The Town of Wake Forest Community Plan will serve the following primary purposes:
- Guidance for Town Decisions
The vision statements, policies, growth strategy map, and recommended actions of the plan give direction to Town government in reviewing development proposals, planning growth-related facilities and services, preparing standards and regulations, working with other local government jurisdictions on growth management issues, and establishing applicable budget and work program priorities.
- Source of Information
The plan and supporting technical research provide useful information on a number of topics, including the local population and economy, certain social statistics, housing, community facilities and other factors.
- Public Participation & Input
Town meetings, steering committee meetings, publication and review of documents, public hearings, and other means seek to ensure that the plan reflects, as accurately as possible, the attitudes and perspectives of the majority of citizens of the town.
The Community Plan will be comprised of the following parts:
- Growth Factors Analysis
The Growth Factors Analysis includes primarily statistical measures concerning the community's population, housing, social statistics, and economic conditions. The purpose of the Growth Factors Analysis is to provide a factual basis for understanding the social and economic context for growth in and around the Town of Wake Forest.
- Vision Statements
The Vision Statements establish a clear picture of where the Town of Wake Forest would like to be some 15 to 20 years from now. Vision Statements lay the foundation for the policies and actions necessary to make the vision a reality. Vision Statements are written as if it is now 15 or 20 years in the future and we are looking back at what has come about as a result of actions identified in the Community Plan.
- Policy Statements
The Policy Statements are the heart of the plan. When adopted by the Town Board, they become official policies governing decisions about Town services and facilities, specifically as related to the management of growth and development. Polices on land use, various forms of development, water and sewer extensions, transportation facilities, parks and open space, and community appearance, are among those addressed in the plan.
- Growth Strategy Map
The Growth Strategy Map identifies various parts of the planning area as to their suitability for development and urban services. The map shows where development and redevelopment might best occur, and where natural and cultural resources should be conserved. The Growth Strategy Map is to be supported and complemented by zoning, subdivision regulations, infrastructure investments and other local growth management tools.
- Implementation Actions
The Implementation Actions serve as a "to do list" for Town government in support of the Community Plan policies. Unlike the policy statements, which should remain relatively constant over time, implementation actions should be updated each year to keep up with changing needs and priorities.
The Community Plan will be designed for regular use in guiding public decisions at the Town level as well as in providing information for private decisions. As the officially adopted plan for the Town, it will be used as a foundation for future decisions on Town facilities and services, primarily as related to the management of growth and development.
The following paragraphs especially focus on the use of the plan's policy statements, which form the heart of the Community Plan.
As Used by the Town Staff
Town staff should consult the plan while reviewing development proposals that fall under the Town's jurisdiction. Specific policies should be identified which either support or are in opposition to a particular development proposal. The policies should also be examined for their guidance in recommending changes in Town facilities and services. When proposing changes in services to the Town Manager or Town Council, any such changes should be evaluated according to their consistency with the adopted policies. Town department heads should periodically review the plan's policies and implementation actions, becoming familiar with their content and direction. This will be especially important during preparation of the annual work program and proposed budget request for each department.
As Used by Appointed Boards and Commissions
Before their regular meeting, members of appointed boards and commissions should review proposed agenda items in light of the Town's adopted plan and policies. Board members should then make a determination as to the consistency of a particular action or proposal with the Town's adopted Community Plan policies. If a board or commission receives a recommendation from Town staff on a particular proposal, members should take into account staff guidance in interpreting the policies. At times, board members may also choose to give different weight to different policies, at times modifying the staff recommendation.
As Used by the Board of Commissioners
In their authority to guide the growth and development of the Town, and in turn, changes in Town facilities and services, the Town Board has the final word on the actions of Town government and its various boards and commissions. To do this, Board must provide a clear sense of direction to its boards concerning land use and development issues. In addition, the Town Board members should continually weigh its own policies and take into consideration the interpretations of others, such as area residents, developers, special interest groups, the Town staff, and its own appointed boards and commissions. Over time, a track record of policy interpretation forms a consistent foundation for decision-making throughout Town government.
As Used by the General Public
Residents of the Town of Wake Forest can and should reference specific Community Plan policy statements, when speaking in favor or in opposition to a particular proposal before the Town Board or other appointed boards and commissions. Likewise, developers and proponents of projects seeking approval of the Town should allow the policies to frame their projects, thereby increasing their chances of project approval and in turn, saving time and money.