Valley Boulevard Corridor Study - Blowing Rock, NC

ValleyBoulevardIn the Spring of 2019, the Town of Blowing Rock formed a committee to study the US 321 / Valley Boulevard corridor. The Town engaged Benchmark Planning to assist with the study, working close with the community and the committee to create a vision for the corridor.  The study area extended approximately 2.5 miles along Valley Boulevard from Main Street on the south end to Blowing Rock Lodge on the north end.  Blowing Rock is an historic mountain resort community that serves as the gateway to the NC High Country, and is the de facto cultural capital of the region. With numerous ski resorts, National and State Parks, and a direct connection to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock is a year-round destination for vacationers. Blowing Rock has also emerged as a highly regarded retirement destination, which has led to significant increases in economic activity in the local healthcare industry.

Comprehensive Plan - Jamestown, NC

jamestownlibraryThe historic Town of Jamestown is part of the Piedmont Triad region and is located in Guilford County, North Carolina. Jamestown shares a border with both the City of High Point and the City of Greensboro and is positioned near I-85 Business and I-73, only 10 miles southeast of Piedmont Triad International Airport. The Town, approximately 4,300 in population, continues to identify ways to preserve and enhance a high quality of life for all residents to enjoy. The Town has hired Benchmark Planning to work closely with a Comprehensive Plan Committee to prepare a Plan that identifies strategies and actions to support economic diversification, growth management, and creating an even greater sense of place. Over the next 12 to 14 months, the process will include significant public outreach and input into the development of the overall Plan.

Compatible Use Study - Little Rock Air Force Base, AR

LRAFBThe Little Rock Air Force Base (AFB) Compatible Use Study (CUS) is a cooperative planning effort among Little Rock AFB, White County, Pulaski County, Lonoke County, Cabot, Sherwood, Jacksonville, Lonoke, Maumelle, North Little Rock and other jurisdictions and other affected stakeholders in the community. The Compatible Use Study identifies means of promoting responsible land use, accommodating compatible growth and economic development, protecting public safety and quality of life, and sustaining the mission of the Air Force in the region for the long-term. The study is administered by the Jacksonville Economic Development and Cultural Alliance and co-funded through a grant from the Department of Defense (DOD), Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).  Benchmark Planning is leading the land use compatible use analysis as part of the White & Smith planning team selected for this project.

Downtown Master Plan - Dillon, SC

DillonDowntownThe City of Dillon, population 6,500, is poised for development and growth from the State of South Carolina’s recent investment in the Inland Port Dillon.  Inland Port Dillon just opened in 2018 and is the heart of the 3,400-acre Carolinas I-95 Mega Site with CSX rail access along its eastern boundary and truck access to I-95 along the northern and western boundaries.  In addition to the growth expected from the opening of the Inland Port, the City is working with business owners, property owners and the entire community to improve downtown, expanding daytime opportunities and establishing evening dining and entertainment options.  As the County Seat of Dillon County, Dillon’s daytime population expands to over 18,000 people.  The City has hired Benchmark Planning to help develop strategies to encourage private reinvestment in downtown buildings, while exploring ways to improve evening dining and entertainment options.  Benchmark will develop actions to be taken by the public and private sectors to improve downtown.

Development Code Rewrite - York County, SC

York CoBenchmark Planning is part of a team led by White & Smith to assist York County with updating their development code – Recode York County. Recode York County is an initiative to review, update, and realign York County's Zoning and Subdivision Codes to better reflect the current and future development context in the county. The revised land use and development ordinances will be updated to implement the policies and goals of 2035 York Forward, the County's adopted Comprehensive Plan, as well as associated small area plans.  Other goals of the process include: a) Modernizing the Codes to incorporate current best practices; b) Making the Codes more user-friendly, with additional graphics and a more intuitive organizational structure; c) Improving consistency between the Codes and related County ordinances, standards and regulations; d) Enhancing the predicatbility of development outcomes; e) Permitting flexibility, where appropriate; and f) Eliminating barriers to development that is consistent with adopted plans.  York County is located within the fast growing Charlotte Metropolitan Area.

