Project Objectives

The New 70 District is a project to develop a new zoning district (and development standards) for a 300-acre area north of downtown between Highway 101 and the new Highway 70 corridor.  The district is intended to help create a compact, cohesive, mixed-use, walkable area with employment uses, retail, recreational opportunities, and some opportunities for higher density residential development.   

There are five key project objectives:

  1. Shape, manage, and encourage the growth of this area in a manner consistent with community wants and needs.
  2. Encourage the landowners in the study area to collaborate with one another to develop the area cohesively.
  3. Raise the bar for development quality in the area.
  4. Generate community consensus on preferred development types and design.
  5. Serve as a model for development or redevelopment of other areas in Town.

Anticipated Deliverables

The scope of work for the project includes five tasks, and the following four work products:

  1. A concept plan for the project area’s development, prepared during Task 2, Design Studio.
  2. A new zoning district for the study area, which will be a part of the Town’s Land Development Ordinance and Official Zoning Map, prepared in Tasks 3 and 4, and adopted in Task 5.
  3. A set of development and design standards/form controls for the district, prepared in Tasks 3 and 4, and adopted in Task 5.
  4. A set of incentives for preferred forms of development to be located either in the new zoning district, or elsewhere in the Land Development Ordinance, prepared in Tasks 3 and 4, and adopted in Task 5.


Project Schedule and Methods of Civic Engagement

The following table describes the draft project schedule.

Task #

Task Name

Task Description

Anticipated Start Date

Anticipated Completion Date


Initial Review

Initial meeting with staff, reconnaissance of area, stakeholder interviews




Design Studio

Three-day charrette with Town residents and landowners that includes a hands-on design exercise, preparation of an initial concept plan, a work-in-progress presentation, and a follow-up policy memorandum




Drafting the District Standards

Internal draft of district standards to Town staff for review, revision, and delivery of first draft for public review





Three cycles of presentation and revision of the standards to the public and project stakeholders – stakeholder presentations will be web-based





One public hearing with the Planning Board, one public hearing with the Board of Commissioners, and final revisions




Civic engagement, or participation in the preparation and consideration of the proposed zoning district provisions, is strongly encouraged.  There are three primary opportunities to get involved:

  1. The first is the multi-day design studio being held in late August/early September, 2015. 
  2. The second opportunity is during either of the two public presentations conducting during the refining task (Task 4) anticipated in January and March of 2016.
  3. The third chance is during the two public hearings anticipated in May and June of 2016 (Task 5).

Persons interested in more information should contact Charlie Burgess, Town Manager, at 252-728-2141, or

Background on the Consulting Team

The project is being completed by the Town in partnership with a team of consultants headed by CodeWright Planners, out of Durham, NC.

CodeWright Planners, LLC

CodeWright is a planning and zoning consultancy established in 2014 in Durham, North Carolina, by Chad Meadows, AICP, a planner with over 20 years of public and private sector experience, including 11 years of drafting award-winning development codes across the country.  CodeWright is dedicated solely to the preparation of effective development codes, design standards, and growth management strategies for local governments.  Our approach to projects relies on establishing a well-defined process that is iterative and inclusive of differing points of view.  We strive to make complex regulatory concepts understandable to everyone. We are committed to providing deliverables that are clear, precise, and predictable through graphics and modern page layout techniques.  Our projects often include incentives for preferred development forms, menu-based options for complying with development standards, and flexible methods for achieving compliance with requirements.  We strive to understand and explain the economic benefits of land use regulations.

Ferrell Madden

Ferrell Madden is an urban design and town planning firm located in Washington, DC and State College, Pa., founded in 1999.  Ferrell Madden is at the forefront of innovative regulatory form-based coding. The firm’s form-based coding work has been featured in a variety of publications, such as: Urban Land; Planning magazine; On Common Ground (the Realtors’ magazine on smart growth); APA Zoning Practice; Codifying New Urbanism: How to Reform Municipal Land Development Regulations; and the books Form Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers and Retrofitting Suburbia.  Geoffrey Ferrell and Mary Madden are founding members of the Form-Based Codes Institute and have spoken on the subject in numerous forums, including national conferences. Ferrell Madden incorporates the timeless principles of traditional human settlement with the most valuable aspects of science and technology—Smart Growth, ecology and sustainability, etc.—and contemporary real estate development practices.


Since its inception in 1978, LandDesign has consistently provided a broad range of clients with creative project solutions delivered by experienced professionals skilled in planning, civil engineering, landscape architecture, and urban design. Founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, LandDesign has evolved into a multi-disciplinary organization of over 125 professionals operating from offices in Charlotte, Washington DC, Raleigh, and Dallas. Our talented and dedicated team possesses the proven skills and knowledge to meet ever-increasing demands and challenges on a local, regional, national, and international basis.  Meg Nealon leads the firm’s Charlotte office, and is assisted in the Beaufort project by Scott Lagueux.  LandDesign’s planning practice specializes in developing plans for communities that not only establish an appropriate direction for growth and development, but also build consensus among affected stakeholders. Our balanced approach positions communities to achieve multiple objectives from resource conservation to economic development.


Design Studio (Task 2) Details

The design studio is a three-day intensive public input process conducted with the community and key stakeholders to discuss their ideas for the new district, including the types of allowable uses, the configuration of the area, and the quality of the development.

Day 1

The first day of the effort is a three-hour hands-on design exercise.  It starts with an information presentation about the overall project objectives, schedule, and deliverables.  Then, participants will hear about the range of market conditions and the opportunities and challenges for accommodating new uses in the district.  Next, participants will get an introduction to a visual preference exercise that seeks to identify the community’s design preferences. A longer and more detailed preference survey will be available for completion on-line following completion of the design studio.  Following the preference survey is a brief presentation about place-making concepts and how form controls can be used to establish memorable and desirable environments.  Then, meeting participants will spend the next hour in small groups talking about the project area and sharing their individual ideas about how best to configure development in the area.  The final hour will be spent with each of the tables reporting back to the group about their best ideas, concepts, and questions.

Day 2

The second day starts with an intensive roundtable meeting of the landowners who own land in the project area.  The meeting is a chance for each property owner to express their aspirations and concerns for development in the area.  The purpose of the roundtable meeting is to lay the groundwork for a strategy that will reward the landowners for acting collectively on a unified approach to development in the area (though it will not require any single landowner to cooperate or agree to development that is not in their own best interest).   The balance of the second day will be an opportunity for the study team to talk with other experts or for interested individuals to drop by the studio (in the former train depot) to ask questions or share their perspective on the project area.  Study team members will also engage in internal discussions about the input received and how the initial concept materials should be prepared to best respond to community desires.


Day 3

The majority of the third day is focused on the preparation of the initial concept plan for the area, as well as descriptions of the design concepts embraced by the community.  The study team will also prepare a basic outline of the new zoning district provisions, including the range of allowable uses, the types of anticipated standards, how development applications will be reviewed, and the range of incentives that could be applied to incentivize preferred forms of development. The study team will make a presentation of the draft material to the elected officials for input and direction.  The final event of the studio is a “work-in-progress” presentation for the public to give the community a sense where the project is headed and to identify the issues in need of further research or follow up.