Land Use Plan Committee reviews past, discusses future

The Moore County Land Use Plan Steering Committee met for its first meeting on Tuesday, July 9, to get acquainted, review the past, and discuss the future of Moore County. The meeting was held at the Moore County Agricultural Center and welcomed assorted county council members, commissioners, civic servants, and citizens from all walks of life to join the discussion — many of whom had been meeting for the first time since the committee was formed.

County Commissioner Vice Chairman Kurt Cook opened the meeting with two short speeches provided by himself and Commissioner Chair Nick Picerno, who could not attend. The two commissioners thanked the committee members for dedicating themselves to bettering Moore County’s future in the best interest of its residents.

“It’s imperative that the people who live in Moore County know that they have a say in this,” stated Cook. “Everyone that was received at our office, all the emails, they were all heard and read. This is government. I’m here because you voted me in; I’m here to do what you tell me to, not the other way around.”

The meeting, led by Robert Hayter and Larry Best, served mostly for the committee members to introduce themselves to each other and the public. Those among the committee’s ranks included county commissioners, Sandhills Community College President Dr. Sandy Stewart, veterans, real estate agents, business owners, a pastor, county workers, health care workers, farmers, athletes and scholars, parents and grandparents.

“There’s reliance on each of your perspectives as a Moore County citizen. You are the ambassadors of Moore County for [the people],” Hayter told the audience. “It is through you we will make progress.”

Land Use Plan Committee reviews the past, discusses future

Hayter defined a land use plan as a set of policies and maps that outline a community’s growth blueprint. The committee’s role is to philosophically and strategically determine the county’s future direction.

The plan, in order to guide growth, must define what is desired growth, where it should occur, and the form it should take. Its overriding objective is to optimize present and future needs and resources within the context of “promoting public health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, and the general welfare of its citizens.”

Two multigenerational Moore County natives, Dr. Sandy Stewart and Michael Parker, agreed that growth and change are inevitable, so the county needs to make informed decisions in the people’s best interest.

Land Use Plan Committee reviews past, discusses the future

“We understand Moore County won’t always stay the same,” Parker said. “There are a lot of things to draw people here. But we need to be knowledgeable.”

Participants were sorted into groups by pre-assigned colors and encouraged to mingle and work with fellow committee members they may not have previously worked with. They were then tasked with solving a complex civic problem together to demonstrate the committee’s ability to agree on issues, share visions, and solve problems together.    

Hayter believed a test of the members’ abilities to work together despite their diverse backgrounds was imperative to the board’s success. Moving forward, the committee will tackle real matters regarding Moore County, including population data and growth trends, working with planning organizations from across the state, reviewing infrastructure analyses, and creating land use plan drafts.

“This is such a great opportunity,” said Best, who offers the committee a wealth of planning experience. “We have the opportunity to do something for this county where people can look back and see we did something at a time of high growth to take care of the community we love so much.”

The next Land Use Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Moore County Agricultural Center in Carthage.

~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Assistant Editor Abegail Murphy. 

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