Lake Norman & Mooresville

Cornelius residents plan for the future

A committee writing a plan for the future of Cornelius will soon release its final recommendations, which call for creating a more diverse business base and steps to improve transportation around town.

For nearly two years, Cornelius residents, town staff and officials have been working on Navigate Cornelius, an effort that aims to create a long-term plan for the town's growth.

The steering committee is expected to release its final recommendations for the master plan in the next few weeks.

The plan focuses on four areas: economic development, mobility, connecting with the community and town services, said senior planner, Jason Abernethy.

"The majority of the items coming out of this are actionable items. These are things we're going to do and have a result from," he said.

Here are some of the highlights from the proposed master plan, which will go before Cornelius commissioners for either adoption or approval in the next month. The recommended dates to start some of these items also are listed, when possible:

Create a communication task force, which will develop a town brand and communication plan

Create a public relations campaign to position Cornelius for national events coming to the area, such as the Democratic National Convention (Fiscal Year 2012)

Create a five-year economic development plan that focuses on recruiting industry and business.

Prioritize road improvements based on the town's development needs (FY 2013).

Expand and upgrade bus service throughout town (FY 2012).

Explore Park & Ride, Bus Rapid Transit downtown, coach service and other public transportation options (FY 2012).

Complete sidewalk connections throughout town.

Coordinate with Davidson and Huntersville on a regional network of bike paths and greenways (FY 2013).

Create volunteer neighborhood coordinator position, which would serve as liaison for all the homeowner's associations in the area (FY 2012).

Determine feasibility of a community center (FY 2014).

Abernethy said he was impressed with the community's involvement in helping to create the town's master plan. He also added that he's pleased with the final recommendations.

"This truly is a document that's going to continue to live," he said. "It's something that's going to be utilized for every step of every decision that's going to be made."