Residents had an opportunity to weigh in on the document that will guide the development of the city for the next decade, but few took advantage of it.
Robert Moody, a planner with the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, led a sparsely attended discussion Friday morning of the progress made to date on updating Tega Cay's Comprehensive Plan. The process began last fall. State law requires all municipalities to develop comprehensive land use plans. They are reviewed every five years and updated every 10.
Moody addressed different aspects of the plan throughout the day, and plans to give a similar presentation at the Glennon Community Center during the city's July 4 birthday celebration.
"This is the same process Fort Mill went through last year," Moody said. "Fortunately, Tega Cay had a comprehensive plan from 2002, so we had a starting point."
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Updating the plan includes reviewing the 2002 plan and other city policies to determine if the goals and objectives included in the 2002 plan are still valid, Moody said.
"Are those goals things the city still needs to pursue, or are there other goals and policies that it should pursue instead?" he added.
Last fall, Moody set up a booth at the Tega Cay Fall Festival and asked residents to fill out survey cards. The survey asked for an interpretation of the city's motto, "The good life," and asked residents to state their favorite and least favorite things about Tega Cay. It also gave residents a chance to weigh in on what they consider the heart of the city to be and how they would spend $10 million to improve the city.
"We use the survey responses to give clues for the policies," Moody said. "There were multiple mentions of parks and trails and the lake, so we don't want to forget about those when we're developing specific policies under the plan."
The comprehensive plan is intended to act as an "umbrella" under which all of the city's zoning, growth and development policies will fall, Moody said. All of the information Moody covered Friday, including land use and development maps of the city, will be posted on the COG Web site, www.catawbacog.org.
Moody has been meeting with the city's various boards and commissions over the past year, and said Tega Cay is unique in that the number of residents involved in the inner workings of the city far exceeds what he'd expect to see for a city of its size. That level of participation means the finished plan is more likely to address most, if not all, residents' concerns.
The growing city, where hundreds of new homes are planned, has a population of approximately 7,400.
"The main purpose of this meeting is getting confirmation of the things we've heard and of the information that's been put together," Moody said. "Did we forget anything, are we on the right track?"
"Any time you can plan something ahead and follow up on it, the better off you are," Phil Glennon said. "In my thinking, the development of the new park in Gardendale is at the top of my list."
Glennon, a longtime resident, volunteer and former chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, was among the few who attended the workshop Friday morning. Another of his concerns is addressing transportation needs in the city, especially for many elderly or disabled residents that no longer drive. He likes Charlotte's light rail system, but he said he doesn't know what the best system for Tega Cay would be, he just hopes the finished plan addresses it.
"I'm disappointed not to see more residents here," Martha Manco said. "It's kind of sad because this is where they're looking for input. You can really make an impact if you choose to."
Another resident at the meeting, Heidi Schreiber, said, "I think it's great the city offers the opportunity for people to come out an give their input."
Tega Cay is paying COG a $25,000 consultation fee for its help with the plan update.