The public will have a chance to weigh in on the future of Huntersville at upcoming meetings.
Town staff will present the 2030 Community Plan at the meetings. The lengthy report will guide Huntersville's land use and development for the next two decades.
The plan addresses six focus areas: housing, environment, transportation, economic and commercial development, downtown and public facilities.
The meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and April 14 at the Huntersville Town Hall, 101 Huntersville-Concord Road.
Preparation for the 2030 Community Plan began in March 2010 and is Huntersville's third such report. The town drafted two other community plans in 1995 and 2003.
"I would say that there really weren't a whole lot of surprises," said town planner Zac Gordon. "What we found was that people really like the direction the community has been moving in and want to continue to move in that direction."
The town sent out 1,500 surveys to randomly selected residents, with 453 of them responding, said Gordon. Additionally, 366 residents completed online surveys.
Improving and diversifying area transportation yielded the strongest support, said Gordon.
"People really want to see road improvements keeping up with the pace of development," he said. "That came as no surprise."
Residents also reacted passionately to the idea of diversifying Huntersville's tax base, said Gordon.
According to a 2006 study by Dr. Bill McCoy of UNC-Charlotte's Urban Institute, the residential to non-residential tax base ratio for Huntersville was about 76 percent to 24 percent. Since then, Gordon estimates that ratio has shifted to be about 70 to 30, but there's still room for improvement, he said.
"If all you are is a bedroom community, at some point you're going to have a difficult time providing affordable services because you're not going to have the tax base to support it," said Gordon. "You need to make it possible for people to live here and work here."
After town staff members receive input from the public, the planning department will present its findings to town commissioners on April 18.
Staffers will then finalize the plan, which the town board is expected to consider for adoption in May.
To view the 2030 Community Plan draft, including survey results, visit bit.ly/plan2030.