Bermuda Run plan came from the people

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

BERMUDA RUN – While preparing for January’s planning session to evaluate the status of Bermuda Run’s Comprehensive Plan, town manager Lee Rollins first wanted to take a look back at how the process got started late in 2010.

“The Planning Board was the conduit for putting all this together,” Rollins said during last Tuesday night’s meeting. “This is the guiding document for the Town Council as they plan their priorities for budget purposes. The Comprehensive Plan did not come in a vacuum.”

There were three public input meetings – including one before an overflow crowd at The Granary at WinMock, and a survey – before the Comprehensive Plan was adopted in April 2012.

Rollins was most impressed with how the residents responded to the survey in offering opinions for guiding the path of the town.

“The overall participation rate based on the number of residents in the town was over 28 percent,” Rollins said. “When you compare that to other communities for this type kind of process, that was pretty impressive.”

Fast forward to today, and the implementation matrix that Rollins presented to the council showed most of the items on the list were either complete, ongoing or in process.

The town’s broad goals included Community Character and Identity, Land Use and Goal Management, Transportation, Services and Infrastructure, and Parks and Recreation/Open Space.

High-priority strategies with the current status of “ongoing” included:

• promoting community unity and Bermuda Run identity;

• continuing to work with NCDOT on the I-40 interchange and NC 801 median aesthetic and safety improvements including new landscaping, fence replacement and adequate lighting;

• utiilizing the Future Land Use Map to unify different development areas of town into a cohesive village atmosphere;

• encouraging development first along existing water and sewer lines and existing streets to promote sustainable infrastructure;

• applying for NCDOT pedestrian and bicycle planning grants in order to plan safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities a greater level of detail;

• budgeting funds annually to complete priority sidewalk segments that will connect the residential and commercial area of town;

• and educating and encouraging citizens to use multi-modal transportation.

High-priority strategies with the current status of “in process” included:

• working with NCDOT to utilize the tunnel under I-40 and replace Bert’s Way bridge for pedestrian, bicycle and golf cart use after the proposed widening of I-40;

• establishing and following the street acceptance policy for bringing roads under the maintenance or the town;

• promoting Tanglewood Park as the primary recreation facility for the area and accommodate its use;

• and providing pedestrian and bicycle connections between residential areas and recreation facilities as outlined in the transportation goal.

Mayor Ken Rethmeier said that all this information, along with ongoing marketing efforts, can all be useful “in how we frame how we want to promote the changes and modifications for the next iteration of the Comprehensive Plan.”

In other business:

• After a motion by councilman Ed Coley, the council voted unanimously to send $1,000 to the most appropriate organization in Lumberton to help assist the flood victims in Lumberton as the result of Hurricane Matthew. The council also wanted to challenge other governmental agencies to send funding to support the effort.

• Leaf pickup beganMonday, Nov. 7.