Planning Department

Land Plan

The Land Plan includes four phases: Community Characteristics, Preferred Growth Strategy, Plan Development, and Reporting and Communication.


Phase 1 – Community Characteristics

Existing Plans and Policies Review. Plans and policies influencing growth, land use, and transportation in Mount Holly will be reviewed. Vision statements and goals from these plans will be documented to better understand how these plans relate to and inform the development of the Land Plan.

Demographic and Economic Trends. The Strategic Vision Plan Update will be reviewed as a basis to update demographic indicators for the population (e.g. growth, minority status), housing and development (e.g. age of the structure, sales, building permits), economy (e.g. employment status, income, and poverty status), and education (e.g. education attainment, school enrollment).

Land Use Screening. A land-use screening will identify locations susceptible to change and therefore more in play for land use planning purposes. The land use screening will include: reviewing existing plans; documenting environmental features; determining development status; delineating existing and future service areas (e.g. fire, water/sewer) and identifying areas with the potential to change. Potential areas of change will be mapped to show places where new growth or significant infill development is a possibility.

Mobility Scan. Key considerations for transportation and mobility will be summarized with an emphasis on corridors, nodes, gateways, and active transportation. Transportation issues and opportunities will be identified through existing plans and community feedback with a focus on how the transportation system affects land use and development patterns.

Market Review. A market review will be prepared using available data. Since the market analysis prepared for the Strategic Vision Plan analyzes retail demand, this task primarily will focus on the market potential for housing, job-producing, and entertainment-based sectors. This review will consider baseline and historical conditions; the location, direction, and outcomes of investment decisions; and the use of real estate by various sectors of the local economy. These factors will be synthesized to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to better understand the development potential of the study area.

Guiding Statements. The vision and core values from the Strategic Vision Plan Update will be reviewed. A vision for the study area will be refined based on existing conditions and community engagement activities. The Guiding Statements for the Land Plan will be drafted to coordinate with the Strategic Vision Plan Update while providing a foundation upon which to build the preferred growth strategy and framework plans.

Phase 2 – Preferred Growth Strategy

Place Type Palette. A place type palette will be created to describe existing and potential development patterns, types, and intensities. The place types will include a narrative description, list of priority land uses, and table of land use characteristics (e.g. land use mix, typical lot coverage, residential density, non-residential intensity) and transportation characteristics (e.g. priority modes, street connectivity, parking). The palette will include no more than 12 place types, which may include one or more types of mixed-use activity centers.

Growth Alternatives. Up to three growth alternatives will be created to better understand how land-use decisions affect other aspects of the community (e.g. transportation, natural environment, and economic development, and fiscal sustainability). The intent will be showing different ways to accommodate new development, infill development, and redevelopment to maintain and enhance the physical character of the study area.

Alternatives Evaluation. Qualitative evaluation criteria will be used to assess the growth alternatives. The criteria will relate to the guiding statements and reflect broadly held community values. The evaluation of the growth alternatives will be based on comparisons of the alternatives against the criteria. The result will be an easy to read report card that reflects the relative performance of the growth alternatives.

Preferred Growth Strategy. The Consultant will work with the Client to determine the best approach to creating a preferred growth strategy based on the alternatives evaluation. The preferred growth strategy will be a stylized representation of the desired character areas and will show where and how the city should grow, including approaches for residential areas, the downtown area, priority corridors, and other key employment and activity centers.

Phase 3 – Plan Development

Framework Plans. The Land Plan will feature eight framework plans that respond to the preferred growth strategy. The format of each framework plan will consist of a map and supporting narrative, and the framework plans will be compiled into a brief map book. The framework areas include:
• Land Use. This framework plan will refine the preferred growth strategy into a future land use map. The
map and associated narrative (i.e. character area palette) will communicate a well-organized and
market-supportive allocation of land uses.
• Mobility. This framework plan will fold in the goals and objectives of previous and ongoing plans and vet
them against the preferred growth strategy. The resulting map will be a mobility blueprint for the study
• Economic Development. This framework plan will revisit the market analysis from the Community Characteristics phase to help communicate future economic development opportunities.
• Parks, Recreation, Open Space. This framework plan will summarize the outcomes of the Park Plan. It also will describe how the preferred growth strategy protects the city's natural resources and show how its open spaces contribute to other community initiatives.
• Infrastructure. This framework plan will express the correlation between the growth strategy and what is needed to promote the desired community form over time. Special consideration will be given to how the timing and phasing of infrastructure can influence where and when a community grows.
• Community Resources. This framework plan will place the city's cultural and historic resources, with special consideration for the arts, into the context of the preferred growth strategy.
• Community Services. This framework will align community services needs such as fire, police, EMS, and schools with the preferred growth strategy.
• Housing. This framework plan will tie the housing characteristics from the first phase to the preferred growth strategy, with consideration for topics such as housing supply and diversity.

Focus Areas. Two locations will be identified for land use focus area concepts. Issues and opportunities will be documented for each location and two initial development concepts will be created to convey potential use and intensity, transportation opportunities, and ways to align the locations with other community initiatives. The market viability of the concepts will be reviewed. A preferred concept will be created based on the review of the initial concepts. The focus areas will be presented as bubble diagrams depicting preferred land uses overlaid on plan-view aerials supplemented with text and graphics. Two exhibits, one showing existing conditions and one showing a future concept, will be provided. The exhibits will be supported by narrative and precedent images.


Steering Committee Meetings:

Stakeholder Symposium - July 25, 2019

Public Workshops


  • July 25, 2019 - September 13, 2019

Board & Commission Presentations - January 27, 2020


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