Planning Principles

7  Principles Guiding Davidson

1. We must preserve Davidson’s character and sense of community.  

   The essence of Davidson is that residents know their neighbors and interact with them in a variety of well-designed settings. This sense of    community is enhanced by:
    Compact developments with community open space
    A street, sidewalk, and greenway network that knits the community together 
    Engaging public spaces 
    A walkable and historic downtown
    Neighborhoods welcoming to all citizens 
    Neighborhoods as integral parts of town
2. We must preserve and enhance Davidson’s unique downtown.

   The presence of our cherished downtown has always contributed to the quality of life of our residents. This valuable asset will    
   remain viable if we:
    Capitalize on its status as Davidson’s social and civic center
    Encourage a mix of uses in each building
    Provide a variety of retail and services to meet citizens’ needs
    Provide compelling areas for citizens to congregate
    Strengthen existing businesses while encouraging new businesses
    Maintain its walkability and increase its bikability
3. We must encourage alternative means of active transportation.

   The built environment can enhance the use of alternatives to the car and increase our physical health. We will make it preferable to do  
   some of life’s activities without driving by:
    Development and redevelopment in walkable, mixed-use, connected neighborhoods
    Planning commercial centers so walking, bicycling, and riding public transit to these destinations are viable options  
    New greenway, bike, and sidewalk connections to existing developments
    Creating streets that give preference to cyclists and pedestrians
4. We must use our scarce land resources wisely. 

   The natural environment enhances our quality of life, both physically and socially. We will preserve this irreplaceable asset for future
   generations by:   
    Preserving rural views, significant hardwood forests, farmland, wildlife habitats, rock outcroppings, parkland, and watersheds in their pristine form
    Balancing natural habitat with active and passive recreational opportunities in our preserved open space 
    Encouraging development that uses green design, energy conservation, and flexible spaces
    Ensuring that development builds up and not out 
5. We must create an environment that fosters diversity. 

   We will create a community where all persons are welcome and are able to fully and safely participate in community life. To encourage
   diversity of all economic levels, all races and ethnic groups, all ages, and all physical and mental abilities we will:
    Provide a mixture of housing types and prices in every neighborhood
    Support our citizens who wish to age in place by employing universal design and accessibility principles
    Encourage economic opportunities at all income levels and all abilities
    Preserve our cultural heritage
6. We must manage growth so the town can provide public facilities and services apace with development. 

   Livability depends on the timely provision of transportation, schools, public safety, utilities, commercial life, spiritual life, and job
   opportunities. It is our intent that all parts of a vibrant, successful community grow together through:  
    Establishment and maintenance of an adequate commercial tax base
    A healthy diversity of uses in walkable, compact neighborhoods
    Alternative transportation options between destinations
    Encouragement of economic growth without jeopardizing our sense of community
    Decisions based on the long-term goals of the comprehensive plan rather than a short term benefit
7. We must enhance our quality of life through architecture and design.  

   Livable environments include well-designed buildings, a dynamic public realm, and seamless connections between the two. This means
    Private buildings and public infrastructure must work together to shape public space and to build community character
    We will preserve our historical assets
    The design of our public spaces, parks, and plazas will encourage social interaction, cultural experiences, and recreational opportunities
    Public art will animate our civic spaces 
Davidson is a livable and walkable community because we chose to rigorously manage growth and to require excellent design. To preserve our high quality of life as the town grows, and to ensure a sustainable future for generations, we must apply these planning principles fairly and comprehensively.