The Atlantic-Arlington Land Use Open House meeting held this past Tuesday, September 17, 2019 could be comparable to a night of speed dating. While the purpose was not for participants to seek a romantic relationship, the event did include six different stations (dating tables) which elicited short conversations with others. Each station’s purpose was for the facilitator to relay information in 12 minutes, resulting in an exchange of ideas, with participants determining if there is a mutual interest between their needs and the draft results of the study.
Each station at the Open House included goals, objectives and strategies, as well as recommendations for land use and zoning, targeted redevelopment areas, housing, urban design, transportation and public utilities and infrastructure.
Nearly 80 people gathered at the Booker T. Theater to visit each station and to hear about a plan that has been in the works for months. According to JoSeth Bocook, planning administrator in the Department of Development Services at the city of Rocky Mount, the plan’s purpose is “to serve as a guide for elected officials, staff and stakeholders as future development occurs in the corridor.”
The study area is on the East side of downtown, starting at the intersection of Highway 64 to Raleigh Blvd at the foot of the bridge, covering 150 acres and 425 parcels of property.
The process began early 2018 as a result of a Downtown Implementation Strategy which needed further enhancement like additional community engagement. A number of community outreach activities took place, including formation of the Community Academy Steering Committee. There were also bus tours, as well as meetings with property owners and residents of adjacent neighborhoods.
A draft of the Atlantic-Arlington Land Use Corridor Study is available via www.rockymountnc.gov/…/plans_studies. An appendix will later be added to the page with notes from previous community meetings, information from the September 17, 2019 meeting.
The study will be sent to the planning board who will forward a recommendation to the City Council. Council must adopt the study before the work to secure this vision begins.
Source: Tameka Kenan-Norman and Jessie Nunery, City of Rocky Mount