensuring new development plans have connectivity to the surrounding area. Implementation of the town’s Bike and Walking plan is encouraged.

Healthy Neighborhoods includes having a variety of housing options with multi-family design standards, neighborhood stability with targeted code enforcement, neighborhood planning and grants for public investment. Also preserving and enhancing natural and cultural resources.

Attractive Corridors include maintaining attractive gateways into Williamston with corridor overlay districts and grant opportunities to address vacant or underutilized corridor development.

According to information presented, Williamston has seen a 6.6 percent population growth rate over the last twenty years, increasing from 3,791 people in 2000 to 4,043 in 2020.
77.9 percent of the population is white, 12.9 percent black and 5.3 percent two or more races and 3.9 percent other races. 5.7 percent have Hispanic origin. The median age is 43.1 years. Eighty Eight percent of citizens 25 and older have at least a high school diploma. Ten to fifteen percent have some college, an Associate Degree or Bachelors Degree. About six percent have a Graduate or Professional Degree.

There are 1,846 housing units in the town with a median income of $43,347. The average home value is $112,700 from less than $50,000 to over $500,000. Renter occupied homes account for 36.5 percent of the total housing units.
The average per capita income in 2019 was $26,485.
More than half of the residents travel 10 to 34 minutes to get to work. Another 29 percent travel 35 to 59 minutes.

Copies of the documents to be considered are available for public inspection at the Williamston Municipal Center at 12 W Main St.

A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday September 12 in the Town of Williamston Council chambers regarding the Town’s updated Comprehensive Plan which is being recommended for approval by the Town’s Planning Commission.

The public hearing will be at the start of the Council meeting which was moved to Sept. 12 due to the Labor Day holiday.