What will Leland look like in 2045? The town is developing a growth plan

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(Photo: Town of Leland)

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Considering Leland’s rapid rise in population over the last several years, the town is planning now for growth over the next 25 years.

As part of Leland 2045 – a 10- to 12-month initiative to create a comprehensive plan for land use over the next 25 years – the town will host the first of several community meetings later this month.

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Leland has partnered with planning and strategic services consulting firm Design Workshop for Leland 2045, which will update, incorporate and build upon land use and transportation plans previously adopted by the town and establish a policy framework for future planning.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Leland’s population jumped from 13,614 in 2010 to 23,544 in 2019, an increase of approximately 73 percent. Projection models show the area is expected to grow at a similar rate over the next decade.

“Leland 2045 will create a community-driven vision for the growth and development of Leland while balancing the need for open space, environmental resiliency, housing opportunities and places for the social well-being of residents and visitors” said Ben Andrea, Leland’s Planning and Inspections Director.

Among other topics and issues, Leland 2045 will evaluate demographic, economic and housing trends and recommendations for building strong communities that support lifelong residential needs.

The project will also cover: recommendations for a multimodel transportation network that would encompass bicycle and pedestrian solutions; an analysis of environmental assets and identification of preservation and conservation areas; an inventory of historic, cultural and heritage resources and strategies for enhancing that history and culture through future development; land use and community design; and specific goals, policies and action items needed to implement the Leland 2045 plan.

Full details regarding project elements are available here.

Within each of those elements, public input will play a significant role, Andrea noted.

“The outcome of this project is a set of policies to guide the kinds of preservation, growth and development the community envisions,” he said. “To be successful, we need to hear from community members about their visions for the future of Leland.”

The first community meeting, set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, will include a presentation of the comprehensive plan and what it entails, as well as a survey designed to help guide priorities for supporting growth and economic development while also protecting the Town’s natural environment and promoting cultural diversity. The meeting will be held virtually on the Leland 2045 website. Participants should register in advance; registration instructions are here.

Additional community meetings are tentatively scheduled for March and August. Information regarding those meetings will be available on the Leland 2045 website.

For more information on Leland 2045 or the upcoming virtual community meeting, call the Leland Planning Department, (910) 371-3390. For media inquiries or interview opportunities, contact Hilary Snow, Communications Officer for the Town of Leland, hsnow@townofleland.com or (910) 550-2477.