Sign Ordinance Update - Concord, NC

CONCORD dtConcord, NC (pop. 78,066) has recently selected Benchmark Planning to lead the City's Sign Regulations update to address changing standards and techonology in the sign development/manufacturing industry as well as changes in advertising needs/methods for local businesses.  Concord is on the northern border of Charlotte, NC and is home to several large tourism draws including the Lowes Motor Speedway, Dragway, Concord Mills Mall, and Great Wolf Lodge.  Concord is also the proud home of Carolina’s Medical Center and an array of related medical operations facilities. In addition, Concord continues to grow its economoy with industral and distribution facilities being located in its International Business Park.  The updated sign regulations will relflect the character and context of the location of each commercial district, from downtown to the interstate commerce and tourist areas.

Comprehensive Plan - Mount Airy, NC

MtAiryThe City of Mount Airy (pop. 10,417), is located in the Yadkin Valley wine region with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the rugged pinnacle of nearby Pilot Mountain.  Benchmark is preparing the city’s very first Comprehensive Plan, building on previous land use and strategic planning efforts, engaging citizens, business leaders and elected officials through a participatory process.

Click here to see an implementation project developed during the process:

Rail-Served Industrial Site Evaluation - NC Railroad Company

linwoodyardThe North Carolina Railroad Company, founded in 1849, is a private corporation created to attract development and promote jobs through investments in the State.  The NCRR freight rail line directly serves hundreds of employers and three military installations in 16 counties via its long-term agreement with Norfolk Southern.  As important, the railroad’s value to economic development continues to help sustain and grow our entire state’s economy through connections with other railroads, intermodal terminals, and freight hubs.

In early 2015, in order to promote the importance of rail-served industries, which create jobs across the state, the NCRR is undertaking an unprecedented inventory of rail-capable properties that are available for new industry.  There are over 3,250 miles of freight rail lines across the state.  The NCRR has commissioned Benchmark and Greenfield to perform this study. 

The goal of the study is to identify both existing and potential rail-served industrial sites in order to provide a broad portfolio of options for various types of rail users and make this information available to the greater economic development community.  This portfolio will allow NCRR to gain a sense of which sites optimize the state’s ability to attract industry and stimulate investment.

Comprehensive Plan - Waxhaw, NC

waxhawdowntownWaxhaw, a historic town of 11,295, is located in the southern Piedmont region of North Carolina, approximately twenty miles south of Charlotte. Established in 1889, Waxhaw has a rich history that spans several decades. Waxhaw is striving to strike a healthy balance between growth pressures from the Charlotte metropolitan region and the preservation of their historic character. Benchmark has been hired to help the Town overhaul its current comprehensive plan that was adopted in 2009.

Design Workshop - Greensboro, NC

Greensboro4Change is coming to Lawndale Drive in Greensboro, NC (pop. 279,639). Over the next decade, planned investments in the transportation network and public facilities located along the corridor will result in additional growth pressures in the corridor.Benchmark was a key team member in the mulit-day, multi-disciplinary design workshop to develop a shared vision for the future character of Lawndale Drive and guide future growth decisions.

The workshop helped lead to the development of a set of tools and strategies for the City to use in supporting stability in the neighborhoods adjacent to Lawndale Drive while accommodating anticipated growth.  The workshop was part of the larger Piedmont Together design charrettes that Benchmark was selected to participate in with Design Link, a program of the Center for Creative Economies.


Land Use Plan - Lumberton, NC

5thstBridgeThe City of Lumberton (21,500 pop.) is working with Benchmark to prepare a land use plan that will help transform the City’s future. The draft plan includes a detailed land use analysis and recommendations including extensive recommendations for the downtown, Interstate 95, major corridors, industrial areas and the airport. Public input into the plan has included over 675 resident surveys and over 800 participants through social media and the project website. The plan will be completed in April of 2015.