Comprehensive Plan - Chapin, SC

ChapinThe Town of Chapin, South Carolina is located within the Columbia metropolitan area of South Carolina and is known by many as the Capital of Lake Murray. The population within the town limits is 1,600 people; however, the broader Chapin community encompasses a much larger area of nearly 30,000 people. The Town and its surrounding area are growing at a fast rate with new residential and commercial development underway. In order to maximize the Town’s growth opportunities, the Town has selected Benchmark Planning to prepare the update to its 10-year Comprehensive Plan.

Historic District Design Guidelines - Hillsborough, NC

HillsboroughThe Town of Hillsborough was awarded a 2020 federal Historic Preservation Fund grant for Certified Local Governments from the National Park Service, administered through the State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History to prepare updates to its Historic District Design Guidelines. The Hillsborough Historic District presents a visual history of Hillsborough's development. The town chose to respect this development history through the passage of a preservation ordinance in 1973, creating the district. A structure is considered historic if it falls within the period of significance. This period ends 50 years before the current year. The Historic District includes the town’s commercial core and the surrounding residential neighborhoods. It contains more than 100 houses, churches, and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The styles range from Georgian- and Federal-style buildings dating to the late 1700s to contemporary construction. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Benchmark Planning is working with Hill Studio, the Town Staff, the Historic District Commission, and other interested parties to develop the updates to the guidelines. The goal is to produce an updated and comprehensive set of design standards in a digital medium that is easy to edit and update.

Downtown Design Guidelines - Lumberton, NC

lumberton squareA City of 21,000, Lumberton is located within the Coastal Plains region of southeastern North Carolina nestled along the banks of the Lumber River. The City is a regional hub of business activity positioned at the crossroads of Interstate 95 and Interstate 74 (US 74). Lumberton’s geographic location at the midpoint between New York and Florida has led to the development of the hospitality industry along Interstate 95. Hotels and restaurants serve travelers and provide employment opportunities within the region. The City hired Benchmark Planning to prepare its Downtown Master Plan, which has provided the vision for completing the performance stage and fountain on the square, the Lumber River overlook and trail, downtown building façade improvements, and several other enhancement projects within downtown.

As part of the next phase of implementation, the City has engaged Benchmark Planning to prepare Downtown Design Guidelines and a strategy for maintaining the historically significant buildings and structures in the downtown, supporting the continued private investment in Lumberton’s ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.

Comprehensive Land Use Plan - Cleveland County, NC

cleveland1Nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains at the center of two of the largest metropolitan areas in the Carolinas, Cleveland County, North Carolina is a gateway to Charlotte and Asheville. Cleveland County is anchored by the charm of its small towns and community-centered values. The County is poised to take advantage of the many opportunities that are ahead. In order to be prepared for the future, the Board of Commissioners engaged Benchmark Planning to update the 2005 Land Use Plan. The updated plan will serve as the foundational document to guide all aspects of growth and development within the County over the next 10 years. The Plan will provide a long-range strategic direction to elected officials, appointed boards, and staff as they develop and implement projects, programs, and policies to move the County forward in a well-organized manner.

Parks & Recreation Master Plan - Randleman, NC

RandlemanThe City of Randleman is located in the heart of North Carolina within a short drive of the Piedmont Triad and just over an hour from Raleigh and Charlotte. The City of 4,100 in population has a growing business community with a strong downtown that is the heart of the community. The City, established on a textile driven economy, has helped reconnect the community to the Deep River through the creation of the Deep River Greenway. The City is currently working to renovate all of its parks and recreation facilities. As part of that effort to improve its parks and recreation, the City has retained the services of Benchmark Planning to update its Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The Plan will include significant public engagement to establish a five-year strategy to achieve the vision for improving the parks and recreation facilities and supporting programs.

Downtown Master Plan - Concord, NC

ConcordThe City of Concord is a growing urban center of nearly 95,000 population along Interstate 85 north of Charlotte. Benchmark Planning prepared a Downtown Master Plan and Urban Design Plan for the City of Concord that was adopted in 2016. Since that time, over $15 Million has been invested by the public sector in downtown with nearly $24 Million in private sector investment, accomplishing many of the 2016 Plan’s goals and strategies. Nearly 50 housing units have been added to downtown, including a +600-space county-owned parking deck, a variety of infrastructure improvements, and nearly 300 residential units with supporting retail and office that is nearing the construction phase. The Master Plan update aims to keep the momentum moving forward, creating a strategic vision for the downtown for the next five years.

Comprehensive Plan - Lake Park, NC

Lake ParkLake Park is a village in northwest Union County, approximately 15 miles from Charlotte’s Center City.  The Village includes a variety of traditional single-family homes, patio homes, condominiums, and townhomes.  The amenities of the community include a number of parks and recreation facilities with tree-lined streets and sidewalks connecting them.  The natural resources are highlighted by over 10 ponds that provide scenic views and recreational opportunities.  The center of the village includes the Village’s landmark, a chiming clocktower that overlooks the Village’s churches, schools, shops, and offices.  Benchmark is working with the Village to prepare a plan that provides direction for maintaining the community’s character and charm while directing infill development within the Village and commercial center.

Comprehensive Plan - Louisburg, NC

LouisburgWith a population of 3,535, the Town of Louisburg is a charming community with a revitalizing downtown on the banks of the Tar River.  The Town is located in the center of Franklin County and serves as the County seat and retail hub for the region.  The Town is within commuting distance RTP and has sufficient utility service and capacity to support future growth. Louisburg is also home to Louisburg College, the oldest two-year private college in the United States.  As a separate project, Benchmark has also been retained to prepare a parking study for the downtown central business district.

Comprehensive Plan - Midway, NC

MidwayThe Town of Midway is a community of 4,873 people that is located in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Since its incorporation in 2006, this once bedroom community for the City of Winston-Salem is working to develop dining, shopping, working, and recreation opportunities while strengthening their small-town atmosphere. The Town has hired Benchmark Planning to prepare a Comprehensive Plan that will establish the “blueprint” for the future of the Town with a clear vision and focused goals. During the process, Benchmark will examine past and current development trends, previously approved plans, demographic and economic data, and community perceptions, in order to prioritize methods to fulfill the Town’s vision for the future. The Plan is a policy document that establishes guidance on land use, transportation, business development, recreation, and general services.

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.