Bermuda Run updating comprehensive plan

Published 9:04 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

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By Jim Buice

Enterprise Record

BERMUDA RUN – After developing its first Comprehensive Plan in 2012, the town has already had one update and is preparing for another next year.

So in last Tuesday night’s meeting, council members agreed to amend the General Fund budget to allocate $51,550 from fund balance to pay for the agreement with Benchmark and appointed the Bermuda Run Planning Board as the steering committee for the Comprehensive Plan update work.

Why the need for the updates?

Just look how much things have changed in the last decade in the town, said Mayor Rick Cross.

“There’s the compliance portion of it, but I think the commitment reason is, when you think back to 2012 when we first began our initial exercise on the Comprehensive Plan, we focused on the location of a Town Center,” Cross said. “It was more at the 801/158 intersection, the Hillsdale area. Since then, that’s really changed, and we’re really focusing on this area where we sit now as our Town Center.

“Housing has changed dramatically. The (Truist) Sports Park was just beginning, RISE wasn’t even a thought at that point. Davie Medical Center was just getting started. And WinMock was just getting started. We had just annexed Kinderton Village. The point is there are a number of assumptions that are baked in to any Comprehensive Plan, and it’s a good idea that you periodically go back and assess those assumptions.

“We did that in 2017, and we’ve made significant strides against what we put forth, and that’s the idea around 2022.”

Cross said that using Benchmark for a third time makes sense because of the company’s experience and already having developed a working relationship with the town.

“Their resume, and their track record is quite impressive,” councilwoman Heather Coleman said.

Town Manager Lee Rollins said that the participation rate for the 2017 update was a little over 38 percent, which for feedback from surveys was high – with hopes of “reaching a higher bar” for the next update.

Cross said he is planning to do a series of videos that will be available to provide context on where the town has been, where it is now and where it plans to go.

• In the only other business item on last Tuesday night’s agenda, the council approved a letter of support for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council – Build Back Better Challenge Grant for next generation manufactures.

The goal is to secure funding for planning and development for this initiative for the 12-county Triad area.

In other highlights from the meeting, the council:

• Heard from Rollins, who said the removal of over 700 Leyland Cypress trees along US 158 and the ensuing cleanup has “gone quite well, ” considering the magnitude of the project.

• Heard from Rollins regarding meeting with NCDOT representatives to discuss landscaping plans at the four quadrants at I-40/NC 801, similar to an arrangement in 2010, and for them to come up with a concept and then come before council. He said that this probably wouldn’t take place until next summer with the potential planting in the late fall or early winter of 2022.

• Heard from Rollins regarding the Blue Heron Trail project, saying all construction documents have gone from the Winston-Salem office to the Raleigh division and that the town is waiting for a notice to proceed to bid the project. He said that the current estimate is $2 million with the town’s commitment based on federal highway monies to pay 20 percent or a little over $400,000.

• Heard from Cross after inviting NCDOT Pat Ivey, who brought in “a full entourage for a fruitful discussion” about the congested US 158/NC 801 intersection. “Their commitment is that they will come back to us in the near future with some potential solutions.”

• Also heard from Cross on “a very successful concert series” which concluded with the Special Occasion Band along with a special 9/11 commemoration and recognition of local first responders. Cross said that the outdoor concert series continues to evolve, and he expressed his appreciation to Sidinee Suggs and the Davie County Arts Council for the partnership and “bringing us top-notch acts.”