The Imagine Cary process will ultimately result in the development and adoption of an updated Cary Community Plan — a plan that will guide decision-making, investment, and program development for the Town of Cary into the future.

The Imagine Cary process is divided into four main phases of work, as shown in the graphic below.

Click on the four Phases of Work below to learn more about the Imagine Cary process.

Phase 1: Values and Vision

PHASE 1: Values and Vision

Overview

Phase 1 of the Imagine Cary process is designed to integrate two key planning components (authentic public input and technical research) to result in a community vision and guiding principles for development of the Cary Community Plan.

The three main objectives for this phase are:

  1. Evaluate existing conditions and trends
  2. Identify community values and generate big ideas
  3. Develop Cary’s community vision

The Imagine Cary planning process began with the establishment of the key planning entities involved in this process:

  • Committee for the Future – The Town Council appointed citizen steering committee that meets monthly to lead the Imagine Cary planning process
  • Publicity and Outreach Process Team  – Citizens teams that are charged with publicizing and promoting engagement of Imagine Cary activities and events
  • Transportation Advisory Group – A citizen-based working group that meets monthly to advise the Committee for the Future on transportation related issues, policies, and plan recommendations
  • Core Planning Team – The staff and consultants that provide support for this planning process

Following the establishment of the key planning entities, work began to develop the base of information for the planning process (the technical research) and to develop a public engagement plan for engaging the community and capturing the aspirations and ideas citizens have for Cary’s future (authentic public input).   The Committee for the Future is charged with reviewing all of this information, technical and public input, to generate a community vision for Cary in the year 2040.

Public Engagement Opportunities

The following public engagement opportunities are being conducted in Phase 1.

  • Summit for the Future (May 2, 2013)
  • Area Conversations (June 4, 5, 11, 12, 24, 2013)
  • Business Stakeholder Meetings and Survey (March & June-July, 2013)
  • CEO Roundtable (June, 2013)
  • Website Activities (June-July, 2013)
  • Facebook (ongoing)
  • Town Council and Planning and Zoning Board Project Briefings (August 19 & 20, 2013)
  • Stakeholder Meetings (upon request)
  • Testing of Key Themes and Community Vision (To Be Determined)
Work Products 

Phase 1 work will result in two key work products:

  1. Community Snapshot Report – This report is a “snapshot” summary of key community conditions and trends for a broad range of community topics (population, transportation, development, housing, economy, arts and culture, public health, parks and recreation, public safety, environment, utilities, and others).  It will serve as the baseline for information that will be used over the course of the plan.  Additional research will be conducted as needed during this process to supplement the Snapshot Report.
  2. Community Values and Vision Report – The Committee for the Future will lead an effort to evaluate all of the community input collected during Phase 1 and organize this information into key themes.  The Community Values and Vision Report will highlight these key themes and the resulting community vision for the plan and guiding principles.  These key themes will be “tested” with the Cary community to get additional feedback on the direction provided in the community vision and guiding principles.

Phase 2: Community Choices

PHASE 2: Community Choices

Overview

Phase 2 of the Imagine Cary process builds off of Phase 1 work.  The values and vision for Cary developed in Phase 1 will provide overall direction for the Cary Community Plan, but these components won’t provide detailed direction for future community policies.  Phase 2 work focuses on identifying, evaluating, and testing out key policy choices facing Cary, and engaging the community in a discussion to explore policy choices and identify the future policy directions the Town should take.  Like the entirety of the Imagine Cary process, the Committee for the Future will lead this Phase work with assistance from the Transportation Advisory Group, and the Project Team (staff and consultants).  Briefings will be held to present the  Cary Town Council with status reports on the project.

The three main objectives for this phase are:

  1. Identify and evaluate “big picture” policy choices
  2. Engage the community in a dialogue about policy options and trade-offs
  3. Set “big picture” policy direction for the Cary Community Plan

Public Engagement Opportunities

The following public engagement opportunities are being conducted in Phase 1.

  • What Will Cary Be In 2040? Round #1 (two community meetings to “test” the following community policy choices – Where will we live?  Where will we shop and dine?  Where will we work?  How will our edge areas grow?   July 24 and 26, 2014)
  • What Will Cary Be In 2040? Round #2 (community meetings to “test” the following community policy choices – How will we get around?  What will our downtown be in 2040?  November 2014)
  • Website (ongoing)
  • Facebook (ongoing)
  • Town Council Briefings (May 1, 2014 and meeting in the fall of 2014)
    Stakeholder Meetings (upon request)

Work Products:  Phase 2 work will result in one main work product:

Cary Community Directions Report – This report will document the process for evaluating the “big picture” trade-offs of policy choices, and the public engagement opportunities and outcomes to “test” these policy choices.  The report will provide policy direction for development of the next Phase of work – developing the draft Cary Community Plan.

Phase 3: Plan Framework

PHASE 3: Plan Framework

Overview

Phase 3 of the Imagine Cary process builds off of the work of Phases 1 and 2.  The values and vision developed in Phase 1, and the “big picture” community policy direction developed in Phase 2 will serve as the foundation for developing a draft Cary Community Plan.   The plan will include the specific goals, policies, and implementation strategies for a wide range of community planning topics (transportation, housing and neighborhoods, arts and culture, historic preservation, parks and recreation, utilities, economy, environmental resources, and others.)  The draft Plan will be presented to the community at a week-long public open house  in the spring of 2014.

The three main objectives for this phase are:

  1. Develop growth and policy frameworks that implement the community’s vision and policy direction
  2. Develop the draft Cary Community Plan
  3. Present the draft Cary Community Plan to the community for input

Public Engagement Opportunities

The following public engagement opportunities are being conducted in Phase 1.

  • Open House (July/August 2016)
  • Website (ongoing)
  • Facebook (ongoing)
  • Town Council Project Briefings (Schedule to be determined)
  • Stakeholder Meetings (upon request)

Work Products

Phase 3 work will result in one main work product:

Draft Cary Community Plan – The complete draft of the Cary Community Plan will include the vision, goals, policies, and implementation strategies for public review.

Phase 4: Plan Adoption

PHASE 4: Plan Adoption

Overview

Phase 4 of the Imagine Cary process builds off of the work of Phases 1, 2, and 3.  Based on input received in the Phase 3 Open House, the the draft Plan will be revised and presented to the community at a series of adoption hearings that includes public hearings with the Planning and Zoning Board and the Town Council.  The end result will be adoption of the Cary Community Plan.

The three main objectives for this phase are:

  1. Revise the Cary Community Plan based on public input
  2. Present the Cary Community Plan for public review and adoption via public hearings
  3. Finalize the adopted Cary Community Plan

Public Engagement Opportunities

The following public engagement opportunities will be conducted in Phase 4.

  • Website (ongoing)
  • Facebook (ongoing)
  • Town Council and Planning and Zoning Board Project Briefings (To Be Determined)
  • Public Hearings with Planning and Zoning Board and Town Council (To Be Determined)

Work Products

Phase 4 work will result in two main work products:

  1. Public Hearing Draft of Cary Community Plan– This draft will incorporate all of the Plan components developed during Phases 1-3 of Imagine Cary, and input provided by the public during the Open House .  The Public Hearing draft will be presented during formal public hearings with the Planning and Zoning Board and the Cary Town Council.
  2. Final Adopted Version of Plan – This is the final adopted version of the Cary Community Plan that will incorporate many months of community work to develop future direction for the Town of Cary.

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