Joint Comprehensive Plan - Person County / City of Roxboro, NC

PersonCo RoxboroPerson County and the City of Roxboro have embarked on a joint planning process to develop a Comprehensive Plan that will be guided by a common vision for the future.  Benchmark’s consulting team has been selected to assist with the collaborative process.  Person County and the City of Roxboro are strategically located for business and industry growth, being within an hour’s drive of North Carolina's two major economic centers, the Research Triangle Park (Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh) and the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point), and a two-hour drive of Richmond, Virginia.

Union Station Adaptive Reuse Study – Goldsboro, NC

GoldsboroBenchmark Planning is leading a multi-disciplinary team in the preparation of an NCDOT and City of Goldsboro funded feasibility study for the reuse of the historic Goldsboro Union Station.  The team will examine existing conditions, market forces and the surrounding neighborhood as part of the process.  The process will also include extensive stakeholder meetings to help identify community needs and ideas for the adaptive reuse of the station.  The station provides a distinct terminus to views from downtown and its adaptive reuse will help spur the continued revitalization of the West Walnut corridor, which includes a multi-million-dollar residential redevelopment of the historic Wayne National Bank located in the 100 block of West Walnut Street.  The reuse options will be designed in a manner to assure the station can be available for passenger or commuter rail use when the service becomes available again in the future.  Goldsboro, a city over 35,000 in population, is the home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Compatible Land Use Implementation - Fort Bragg, NC

Fort BraggThe Mid-Carolina Council of Governments and the Fort Bragg Regional Land Use Advisory Commission have selected Benchmark Planning to assist with the implementation of the Fort Bragg JLUS.  The project will focus on the implementation priorities identified in the 2018 JLUS, promoting compatible land use throughout the six-county region surrounding Fort Bragg.  The study will include the development of an online case management and tracking system, an organizational strategic plan, comprehensive plan amendments and the development of a compatible growth ordinance toolbox.  Benchmark Planning completed the 2018 Joint Land Use Study in August of last year.

Comprehensive Plan - Archdale, NC

archdale2The City of Archdale, population 11,518, is launching its Comprehensive Plan process in close coordination with the celebration of the City’s 50th anniversary.  Benchmark Planning was selected to lead the City’s efforts to create a community-driven plan to craft a vision for the City’s next 50 years.  The comprehensive plan will have a special focus on placemaking, economic development and managing the quality of growth.

Comprehensive Plan - Colleton County, SC

ColletonCHColleton County is located in the heart of a National Wildlife Refuge and National Estuarine Research Center that encompasses a total of 350,000 acres primarily across Beaufort, Charleston, and Colleton counties. Benchmark worked with the County to develop its 2009 Comprehensive Plan and is currently assisting the County with its 10-year update to the plan.  The plan focuses on the protection of natural resources and the preservation of rural character, while allowing for growth from fast-growing Beaufort and Charleston in areas capable of being developed for urban purposes.

Downtown Master Plan - Myrtle Beach, SC

0618mbThe City of Myrtle Beach has hired Benchmark Planning to work closely with City Council on the development of a Downtown Master Plan.  The Myrtle Beach area is currently ranked as the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country and is one of the major centers of tourism the United States, attracting an estimated 19 million visitors each year.  Myrtle Beach was built on tourism, and while the City and the surrounding community has experienced unprecedented residential growth for a number of years, tourism is still at the core of the local economy.   As an update, the City adopted the Master Plan in March of 2019, retaining the services of Benchmark Planning to assist with the implementation of the plan.

Long Range Plan Review - Fayetteville, NC


Fayetteville, with a population of more than 200,000 residents, is the sixth-largest municipality in the State of North Carolina and is familiar to many as the home of the U.S. Army's most premier military installation, Fort Bragg. Over the years, the city has prepared a number of plans to guide the city’s land use and infrastructure decisions.  In an effort to ensure compatibility and cohesiveness among these existing plans, the City of Fayetteville contracted with Benchmark Planning to complete a long range plan review of the city’s existing plans.  Each plan will be reviewed and summarized by its major themes and goals.  The implementation strategies will be categorized and analyzed for consistency, concluding with recommendations on how the city should move forward with its long range planning program.

Redevelopment Plan - Chapel Hill, NC

0618chBenchmark Planning will be assisting the Town of Chapel Hill with developing conceptual plans for the future land use and redevelopment of the Chapel Hill Police Department.  The 10.24 acre site was the location of a coal ash landfill that was active in the 1960s and 1970s.  The Town acquired the property in the early 1980s and discovered the coal ash materials in late 2013.  Benchmark will help develop a vision for the site, which is intended to lead to a public-private partnership in the remediation and redevelopment of the property.

Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point JLUS - Southport, NC

motsu jlus committeeMilitary Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU) is the largest military ammunition shipping terminal in the world, the key ammunition shipping point on the Atlantic Coast, the Army's primary east coast deep-water port, and one of a handful of Department of Defense terminals equipped to handle containerized ammunition. It serves as a transfer point between rail, trucks, and ships for the import and export of weapons, ammunition, explosives and military equipment for United States Army and is operated by the 596th Transportation Brigade. 

Benchmark Planning was contracted by the Cape Fear Council of Governments to develop the study, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).   The primary goal of the study is to promote compatible civilian development to support the long-term sustainability and operability of military installation.  The study area includes portions of Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, including the City of Boiling Spring Lakes, the Town of Carolina Beach, the Town of Kure Beach, the Town of Leland, and the City of Southport.

Discovery Place Science Master Plan - Charlotte, NC

discoveryA new master plan is being developed for Discovery Place Science in Uptown Charlotte by the Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Jenkins Peer Architects.   Discovery Place, as part of a separate contract, engaged Benchmark Planning to facilitate listening sessions with a variety of external stakeholders and partners to provide input into the process.  Discovery Place is recognized as one of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, providing ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science, technology and nature. Discovery Place is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides STEM education to the Carolinas through four distinct museum experiences at Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature and Discovery Place Kids, interactive educational programming, professional development training and community outreach initiatives. In 2017, Discovery Place was named as a finalist for the National Medal by the Institute for Museum and Library Science.

Streetscape Master Plan - Pilot Mountain, NC

pilotBenchmark Planning is working closely with Pilot Mountain on the development of a streetscape master plan to support private investment in downtown.  The plan will examine the physical layout of the pedestrian, parking and vehicular zones to prepare an urban design vision and implementation strategy for improving the overall function and design of the streetscape.  The plan will also explore ways to highlight views of the pinnacle knob of the mountain at Pilot Mountain State Park. 

Development Study - Henderson County, NC

henderson countyBenchmark is working with Henderson County to prepare a land development study for a proposed wastewater service expansion in the fast growing northern portion of the county between Asheville and Hendersonville. The purpose of the study is to examine potential development scenarios associated with the extension of wastewater infrastructure into a sewer service basin east of Interstate 26 in the vicinity of US Highway 64. The intent of the study is to provide the county commissioners with a comparison of the potential outcomes that could be realized based on the specific type of infrastructure that is chosen to serve a planned school in the upstream portion of the basin (gravity sewer vs. a pump station and force main). The study will consider the residential land supply, development capacity, transportation concerns, public safety, and revenue generation potential in the study area. This will be used to demonstrate the capacity of the planning area to accommodate potential growth and determine the net residential development density necessary to achieve a positive revenue generation outcome for the county (for both general and enterprise funds). The results of the study will then serve as one portion of the base of information used by the county to inform its decision-making process for providing infrastructure to the new school.

Joint Comprehensive Planning Process - Alleghany County & City of Covington, VA

alleghanyAlleghany County and the City of Covington have decided to leverage their resources and work collaboratively in updating their Comprehensive Plans, last adopted in 2013, by having a joint planning process. What this means is that there is one steering committee that will be working closely with the Benchmark Planning team through the vision, goals, and objectives for the County and the City. The outcome will be one plan for Alleghany County and one plan for the City of Covington, through one shared process. This ensures that both the County and the City grow together cohesively.  The planning process will take about a year to complete, with an expected adoption in October 2018.

Comprehensive Plan - City of Gatesville, TX

courthouse gatesville webThe City of Gatesville, the county seat of Coryell County, is located along the Leon River at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and State Highway 36, eighty miles north of Austin in the Central Texas region. The city is working with Benchmark Planning to prepare a comprehensive plan that will develop long-term strategies that most effectively capitalize on the growth of Central Texas and the expansive growth of the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood metropolitan area.

Benchmark is working with the City of Gatesville Texas, Fort Hood, and the Central Texas Council of Governments to prepare a new comprehensive plan for the city. As the only city in Fort Hood’s encroachment awareness area without an up-to-date comprehensive plan, this project was deemed to be of critical importance to the implementation of the recently completed Fort Hood Joint Land Use Study due to the absence of a clear growth strategy for areas that are subject to potential military impacts related to high noise levels and aircraft operations in the vicinity of the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. Benchmark is working closely with the city to develop a compatible growth strategy that will allow the city to continue to grow and develop its economy in a manner that is conducive to the long term sustainability of Fort Hood’s military training mission.

