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Community growth workshops scheduled for fall

CHARLOTTE ─ Residents of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have the opportunity to help plan for the area’s future growth at nine interactive sessions in September and October.

The two-hour community growth workshops are part of the 14-county, two-state CONNECT Our Future initiative being coordinated by Centralina Council of Governments, based in Charlotte, and Catawba Regional Council of Governments, based in Rock Hill, SC.

“Our region is expected to grow by another 1.8 million people and 860,000 jobs by 2050.  The goal of the CONNECT effort is to plan and change by local choice – not chance,” said Martha Sue Hall, board chairperson for Centralina, in an announcement. “We’re encouraging residents to invest two hours at a workshop and make a difference in their county and the region for the next 40 years.”

More than 700 Mecklenburg residents have already participated in other CONNECT Our Future events to date, including open houses, small groups and RealityCheck 2050, a day-long visioning session. The CONNECT Our Future effort is funded by a grant from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Workshops will be held from 9-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m., and 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Charlotte on Sept. 25, in Pineville on Oct. 2 and in Davidson on Oct. 14. Each workshop will have the same agenda.

Participants will work at tables of 10 people and map out the growth of the county, considering where people will need to work, live and play, and how to enhance and protect quality of life as the county and region grow.

The ideas discussed and maps developed at the community growth workshops will be combined with input already gathered across the region. From these shared ideas, four or five possible scenarios for the growth of the region will be created.

In the spring and summer of 2014, residents will again be asked for input – this time about which of the alternative growth scenarios they prefer.

To register to participate in a community growth workshop and for more information on CONNECT Our Future go to http://www.ConnectOurFuture.org.

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