Carteret County 2030 - Imagining the Futures

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    Carteret County 2030

    Imagining the Futures

    Department of City and Regional Planning

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    ii

    PREPARED FOR

    North Carolinas Eastern RegionMilitary Growth Task Force

    December 2011

    PREPARED BY

    Land Use & Environmental Planning WorkshopDepartment of City and Regional PlanningUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Team Members

    Brennan BoumaDaniel Brookshire

    Katrina DurbakVivian Jaynes

    Barron MonroeRyan Parzick

    Kyle VangelCasey Weissman-Vermeulen

    David Daddio (Project Manager)dwdaddio@unc.edu

    Cover photos courtesy of: National Park Service Cape

    Lookout National Seashore; Carteret County, North

    Carolina; U.S. Forest Service Croatan National Forest;

    Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

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    iv

    Executive Summary

    Background and Purpose

    In light of impending military and non military growth in the region and with limitedregional planning capacity in Eastern North Carolina, the Military Growth Task Force

    (MGTF) began fostering regional partnership in early 2010. The PlanIt East effort bringstogether stakeholders from across the region to create a framework for dealing withpressures on infrastructure, military encroachment, environmental quality, workforcehousing, and others. This effort will culminate in a fall 2012 Reality Check exercise aninitiative intended to foster collective visioning among a diverse group of organizations andstakeholders from across the region and develop local capacity for substantive policychange.

    This document was prepared as part of a student workshop. Pursuant to MGTFs guidance,the report is designed to support and make recommendations for their upcoming visioningexercise. It is also designed to illustrate the value of contingent and robust plans. Drawing

    on comparative communities to inform alternative futures, we demonstrate someapplications of scenario planning principles in Carteret County, one of the nine counties inthe PlanIt East region, in order to inform the larger regional effort.

    Comparative Communities and Growth Drivers

    To understand the drivers and patterns of growth, we researched communities with issuessimilar to Carteret County. In particular, we focused on the interactions betweentransportation and port investments, military installations, and tourism industries. Wetermed these issues growth drivers.

    The following communities were chosen for the reasons specified:Accomack County, VA - Strong tourism industry and a major transportationinfrastructure improvementBarnstable County, MA - Strong tourism industry and history of planning coordinationbetween the military and local governmentsBeaufort County, SC - History of high military employment and influenceJackson County, MS - Economically important port and a recently closed military baseKent County, DE - Recent, major transportation infrastructure improvement and highpopulation growthOkaloosa County, FL - Strong tourism industry and recent transportation infrastructureimprovement

    Scenario Planning

    Based on our understanding of the drivers and information gathered from the comparativecommunities, we developed three scenarios, which represent possible futures of CarteretCounty. These scenarios are not intended to be future land use patterns, but rather areplausible stories designed to trigger conversations and ideas about controllable local policyalternatives in light of the uncontrollable external forces the County is subject to. Thesethree scenarios are:

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    Cooperation Drives Success

    Carteret County booms as improvements to Highway 70 facilitate travel to the rapidlygrowing Research Triangle area. Recognizing the immense opportunities and challengesassociated with this growth, key regional stakeholders including local governments, the

    military, tourism interests, port operators and environmental advocates come together andproactively develop strategies to deal with growth pressures.

    Tourist Trap

    Carteret County experiences rapid population and housing growth as improvements toHighway 70 facilitate travel to the Research Triangle Area. In the face of this growth,regional stakeholders are unable to come to an agreement on how to best manage growthin a way that enhances its sustainability and prosperity. Second-home constructionbecomes the dominant industry, and development sprawls into marginal areas.

    External Forces Dominate

    Increasing global integration and geopolitical pressures lead Carteret County to become akey center of shipping and logistics and military operations, training, and mobilization. Anumber of defense related-businesses spring up along the corridor between Carteret andCraven Counties. Moreover, a multimillion-dollar expansion at the Port of Morehead Cityand improved highway access make Carteret particularly attractive to logistics businesses.

    Indicators

    The three scenarios were qualitatively assessed using four performance indicators:

    Scenario

    Development

    Outside SewerService Areas Flood Risk

    Encroachment

    on AgriculturalLands

    Encroachment on

    High BiodiversityValue Areas

    Cooperation DrivesSuccess

    Medium Medium Low Low

    Tourist Trap High High Medium MediumExternal ForcesDominate

    High High Medium Medium

    Lessons Learned

    The key takeaways from this project are: Forging partnerships involves deep deliberation and is possible only over time. The pursuit of one preferred scenario in scenario planning distracts from theconsideration of multiple uncontrollable external forces. Scenario planning has tremendous data needs. Storm surge in the near term is similar to sea level rise in the long term. Instead of relying on technology to create scenarios, focus more on the purpose of

    the stories.

    Scenario planning should draw upon both local expertise and outside knowledge.

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    Table of ContentsExecutive Summary ............................................................................................................................................................... ivAcknowledgements .............................................................................................................................................................. viiList of Abbreviations ........................................................................................................................................................... viiiList of Tables ............................................................................................................................................................................. ixList of Figures ............................................................................................................................................................................. x1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................................... 1

    Background ............................................................................................................................................................ 1Purpose .................................................................................................................................................................... 2

    2. Carteret County and its Growth Drivers .................................................................................................................. 3

    History ................................................... .......................................... .............................................. ........................... 3Growth Drivers in Carteret County ........................................... ................................................. .................. 5

    Transportation Improvements and Ports ......................................... ............................................... .... 5Highways ....................................................................................................................................................... 5Port of Morehead City ........................................... .................................................. ................................. 6

    Military Influence ........................................................................................................................................... 8Tourism & Retirement ...................................... ................................................... ...................................... 11

    Tourism Employees and Establishments ............................................. ........................................ 11Seasonal Housing .................................................................................................................................... 12Elderly Population ............................................ ................................................ ...................................... 13

    Growth Management....................................................................................................................................... 14Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................