Areas of Service and Expertise

Comprehensive Planning

Preparing comprehensive plans for municipal and county governments is a core component of Benchmark’s practice. For 40 years, Benchmark’s team has worked closely with local governments to prepare plans that address our client communities’ unique growth and development challenges. Our client base spans a wide range of community types, ranging from small rural communities with several thousand residents to growing suburbs, to larger urban cities and regional organizations spanning multiple counties with hundreds of thousands of residents. 

Public Outreach & Engagement

Our team members facilitate successful public involvement and consensus building through stakeholder interviews, charrettes, pop-up events, focus group meetings and workshops.  We leverage the power of technology to support our public engagement activities and facilitate ongoing engagement throughout the planning process, which includes the use of interactive online engagement and real-time digital polling during public meetings.

Geospatial Analysis & Mapping

Our team of GIS analysts and cartographers focus on using the significant power of digital mapping to both produce complex analyses of issues in our client communities and prepare digital mapping products that clearly convey complex ideas in a straightforward  and easily understandable manner. 


The Benchmark team is committed to sustainable development practices, and we regularly incorporate these principles into our plans and studies.  Our planners have worked on projects that promote sustainable growth coupled with habitat protection for endangered species, coastal resource protection and the conservation of working lands across the country.  Beyond environmental sustainability, our team strives to provide our client communities with development strategies and policy guidance that foster growth patterns that limit the impact on finite community resources (school and transportation capacity, public safety services, utilities, etc.), while allowing growth to continue in an orderly and rational manner that is responsive to market demands.  

Urban Design & Placemaking

Our interdisciplinary urban design team can help your community prepare practical design concepts and standards based on the unique typologies and character (e.g. downtown centers, commercial corridors, neighborhood infill sites) of your focus area. Our urban designers will identify design solutions and strategies that are based on their practical experience with implementation and best practices that our team has learned through many years of national and international practice in the field.  

Transportation Planning

Our planners understand the critical linkages between transportation and land use, and we strive to seek innovative solutions to our clients’ transportation needs. Whether it is identifying new highway corridors to spur economic development, re-imagining a downtown streetscape, or planning routes for a greenway system, our team brings a wealth of experience in solving complex transportation issues.  In North Carolina, Benchmark is an NCDOT prequalified consultant for a variety of Transportation Planning tasks and projects.

Development Regulations

Benchmark’s team of planning professionals has a wealth of experience both writing and administering a wide variety of development ordinances, including both standalone zoning and subdivision regulations, unified development ordinances, and specialized ordinances dealing with design regulation and similar matters.  Our team regularly advises both local governments and private developers on regulatory matters, keeping our team grounded in the practical realities of development practices.  This in turn helps to inform and improve the effectiveness of the ordinances that we author.  

Economic Development

Benchmark has extensive experience with assisting local governments with strategic economic development planning, market analysis, and implementation projects. Recent experience includes preparing a working lands study for the Central Midlands Council of Governments in Columbia, SC, and brownfields  redevelopment projects in Chapel Hill, NC and Greenwood, SC. Benchmark also works with private entities on economic development planning, including work with the Multi-State Environmental Response Trust on the redevelopment of a former Kerr-McGee industrial site in Navassa, NC and developing a statewide inventory and GIS database of potential rail-served industrial sites for the North Carolina Railroad Company. 

We listen to your community.

We seek to understand the many viewpoints of your entire community. We do this by listening to what your community has to say about the issues that matter most.


We love what we do
We listen carefully to you
We help you move forward

You are planning the future of your community; we work closely with you every step of the way

This is not our first rodeo! Our talented team of planners has a breadth of experience that provides our clients with the innovative ideas and solutions that are necessary to solve complex problems and develop plans that are grounded in reality and focused on implementation. Our firm's principals are leading the way on each of our projects.