BY DEBBIE PAGE
Town of Troutman officials recently hosted a community meeting to gather citizens’ thoughts on the town’s future development as a committee works to revise the Future Land Use Map over the next few months.
Town Planner Lynne Hair asked the 30 attendees to look at the current map, which was adopted in 2018, and comment on how they believe the town should address future growth in different areas of the town’s zoning jurisdiction.
Hair said the committee will use the public’s suggestions to help create a new map that reflects the community’s goals.
She noted that the Land Use Map is a long-term guide used by town staff, the Planning Board, and the Town Council to make land use decisions. It also serves as a guide for determining how development should occur and provides a framework for making decisions on development and allocation of public resources.
As it revises the map in the intensifying growth atmosphere that Troutman is currently experiencing, the planning staff and committee will look at residential densities in relation to the availability of utilities, reassess the location of commercial and industrial development, and examine the future of the Barium Springs area and how it fits in the town’s land use pattern.
The committee will particularly look at shifting commercial and industrial development at the interchange areas of Exit 42 and 45.
Hair also defined the differences between the tools the town staff, planning board and town council use as it makes decisions. The Land Use Map serves as a guide, but zoning maps and the Unified Development Ordinance are actual rules they must follow.
After gathering information from the public and from land use map revision advisory committee, comprised of council and planning board members, staff, and citizen representatives, the planning staff will create a draft map to present to the advisory committee and the public in September.
After more input and tweaking, the staff will present the final map draft to the public, the Planning Board, and Town Council for further review and approval. Hair said the goal is to have the map fully adopted in October.
Attendees expressed several desires and concerns during the meeting. One area demanding more attention was reassessment of residential densities to address traffic congestion and preservation of green space.
Others expressed a desire to preserve the downtown area and to keep Troutman’s small town character and charm. One attendee wanted to help revitalize older parts of the downtown with the help of the town.
Another wanted to ensure that the Iredell County Fairgrounds were not moved from Troutman as it serves as an economic driver. Some also expressed the desire to protect the west side of Troutman as rural space.
Another attendee supported an increase in commercial and retail development on the Highway 21 corridor.
Others supported the idea of a mixed use development at Barium Springs if done correctly, with aesthetic, green space, and traffic concerns addressed.
A meeting will be in September for the public to review and respond to the first map draft revision.