Hearing scheduled for S.W. Bypass plan
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
The Pitt County Planning Board has scheduled a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss the proposed Southwest Bypass Land Use Plan.
The 5:30 p.m. meeting at the Pitt County Office building located at 1717 W. Fifth Street will allow people to offer comments on the plan which, if adopted, will govern development in the approximately 45-square-mile area that extends from Stantonsburg Road’s interchange with the U.S. 264 Bypass to just south of Ayden with N.C. 11.
The governing bodies of Pitt County and Greenville, Winterville and Ayden joined with the Greenville Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and North Carolina Department of Transportation in late 2017 to launch a study to write the plan.
The plan has six goals; a safe, efficient and convenient transportation system, supporting economic development, smart growth based on existing and future infrastructure and balances various types of development, collaborations and partnerships among local governments, cohesive design and preserving the county’s agriculture and natural resources.
The policy recommendations for carrying out these goals are divided into four sections: land use and economic development, aesthetics and user experience; environment, recreation and open space and infrastructure and transportation.
Carrying out the recommendations would begin with the Board of Commissioners, Greenville City Council and governing boards of Winterville and Ayden adopting the land-use map and policy recommendations. Each entity would use both when considering rezoning requests in the area.
There are 13 character areas in the land-use plan that would define how property is developed. The bulk of land west of the bypass would primarily be agricultural and suburban residential areas. The industrial areas would be focused between the U.S. 264 Bypass and U.S. 13, where the new bypass intersects with N.C. 11 outside Ayden and where current industrial sites are located in Winterville.
Commercial, mixed-use, and neighborhood commercial development would be focused around the interchanges.
Once the map is adopted, local land-use regulations — zoning and subdivision development — would have to be updated along with comprehensive land-use plans.
The plan also calls on the governing bodies to adopt coordinated standards for billboards and signage along the bypass.
Another task would be improving the quality of new residential development, which will require developers to provide amenities needed in urbanizing areas. Those amenities could range from enhanced street and sidewalk standards to increased open space and recreational area requirements. People living and conducting business in the land-use area favor increased open space, particularly greenways and recreational walking space.
Another task is working with Pitt County Schools to locate new school sites east of the bypass. The study acknowledges land is less expensive further away from municipalities, but locating schools west of the bypass will encourage development that would be in conflict with the goal of maintaining the agricultural areas.
The planning board is supposed to provide a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on the proposed plan. The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the plan in October.