Imagine Cary is a process to create a new Community Plan for the Town of Cary.

Building on its commitment to planning, transparency and citizen involvement, the Town of Cary has undertaken the most ambitious planning effort in its history. Imagine Cary is a first-of-its-kind effort by the Town to update and connect its many specific topic plans into a single, integrated comprehensive policy guide for the future. This process was recommended by Town Council in the 2012 Charter for the Community Plan and will be built on the values, needs and aspirations of  residents.

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Get answers to many common questions about the Community Plan and Imagine Cary.

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Imagine Cary is designed to be


Widespread community involvement is vital to Imagine Cary’s success. The effort will be diverse, multi-generational and representative of Cary’s many groups. A robust outreach and publicity campaign is underway to spread the word about Imagine Cary and opportunities for citizens to get involved.


Imagine Cary offers a simple and straight-forward process that focuses on core issues of development, growth, transportation, economics, environment and related topics in a way that is relevant and easy to understand.


Imagine Cary will be a catalyst for a stronger “Cary Brand” that recognizes Cary’s established character and potential for an even stronger sense of place – one that is widely recognized as a great Town to live, work, and raise a family.


Imagine Cary will foster a more attractive place for investment, both by individuals and businesses, help the Town maintain high-quality services and facilities, and strengthen citizens’ pride and emotional attachment to the community.

The Imagine Cary Process

The Imagine Cary process involves four major phases, each with opportunities for the community to get involved and give input.

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Who’s Who in Imagine Cary

Committee for the Future
Project Leadership

The Committee for the Future is a diverse group of 35 community members appointed by the Town Council to represent citizens in the planning process; provide guidance and direction to the staff at crucial steps in the process; disseminate information through personal networks; volunteer to help facilitate community meetings; and to serve as stewards of the plan once it is adopted.

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Process Groups
Publicity and Outreach

The Outreach Group are volunteers focused on inviting the community to engage in the planning process in the most one-on-one manner possible. The Publicity Group are volunteers who work to create broad awareness about Imagine Cary and specifically opportunities for direct community participation. While the Publicity Team works through media and public relations channels, the Outreach Team works through institutional and grassroots channels.

Transportation Advisory Group
Transportation Guidance

Town staff and local transportation stakeholders who work with the consulting team to provide guidance on transportation and mobility aspects of the plan.

Targeted Input

Various stakeholder groups will be convened throughout the process to obtain targeted input to inform specific aspects of the plan. Such groups include business leaders, neighborhood associations, real estate professionals and developers, utility providers, education professionals, students, and young professionals, among others.

Broad Input, Learning

Widespread public involvement is vital to Imagine Cary’s success. The public process begins with the Summit on the Future  on May 2nd followed by Area Conversations throughout the town in June. Other public workshops and web-based tools will offer other ways for citizens to give input throughout the process.

Apart from participating at public workshops, Imagine Cary needs people to help spread the word to their friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. There are also ways to volunteer directly to help the process.

Adopting Bodies

Town Council has provided the guidance that supports Imagine Cary’s intent and approach. Council will monitor Imagine Cary and the development of Cary’s community plan. The final plan will be formally adopted by Council who will have a central role in its implementation.

Town Staff
Project Management, Substance

Planning Department officials and other Town Staff will manage the overall process and coordinate the work of all other groups. Staff will also provide local knowledge and expertise to each element of the plan.

Process Leadership, Expertise

Clarion Associates
Project Leadership, Community Analysis, Policy, Strategy, and Plan Development

Planning NEXT
Public Engagement and Public Communications

Transportation Planning, Transit Planning, and Bike/Pedestrian Planning

Randall Gross / Development Economics
Economic and Market-based Planning