Walton County Seeks Community Input on Growth and Development

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The Residents and businesses in Walton County can help plan the future of their communities through a new initiative, Plan for Walton 2040. “Walton County is a unique place, with world-famous beaches and resort towns, charming historic sites, large areas of conservation, and beautiful rural farmland,” says Plan for Walton 2040 Project Lead Marina Khoury. “Those areas all have their own character and a sense of community. Future growth in these communities, and the intensity of that growth, should reflect those values. Walton County also is a special place for DPZ as we have been helping to guide development there for the past 40 years.”

Plan for Walton 2040 is part of an Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, a state-mandated long-range plan that must be updated every seven years. The planning effort includes a major emphasis on community outreach and engagement to ensure that residents, businesses, and stakeholders have the chance to share their ideas and opinions. This input will be combined with the technical team’s assessment to create a long-range vision plan to guide Walton County’s future growth and development.

To conduct the review and planning effort, the Walton County Commission has engaged a team of consultants led by DPZ CoDesign. DPZ may be familiar to long-time residents as they helped author the Trust Plan in the 1980s and also planned and designed the town of Seaside, among others. The consulting team includes experts in transportation, green infrastructure, environmental planning, land economics, zoning analysis and legal review.

On the website, www.PlanForWalton2040.com, residents can learn more about the planning process, sign up for email updates, and take an initial survey to share their ideas and preferences for Walton County’s future. Plan for Walton 2040 also has a Facebook page of the same name where residents can ask questions and engage in the process. “For this plan to be successful, we need to hear from the wide array of people who work, live or recreate in Walton County. So we invite everyone to visit the website, take our survey, sign up for email updates, and plan to attend all or part of the charrette meetings in May,” said Khoury.

In addition to the website, social media, and email outreach, the planning team will host a week-long workshop here in Walton County from May 1-8, 2024. That workshop, called a “charrette,” will include public presentations, workshops on specific topics such as environment and transportation, open-studio time where stakeholders can interact with members of the planning team, and “pop-up” outreach efforts in different areas of the County. For more information, visit www.PlanForWalton2040.com or email info@PlanForWalton2040.com.

Walton County Seeks Community Input on Growth and Development

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