County goes back to drawing board for residential land use plan in Holly Springs

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at its June 15 meeting to re-evaluate a residential land use plan for the Hickory Flat area of Holly Springs.
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The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at its June 15 meeting to re-evaluate a residential land use plan for the Hickory Flat area of Holly Springs.

The Hickory Flat Area Plan is headed back to county planners following feedback from Hickory Flat residents. District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby, who represents the area, said the plan as presented during the June 15 work session and at the regular meeting was not the right plan for the community.

He made the motion to send the draft plan back to the planning department and for staff to revert the residential land use classifications back to those of the existing land use plan, while retaining some features of the proposed plan desired by the community such as sidewalks, trails, open spaces, and emphasis on smaller and higher quality commercial development in the business district of the community. The motion was unanimously approved.

The public hearing, which preceded the vote, drew a standing-room only crowd of Hickory Flat residents. About a dozen people spoke, citing concerns about residential density in the area and traffic, as well as the desire for upscale retail and restaurants in the community.

The Planning Department began the process in 2018 with research and a market study, followed by community outreach. Six public input meetings were held (two in person and four virtual), and a 21-member advisory committee made up of county and Holly Springs residents, community leaders, and business owners was formed to help steer the plan.

COVID-19 put a halt on the public input portions but county planners developed a website and vehicles for feedback in a virtual format. That site received a total of 8,591 pageviews with 3,535 unique visits. As of June 14, 41 individuals provided feedback on the draft plan.