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  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

"Planning For The Future"

The Greater Topsail Area Economic Planning Summit, held on March 15 in Holly Ridge, brought together a wide range of community leaders and residents to discuss key issues in the region’s future

In this extremely fast-growing region of southeastern North Carolina, it’s important to take time to think ahead and plan for the future. For that very reason, The Greater Topsail Area Chamber hosted the Greater Topsail Area Economic Planning Summit, aka Envision Penslow 2040, on March 15, giving public, private, nonprofit entities and residents a chance to envision the economic development of the region. The event was held at Onslow Bay Boatworks in the Camp Davis Industrial Park in Holly Ridge and primarily sponsored by Treasure Realty.

With the assistance of Greenfield, a regional economic consulting firm, and JOED, an area economic development entity, the community forum was organized as a regional approach to planned economic development. Community leaders from Holly Ridge, Scotts Hill, Hampstead, Pender County, Jacksonville, Onslow County, Topsail Beach, North Topsail Beach and Surf City along with the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce came together to help organize Envision Penslow 2040, providing opportunities for networking and communication and coordination among public, private and nonprofit leaders from Pender, Onslow and New Hanover counties. In attendance were representatives from local, state and federal government, NCDOT leadership, utility planners, business owners, farmers and foresters, developers, educators, environmental conservation groups, nonprofits and more.

Leaders addressed growth and community issues that cross county, municipal and military boundaries.

The Summit focused on five key issues:

  • water resources

  • business/industry development

  • transportation mapping

  • utilities expansion

  • community planning

The event provided decision-support resources and consensus next steps to current regional leaders, which will enable them to address and harmonize critical land use and investment decisions; support cost effective and sustainable transportation, utilities and water infrastructure investments; protect and enhance the region’s traditional agricultural and coastal resources, forestry, tourism and military-based economies; designate lands for green space; and proactively consider risks from disasters. The regional Topsail Chamber was tasked with forming a focus group to research and move forward the work identified at the summit.

Everyone in attendance was treated to a Southern Pig Pickin’ lunch sponsored by ONWASA.

Photo credit to Chamber of Commerce

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