More than 1,000 people have shared their visions for how Durham should grow and now the City-County Planning Department is ready to present the initial results of this input through its draft community objectives.
The creation of Durham’s new Comprehensive Plan is a three-year process to shape how Durham changes over the next few decades. A Comprehensive Plan is the broadest policy document a community can create that links many important aspects and future needs of a community — land use, housing, transportation, natural environment, and more. To ensure this plan reflects the needs and priorities of the community, ENGAGEDurham has been actively seeking input from people who live, work, own a business, go to school, or simply care about the future of Durham.
With Phase I beginning in November 2019, the department gathered input through in-person workshops, online surveys, and small-discussion groups hosted by the project’s Engagement Ambassadors. In these opportunities, residents and stakeholders provided their ideas and opinions to help shape the foundation for this new plan, which are the draft community goals and objectives. In Phase II of this engagement process, staff are now presenting back to the community what they learned during the workshops, small-group discussions and online surveys, and are seeking input on the draft community objectives.
To share their feedback on the draft community objectives, residents and stakeholders are asked to visit https://durham.mysocialpinpoint.com/comprehensiveplan from now until February 19. On this website, which is available in English and Spanish, they will learn about the process of writing the community objectives, read the draft objectives, and provide their feedback as well as have the opportunity to submit a photo, drawing, or quote using their five senses to imagine the Durham of the future they’d like to see.
In addition to seeking feedback online, small-group discussions are also being held by staff and Engagement Ambassadors to work toward the more equitable engagement of residents on the draft community objectives. Engagement Ambassadors are currently in the final stages of facilitating virtual group discussions on community objectives related to Housing and Transportation, and will soon begin similar discussions around additional objectives in the new year. Engagement Ambassadors are Durham residents who receive a stipend to help the department engage hard-to-reach and underrepresented communities. Ambassadors are part of, or have a connection to, communities in Durham that have traditionally not been included in planning processes. The focus of small-group discussions is to engage groups of people that are not often reached by online engagement methods and includes some of the groups who have been working with the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department as community partners. Like the Engagement Ambassadors, participants in these discussions will be granted an incentive for their in-depth review of the draft objectives that are particularly related to the purpose of their group or their interests.
For more information about the new Comprehensive Plan process, visit the Engage Durham website or contact City-County Planning Department Senior Planner Lisa Miller by email or at (919) 560-4137, ext. 28270.
About the Durham City-County Planning Department
The Durham City-County Planning Department is the planning agency for the City and County of Durham. The department works with the community to develop long-range and special area plans containing policies to direct growth. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department helps to make Durham a great place to live, work, and play by working to create a strong and diverse economy, and thriving and livable neighborhoods, as well as the County’s Strategic Plan goals of environmental stewardship and community prosperity and safe community.