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Salisbury is a unique place with a bright future. As development continues to converge on Salisbury, the city faces important issues related to urban growth. The Forward 2040 Comprehensive Plan process was initiated to address the city’s challenges and opportunities head-on.

Comprehensive planning is a process to determine a community’s long term goals and aspirations related to the development of the community. The plan itself is designed to guide future actions, specifically how to make decisions on public infrastructure investments, and private land development proposals.

Join the Conversation

Over the last three years, the City of Salisbury has worked with our community to create a draft Comprehensive Plan – Forward 2040: Salisbury’s Framework for Growth. The draft plan is now available for public feedback. Below are three ways you can join in the conversation:


Comment on the Draft

Click on the chapter buttons in the next section to learn more about each chapter of the plan. Submit your comments online by filling out a quick survey on that chapter's webpage.

Browse the interactive Draft Future Land Use Map and leave your comments.

Interactive Draft Land Use Map

Attend a Meeting

Community meetings are scheduled to learn more about the plan and provide your ideas.

In-Person Meetings:

Monday, December 5
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Horizons Unlimited
1636 Parkview Circle
Thursday, December 8
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Rowan Museum
202 North Main Street
Saturday, December 10
10:00 a.m. - noon
RCCC North Campus,
Building 600 Rm 101
1333 Jake Alexander Blvd. South
TBD – January 2023
Livingstone College

Talk with a Planner

There are several opportunities to engage directly with planners who helped create the plan:

Request a Presentation from a Planner

Organizations are encouraged to fill out a form to schedule a presentation and discussion with a planner. We will tailor the talk to your interests!

Fridays from noon - 1 p.m.

Request a Presentation

Attend Planner Office Hours

Ideal for one-on-one or small group conversations.

Talk In Person

Visit us at the City Office Building, 132 North Main St, Salisbury NC 28144 on Tuesdays from noon-1 p.m.

Talk Virtually (Zoom):

Friday, November 18 - Noon to 1 p.m.
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYucu-tqz8iE9xRCSdJC9h6wKc3U_tQ9Jxd

Friday, December 2 - Noon to 1 p.m.
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/
tZcqdeiqrT8qE921tXe4IFIMblxM2Fo5E33S


Friday, December 9 - Noon to 1 p.m.
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrc-GprzkiG9W0BfdsgYrFfHQh26vmE6MN

Review the Forward 2040 Draft:

Forward 2040 Logo

Ch. 1: Introduction


Salisbury is a community at a crossroads. As we look ahead to the next twenty years, it will become clear whether the city’s hope for long-term vitality – to be a livable, equitable and prosperous place – is just a dream or a probable future.


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Forward 2040 Logo

Ch. 2: Vision Statements


The Forward 2040 Comprehensive Plan is developed around ten key themes for shaping Salisbury’s future.


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Growth icon

Ch. 3: Responsibly Managed Growth


Salisbury will be a regionally connected community that builds on a historic legacy and strong development standards in order to create a city that grows responsibly with accessible transportation and adequate infrastructure.


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Physical Environment icon

Ch. 4: Context Based Urban Design


Salisbury will be a city of historic and new destinations characterized by a walkable scale, integrated open spaces, and a harmonious built environment.


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Ch. 5: Thriving, Livable Neighborhoods


Salisbury will be a community of safe and livable neighborhoods complete with a diversity of housing choices at all price points.


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Ch. 6: Sustainable, Clean Natural Environment


Salisbury will be a city that positively adapts to the effects of a changing climate with a built environment that enhances and protects the area’s natural resources while also seeking to reduce environmental impacts and increase community resilience to natural disasters.


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Ch. 7: Resilient, Diverse Economy


Salisbury will be a community that fosters opportunities for economic growth and prosperity for all by attracting, cultivating, and retaining a strong and diverse workforce while leveraging local assets and partnerships to promote business vitality and diversity for a resilient local economy.


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Ch. 8: Healthy, Active Community


Salisbury will be an active community with places to recreate, to safely walk or bicycle, and have access to locally grown food which will foster a sense of community and provide a chance for all to live healthier lives.


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Ch. 9: Equitable & Inclusive Community


Salisbury will be a community that works to eliminate disparities in housing, safety, health and opportunity so that all community can thrive regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, country of origin or zip code.


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Ch. 10: Vibrant Community Atmosphere


Salisbury will be a unique and vibrant destination, protecting and leveraging its built heritage and commitment to the arts to develop a rich sense of place. Salisbury will be welcoming to all cultures and provide opportunities for everyone.


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Ch. 11: Unique, Dynamic Downtown


Downtown Salisbury will continue to be the heart and center of the city where history, innovation and the arts animate the City with diversified opportunities to live, work, play and prosper.


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Ch. 12: Local & Regional Partnerships


Salisbury will be a community which thrives when engaged in strong local and regional partnerships, collaboration among citizens, the business community, local educational institutions, non-profits and governments – both in and outside of Rowan County to bolster the City’s opportunities for success.


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Ch. 13: Implementation


While the adoption of Forward 2040 was the result of considerable effort on the part of the City of Salisbury, it is only a beginning.


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Appendix A: 2020 Databook


This document collects and analyzes information from a variety of sources for use in the Forward 2040 Plan.


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Appendix B: Forces, Trends and Directions Report


This report highlights global influences, that often originate from outside of the Salisbury city limits, that will undoubtedly shape the growth and development of the City over the next two decades.


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Appendix C: Policies By Topic


This appendix is not yet complete: coming soon.


Appendix D: Public Participation


This appendix strives to summarize feedback and comments from various engagement opportunities throughout the development of Forward 2040.


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Appendix E: History and City Form


For Salisbury, four major historic growth periods are identified, which will be the subject of this appendix.


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Appendix F: Placetypes


A Place Type describes an area more holistically and at a larger scale, incorporating guidance for land use, transportation, layout, and design.


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The 5 Phase Process is Phase 1: Visioning, Phase 2: Policy Framework, Phase 3: Draft Plan, Phase 4: Adoption, and Phase 5: Implementation

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