Residential Land Development Study - Holly Springs, NC

hollyspring thHolly Springs (pop. 30,021), is a fast-growing community located in suburban Wake County near Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park (RTP). The Town has experienced significant growth over the last two decades, with ongoing opportunities for additional growth in the southern area of the community. Benchmark is currently working with the Town of Holly Springs to prepare a residential land development study as part of the town’s Southern Area Planning Initiative. The purpose of the study is to examine the residential land supply, development capacity, utility extension requirements, municipal service costs, and revenue generation potential in the study area. This information will be used to demonstrate the capacity of the study area to accommodate anticipated growth and determine the net residential development density necessary to achieve a positive revenue generation outcome for the town (for both general and enterprise funds). The results of the study will serve as one portion of the base of information used by the Town to inform the overall direction of the for growth and development in the Southern Area.

Grissom ARB Joint Land Use Study - Miami County, IN

grissom webBenchmark Planning is participating on a team led by White & Smith LLC to prepare a Joint Land Use Study for Grissom Air Reserve Base, located near the town of Bunker Hill in Miami County, Indiana. The base is home to the Air Force Reserve’s 434th Air Refueling Wing, with two operational squadrons flying 16 KC-135 tanker aircraft. The study, which is being sponsored by the Miami County Economic Development Authority, is examining land use compatibility around the installation with aircraft operations at the base, including aircraft noise, accident potential, and tall structures. The results of the study will be used to make recommendations for the local governments in the study area to enhance their local land use plans and ordinances to ensure long term compatibility between civilian development in the region and the military mission of Grissom ARB. The study is also examining the potential compatibility impacts of the future conversion of the wing’s current KC-135 aircraft to the new KC-46 tankers that are being acquired to replace the Air Force’s legacy tanker fleet.

Downtown Market Analysis & Mill Redevelopment Feasibility Study – City of Greenwood, SC

uptown greenwood webThe City of Greenwood is located in the Lower Piedmont region of Upstate South Carolina, and provides a friendly, small-town setting along with the progressive and active environment of a larger city.  Greenwood is home to numerous community assets including Lake Greenwood, Lander University, Piedmont Technical College, Self Regional Healthcare, Uptown Greenwood, excellent schools, and cultural opportunities.  

In 2011, the City of Greenwood acquired the former Kitson Mill site and through its partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Environmental Protection Agency developed a plan to prepare the formerly contaminated site for redevelopment.  The city selected Benchmark Planning, in association with Kimley-Horn and Retail Strategies to perform a downtown market analysis and a feasibility study  for the redevelopment of the former Kitson Mill site.

Unified Development Ordinance - Town of Pilot Mountain, NC

pilot webThe Town of Pilot Mountain is nestled within the Yadkin Valley Appellation at the foot of its landmark namesake; the striking pinnacle knob that rises from the ancient Sauratown Mountain chain.  The town provides opportunities to connect with nature by exploring the beautiful Pilot Mountain State Park and enjoying the richness of its charming downtown and wineries.  The town has engaged Benchmark Planning to develop a unified development ordinance that will help maintain its small-town appeal and character, balancing opportunities for growth with the desire to preserve the unique qualities that have made the town a major tourism destination in the region.

Indoor Recreation Feasibility Study - City of Burlington, NC

burlington webThe City of Burlington selected Moser Mayer Phoenix and Benchmark Planning to evaluate the feasibility of building an indoor recreation facility in the western area of the city.  The study included an online survey and a series of community meetings to explore programming and recreational activities for a new facility.  The team evaluated the needs and desires expressed by the community and developed conceptual plans and recommendations for the new facility.

Kerr-McGee Site Redevelopment Plan - Navassa, NC

Navassa webThe 251-acre Kerr-McGee Superfund Site is located just outside of Wilmington in the Town of Navassa along the Brunswick River and Sturgeon Creek.  Benchmark Planning has been contracted to participate on a team led by Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust to identify options for the redevelopment of the site.  The team is coordinating with a local redevelopment working group to explore feasible, community-supported options for the potential future of the former industrial site.