(CODE·BREVARD)

 

Brevard is changing the way they plan for the future.

In 2015, we joined an expert team on a project called CODE·Brevard, evaluating the physical, economic, and environmental impact of land use in the mountain town of Brevard NC.  Together with Metrocology and their planning and zoning expertise, Urban3 and their knowledge of analyzing land use economics, and Ward Edwards and their specialty in water management engineering, our team will study the comprehensive needs of the community and rewrite their land use regulations to reflect a shared vision for the future of Brevard.

The CODE·Brevard project is ongoing, and our work in the town is only beginning.  Alongside the project team, we are working with an engaged stakeholder group, a supportive municipal staff, a council eager to understand their city better, and a public that wants to work together to develop a vision for their town.  We are currently developing a variety of outreach tools that will help connect the complex analysis our project team is performing, to the citizens who will be impacted by the eventual rewritten regulations.  Our role as community outreach strategist, public education developer, stakeholder group leader, and project communication coordinator is central to the development of a useful planning regulation tool for Brevard.

 
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LAUNCH of CODE·Brevard

Most planning projects begin with a standard opening lecture, where the premise of the project is laid out by the consultant.  While the launch of CODE·Brevard did include a presentation, the process and goals described in that presentation were quite different.  With the help of our engagement strategies, CODE·Brevard will incorporate the public through a variety of events, tools, and techniques that will work to connect the important task of land use regulation to the valuable stake the community has in its built future.


Connecting the community to the code

Zoning regulations aren't the type of thing that communities typically feel compelled to participate in, but public policies can have a real and lasting effect on quality of life. Particularly in the case of a charming town like Brevard, with only about twelve square blocks of dense urbanism, a single bad development can have a devastating effect on the character of the place. Our engagement work on the CODE·Brevard project is critical to ensuring that the vision prescribed by the new regulations reflects a future that the entire community can agree on.

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Giving stakeholders a voice in the process

Far too often, stakeholder groups and steering committees play a token role in planning processes, merely serving to rubber stamp work already developed and documented by professional consultants and municipal staff.  On the CODE·Brevard project, we are working to change that disconnected pattern.  Our hard work in educating the CODE·Brevard stakeholder group on the complex factors affecting land use in Brevard means that the group can be vocal advocates, both for the project goals as well as for their community's needs.