Walkers rejoice: Clemmons passes Ped Plan – Village Council approves plan for various pathways around town going forward

Published 12:08 am Thursday, February 29, 2024

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CLEMMONS — Just think about the possibilities … 20 miles of greenways, 15 miles of shared-use paths, 27 miles of sidewalks, 46 intersection improvements.

It’s all part of the vision of the new Pedestrian Plan in Clemmons, which was approved in Monday night’s Village Council meeting. Planner Doug Moore was elated to get the official confirmation.

“Now, we are finally here,” Moore said. “It seems like it’s been a long time, but it’s only actually been about a year. It’s been a pretty extensive public process with this. I think one good example is what came out of the survey where we had over 800 responses, and this information came right out and went directly into the development of the plans.”

The plan was put together starting in January 2023, spanning until Monday night’s approval with four steering committee meetings and two public engagement events, including an open house Feb. 8 at the Clemmons Branch Library.

A list of 10 priority projects was developed through a scoring methodology established by the steering committee, but Moore added that “as opportunities open, we’ll match the opportunity that best fits the project to try to stretch the money.”

The four primary goals for the Pedestrian Plan include:

  • Improve pedestrian safety for all users or all ages and abilities.
  • Expand and improve the pedestrian network to connect to key destinations.
  • Promote pedestrian access to all residents and reduce transportation barriers.
  • Support a vibrant and successful community while preserving village character.

“It is kind of a 20-year vision of the plan,” Moore said. “It will take a while, and it depends on what the public wants. We’ll now move forward, and one of the first things is when the consultants turn over the GIS from this plan. The DOT has already asked for us to send that file to them so they will load it right up into their CTP (Comprehensive Transportation Plan) that they’re doing right now that will help things get built as projects come along.”

Council member Bradley Taylor has served as the council’s representative to work on the effort.

“Having worked with Planner Moore, Ms. (Caroline) Drake (planner), the steering committee and, of course, our partners, it did take a while,” Taylor said, “but I was so happy to see the enormous involvement by our community and the survey and really believe this is truly a plan that the council and our community can enact. This is not a shelf plan. It’s an action plan.”

In another business item on Monday night’s agenda, the council approved the village’s first multi-property 50-50 cost-share stormwater project.

Homeowners at 700 and 705 Chestnut Way each paid $1,000 each, and the village is responsible for $2,000 for the total of $4,000 with a contractor bid from RCR Contracting to do the work.

The issue area involves a current 15-inch reinforced concrete pipe along the public right-of-way drainage of Chestnut Way, which flows through a piped system and drains along a private drainage easement between the two properties. The current outlet pipe is clogged and buried near the property line with sinkholes forming due to no access of water to escape.

Emily Harrison, stormwater technician II, showed photos of the existing drainage and outlet areas while outlining the scope of work, which includes exposing the buried outlet, creating a new drainage channel for positive flow once the pipe is exposed, digging out the sink holes and bringing in soil to fill in the sinkholes to better stabilize the current drainage system.

In other highlights from last Monday’s retreat, the council:

  • Recognized Dep. Marty Luffman, who is retiring from the Forsyth Council Sheriff’s Office after serving in Clemmons for 16 years. “We thank him for his service and wish him a long and fulfilling retirement,” said Mayor Mike Rogers.
  • Called for a public hearing in the March 11 meeting for the minimum housing standards, abandoned and unsafe buildings and amendments to the Title XV land usage adding a new Chapter 150 minimum housing and unsafe buildings to the Code of Ordinances of the Village of Clemmons.
  • Approved a budget amendment for public works equipment repairs and maintenance due to higher than anticipated costs. 
  • Agreed to maintain the conferral of mayor and manager authorities, duties and responsibilities previously established in 2022.
  • Heard from council member Michelle Barson in council comments on public comments made in the last meeting regarding consideration of Waste Management for a new contract: “I thought it was a really bizarre display when we were preparing to talk about who we were going with for trash pickup that somebody who wasn’t involved with the budget came in to speak on behalf of their personal relationships. That’s not how we make decisions as a council. I also thought it was rude to bring in two individuals who work for said company and instead of honoring and recognizing them, that they were brought in to be a bit of a show for why we needed to make a certain decision. And I just wanted to share that. It was disappointing.”