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Kannapolis unveils new comprehensive plan, seeks further input

By Andie Foley
andie.foley@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS – A draft of Kannapolis’ new comprehensive plan was publicly unveiled on Monday, Nov. 20.

The plan, called Move Kannapolis Forward 2030, will guide decisions related to land use and character, transportation, economic development, parks and recreation, environmental protection, health and more.

At a recent city council meeting, Leigh Anne King of Clarion Associates said Kannapolis has high opportunities for development.

King said 45 percent of the city is undeveloped. Of the remaining land, 28 percent is underdeveloped and 27 percent is mostly or fully developed.

With downtown investment and revitalization in full swing, the city population is expected to increase by 20,000 by 2030.

The questions therein, King said, are where will this growth happen and what form will this growth take?

Approximately 100 members of the community attended last Monday’s unveiling, the last in a series of public engagement efforts by city planning officials.

Public engagement events included public meeting presentations and interactive stations, online surveys, and tables at community events and commercial centers.

These sessions provided citizens the opportunity to not only learn about potential development planning, but to provide comments on the draft as well.

Input from those who live and work in the area revealed several common themes. In particular, residents valued neighborhood affordability, personal proximity to family, public parks systems and access to regional hubs such as Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

Citizens also reported desires for vibrant public places, concerns about traffic and congestion and hopes for high quality jobs, business growth, schools and job preparation.

Monday’s draft plan for the future of Kannapolis sets out several big ideas for the city. Specifically, the plan:

  • encourages mixed use development in downtown and key centers,
  • increases travel options available to the community,
  • enhances economic opportunities through strategic investments,
  • promotes healthy environments that support physical activity and access to local foods, and
  • undertakes fiscally balanced ways of managing and serving future growth.

“There is a lot to be proud of in our community … ,” said Annette Privette Keller, the city’s director of communications, in a recent email. “With growth on the horizon, we’re building off of these assets to expand opportunities for the citizens of Kannapolis to make the City even more vibrant, green and inclusive.”

The draft plan can be viewed and commented on through Dec. 8 by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/movekannapolisforward.

More information is available through the city’s planning director, Zac Gordon. Email him at zgordon@kannapolisnc.gov, or visit www.kannapolisnc.gov/MoveForward.

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