A team of consultants lead by TSW completed the first comprehensive plan for Cherokee County, North Carolina, known as Cherokee County Tomorrow. The plan was funded as part of the Southwestern North Carolina Opportunity Initiative (Opt-In), a regional planning effort also led by TSW.
The Cherokee County Comprehensive Plan was developed with significant community involvement, which was crucial in a region where planning exercises are not common and can arouse suspicion. Outreach efforts included a week-long workshop involving 175 locals, participation from local elementary and high school students, an online survey, and a variety of public meetings. This extensive community engagement helped to ensure that the plan reflected the needs and concerns of the local population.
The plan addresses key issues such as health, transportation (including a major highway proposal, Corridor K), job and infrastructure growth, and local agriculture. Particular attention was given to how to protect mountain culture, scenic landscapes, and sensitive environmental areas in the face of growth, while also preserving individual property rights.
Detailed plans were developed for a number of key areas to show how redevelopment could occur around the new casino, how downtown Murphy could make best use of its historic depot, how rural crossroads could develop in a way that respects local character, and how a historic rail corridor could be repaired for freight and excursion service, with a nearby greenway for cyclists. This approach helped to ensure that the Cherokee County Comprehensive Plan would be practical, actionable, and responsive to the needs of the community.
In conclusion, TSW, in partnership with a team of consultants, completed the first comprehensive plan for Cherokee County, North Carolina, known as Cherokee County Tomorrow. The plan was developed with significant community involvement and addressed key issues such as health, transportation, job and infrastructure growth, and local agriculture. With the Cherokee County Comprehensive Plan, TSW has provided a detailed and actionable plan that will help guide the growth and development of the county in a sustainable and responsible manner.