Davidson has a long, successful history of planning that created the vibrant community we love today. What’s Next? is a process to build upon previous successes and update the town’s comprehensive plan.

The updated comprehensive plan will act as guide for Davidson to ensure the town continues to embody the character and special qualities for which our community is known.

What is a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan is the leading policy document and tool to help a community create a vision, guiding principles and recommendations for decision-making for their town. This consolidated set of policies covers a range of topics including:  land use; transportation; economic development; demographics; housing; health; environment; and others.

Why does Davidson need to update its plan?

The comprehensive plan will directly inform decisions that we make as a community. It does so by helping us to understand our historical context; identify current or anticipated issues; evaluate options for how to best proceed; and, establish a set of recommendations to accomplish our aims. The board of commissioners identified the comprehensive plan as a priority in their 2018-2019 Strategic Plan. Additionally, our last comprehensive plan was completed in 2010 — most communities update or create a new plan every five to ten years. This is especially true for communities in high-growth areas like the Charlotte metropolitan region.

The Process

What’s Next? will last through late 2019 – early 2020 and offer multiple opportunities for community members to get involved.

Why should you participate?

What’s Next? events will be informative and fun and allow members of the community to share ideas.

It’s your community — you are the expert.

No one knows the community like those of us who live, work or go to school here. The community’s authentic voice is essential to this planning process.

Everyone is invited.

Join your neighbors in shaping how Davidson will continue to thrive for future generations. We need to hear everyone’s voice. This process invites everybody who cares about the future of Davidson to get involved and share their ideas.

Design is intentional.

Davidson is a high-quality community today because of intentional design efforts. As much as we like Davidson today, communities are always changing. This process will afford all of us the opportunity to design the future together.

We are listening.

This process will be carefully facilitated so that a kind and thoughtful conversation about the future of Davidson can be had by all that choose to participate.

Who is involved?

Everyone! First and foremost, What’s Next? is a community-centered process. The comprehensive plan process entails an extended community conversation that intentionally engages all stakeholders—residents/citizens, neighborhoods, businesses, the college, town government, non-profits, and institutions. Soliciting everyone’s input is critical to the plan and specific groups each play a role in the process, including:

Plan Advisory Group

Process Guidance

The Plan Advisory Group represents a diverse group of community members appointed by the town to serve as community advocates for the planning process; to provide guidance and direction regarding the visioning process and substance; and, to serve as stewards of the vision once it is completed.


Targeted Input

Various stakeholder groups will be convened to inform specific aspects of the vision. These groups include businesses, neighborhood representatives, education groups including local schools and Davidson College, religious institutions, and non-profits, among others.

Outreach Committee

Raise Awareness

The Publicity and Outreach Committee includes a wide variety of citizens from different parts of the community appointed by the town to serve as advocates for and heralds of the What’s Next? process. These residents will work to share information and spread the word about upcoming events.


Input and Feedback

Widespread community participation is vital to What’s Next?’s success. A variety of events, tools, and meeting formats will encourage community members to provide insight into our community via in-person meetings/workshops, email, and online as well as hard-copy surveys.

Town Staff


Town staff will support and help to coordinate the work of all other groups and provide local knowledge and expertise.

Elected Officials

Participate and Champion

The Mayor and Board of Commissioners will engage in the What’s Next? process and steward the resulting community vision, recognizing that success comes through enacting a consensus-based plan.


Process Leadership, Expertise

Clarion will facilitate the process and share experience from other successful communities. Planning NEXT and Development Planning & Financing Group (DPFG) will assist Clarion and provide expertise in public engagement and marketing as well as economic and fiscal analysis.