Hillsborough community members have an opportunity to provide feedback to shape the town’s future. The local government is looking for public input on its comprehensive sustainability plan. The plan will guide future development and clean energy by updating the town’s existing framework.
In 2017, the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in support of transitioning to 100% renewable energy for town operations by 2050. Now, the town wants to build on that goal through a community vision for growth, development and clean energy.
An initial community survey asks Hillsborough community members for their thoughts on town priorities and how they would like to see the town develop in the future.
Stephanie Trueblood is the public space manager for the town of Hillsborough. She said Hillsborough’s existing planning documents are ripe for update and that the comprehensive sustainability plan takes a new approach.
“This is really a new model for comprehensive plans. Often times, comprehensive plans deal mostly with land use planning and transportation planning but we are really branching out into clean energy goals,” Trueblood said. “It’s a really exciting project and one where we are trying our best to get as much public input and public participation in the planning process as possible.”
Trueblood said the plan is meant to incorporate the values of the town and provide feedback on how residents want to see development occur in the future.
“There’s no way to stop development and stop growth,” Trueblood said. “In fact, we want to encourage it, but we want to encourage it in a way our community can absorb so that we can keep a high-quality standard of living and build the community that feels inclusive of everyone.”
The survey is meant to identify the community’s priorities and goals. It asks participants questions like what development types they would like to see in Hillsborough, what types of housing are most needed and what are the most pressing transportation needs?
The survey is just the first step in process of developing the comprehensive sustainability plan. The town, however, has struggled to get a broad enough variety of respondents to accurately reflect the community.
Trueblood said one possible reason is that people are fatigued from electronic surveys during COVID.
“It is a tricky time to be asking people to give us ten minutes of their time,” she said. “But this is also a really important moment for people to realize this is where your voices are heard.”
Trueblood said there will be more opportunities for public input as the plan develops, but right now it’s important to answer the survey because it drives the construction of the plan.
The survey will remain open for at least three more weeks, according to town officials.
For more information on the comprehensive sustainability plan click here.
Photo via the Town of Hillsborough.
Chapelboro.com does not charge subscription fees. You can support local journalism and our mission to serve the community. Contribute today – every single dollar matters.