Historically, CCOG’s Regional Planning Department has received most of its funding through technical assistance projects. In recent years, the number of technical assistance projects has diminished and funds have been replaced through a variety of grant programs as well as administering and overseeing an increasing number of ancillary organizations, some of which are housed internally within CCOG. CCOG Regional Planning staff provides member governments and others in the region with services in the following areas:

Data Center

The Centralina Council of Governments is a State Data Center affiliate, and is available to answer a variety of demographic questions. Centralina maintains a database of land use plans, transportation plans, and economic development plans for communities throughout the region. Centralina’s Regional Planning staff are familiar with the Census Bureau’s web site and reports, and can assist member governments with identifying the best sources of information to answer their questions. In addition, Centralina Planning staff have a wide range of GIS-based databases on the environment, population, employment, and transportation. For more information, please contact Michelle Nance at (704) 348-2709 or mnance@centralina.org.

Developing Land Use Plans, Codes, and Corridor Studies

This historically has been one of the cornerstones of the Regional Planning Department. The Regional Planning staff has written or updated land use codes [i.e., zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, unified development ordinances (UDOs)] for the large majority of CCOG member governments. In addition to writing regulations and plans, staff has been called upon to serve as local planning staff and administrators, either on a temporary or permanent basis. CCOG is also used to write or update land use plans both at the local and regional levels. For more information, please contact Michelle Nance at (704) 348-2709 or mnance@centralina.org.

Elected and Appointed Officials’ Training

Centralina has historically been in the forefront of providing planning training to citizen planners (i.e., planning board and board of adjustment members) and elected officials. This service has been provided both at the local level for individual communities and at the regional and sub-regional levels. For more information, please contact Michelle Nance at (704) 348-2709 or mnance@centralina.org.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans

Nearly a dozen communities in the region have contracted with CCOG for the development of pedestrian plans, funded in part through NCDOT. CCOG developed plans and methods have been showcased by NCDOT as models to be used by other communities. In 2010, CCOG contracted with the City of Kings Mountain for the development of a municipal bicycle plan. Contractual fees for such plans have ranged from approximately $17,000‐$45,000 apiece.

Based on the excellent work relationship developed by CCOG staff and NCDOT, NCDOT approached CCOG in 2008 for the development of a bicycle plan to encircle Lake Norman, the first regional bicycle plan created in North Carolina. Communities involved in the study included Iredell, Lincoln, Catawba and Mecklenburg Counties, and the Towns of Troutman, Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville. A contract of approximately $170,000 was executed with CCOG to lead the project. Input was gathered from 100+ stakeholders. The Plan was written, endorsed by the partners, and approved by NCDOT in 2010. For more information, please contact Blair Israel at 704-372-2416 or bisrael@centralina.org.

Park and Greenway Planning

CCOG offers a range of park and greenway planning services that includes: public recreational needs surveys, site analysis, conceptual and schematic site plans, schematic details, cost estimates, and comprehensive system wide studies. In short, everything required for a community parks master plan. CCOG has submitted numerous successful PARTF grants, helping communities to procure $100,000s for park projects.

CCOG plans community wide greenway systems as part of its comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian planning. These plans include visioning and public input sessions, current policy and system evaluation, specific ordinance recommendations, and detailed descriptions of projects that include alignment, type, cost estimates, funding strategies, and project prioritization. CCOG has played a prominent role for many counties in the planning of the Carolina Thread Trail, providing both transportation and trail planning expertise, as well as long-standing familiarity with local jurisdictions. For more information, please contact Blair Israel at 704-372-2416 or bisrael@centralina.org.

Graphic Design and Visualization Services

CCOG has developed logos and other graphics for both local and state organizations, and uses visualization as part of its planning toolkit. Visualization begins with photographs of existing conditions, and then manipulates the image to realistically portray various planning scenario results. The process allows an audience to view what is familiar to them, be it a street, a parcel, or a whole town, and then see directly how it can be improved. Visualization can meaningfully communicate the results of zoning ordinances and design guideline documents through visuals that are dynamic, recognizable, and clear to everyone. PowerPoint presentations can be used to present each layer of imagery as it is added to the original photo, illustrating the effects of each successive alteration of the original. For more information, please contact Blair Israel at (704) 372-2416 or bisrael@centralina.org.

Meeting Facilitation/Goal Setting

Centralina staff is able to provide goal setting and meeting facilitation services for groups, both in the public and private sectors. For more information, please contact Jason Wager at 704 348-2707 or jwager@centralina.org.