Planning & Placemaking

Communities throughout the region want to provide livable places with lasting value. Centralina helps local governments create vibrant communities that serve the present and future needs of residents. Through planning and placemaking, we help communities envision future growth and improvements, coordinating the many diverse aspects of planning like transportation, future land use, parks and recreation and economic development.

 By leading engagement and planning strategies, Centralina helps communities understand the future impact of individual development decisions. Additionally, bringing in a public sector consultant like Centralina is helpful when seeking a neutral perspective in your community and regional planning projects.


Comprehensive, Small Area and Corridor Land Use Planning

Centralina helps local governments create community-supported, integrated land use plans. Our process helps local governments understand existing and future land use options and the implications of these growth patterns. Centralina engages a broad range of public voices to understand local needs and values. We also combine local, state and federal data to create customized maps to help guide land use development decisions. Bringing all the pieces together, Centralina synthesizes existing data, public opinion and best practices to create strategies that encourage well-planned, livable communities.

Download the Centralina Land Use Plan flyer.

Community Engagement and Surveys

Centralina’s public engagement services take an intentional and structured approach to engaging the public and stakeholders and use their feedback to inform important decisions. Community engagement can be used for projects of any size and type and can be customized to include a variety of tools like surveys, focus groups, online engagement and open house events. The process takes time on the front end to involve residents, listen to their concerns and priorities and incorporate their feedback to build project and program support. As a result, policymakers can minimize the risk of delays and opposition once a decision is made. By the end of the process, people feel invested in what is happening and empowered to guide their community.

Download the Centralina Community Engagement Brochure.

Planning and Zoning Staffing Assistance

Centralina works with local governments on both current and long-term planning, assisting with zoning, ordinance revisions and related land use issues. Centralina staff can step in and temporarily assist with planning functions when governments lack the resource capacity and will also help with planning and zoning projects such as complex rezoning cases.

Data and Geographic Information Systems Mapping

Centralina produces a wide array of data, information, maps and models, addressing topics from transportation and land use to demographics and employment. We have decades of experience using geospatial analysis in support of the organization’s programs and local member data needs. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides a digital method of mapping and analyzing spatial data, including demographics, transportation networks, location and type of housing, parks and open space access, location of public services, land use and zoning. Centralina’s GIS mapping services include updating zoning maps, mapping infrastructure, census data, demographics, trends and other local mapping needs.

NC Land Use & Code Compliance: General Statutes – Chapter 160D

Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes consolidates and reforms land use and planning regulations for the first time since 1905. All jurisdictions must update their unified development ordinances, including zoning, subdivision and other development regulation ordinances, by July 1, 2021. In addition, all jurisdictions that intend to regulate land with zoning must now have a Comprehensive Plan by July 1, 2022. Centralina is ready to assist your community in this effort.

Local Placemaking and Demonstration Projects

Centralina helps local governments create vibrant and engaged communities through creative, customized programs that build off the unique identity of each town, city or neighborhood. With community-based participation at its center, placemaking projects visually improve public spaces and help build emotional bonds with residents. Examples include traffic calming projects, bike and pedestrian projects, public art instillations and sidewalk dining.

Community-Based Housing Strategies

Centralina helps local governments build detailed, localized community-based housing strategies. A housing strategy will help communities develop specific approaches and actions to ensure the right mix of housing – quantity, type, price point and location – to meet the demands of the entire community, employers, existing and projected populations and changing demographics. These community-based strategies drive job and economic growth, both locally and regionally, in addition to attracting and retaining employees.

Our staff will provide or synthesize critical demographic and housing data, engage a diverse group of public, private and community stakeholders in the process and build a strategy that aligns with a given community’s housing needs. This service can be incorporated with another planning process, such as a comprehensive land use plan update, a downtown master plan or a small area plan, or it can be a stand-alone assessment for an entire jurisdiction or targeted area.

Download the Centralina Community-Based Housing Strategy flyer.

Scenario Planning and Analysis

Centralina uses CommunityViz software to analyze different scenarios for growth and development. Communities use this as part of their planning process to determine services and facilities needed for growth or to determine a return on investment for specific development proposals.

Zoning and Subdivision Projects and Code Development/Updates

Centralina Regional Planning is skilled at updating development codes, including zoning, subdivision and unified development. In 2020, all municipalities and counties will be required to update their codes based on the NC Planning and Development Regulation statutes.