The Town of Montreat is nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina in Eastern Buncombe County. It is just north of Black Mountain and is a short drive from Asheville. The charming character of the community has continued to attract new homeowners and seasonal cottages over the past decade.
Home to Montreat College and the Montreat Conference Center, the town is known for its long history as a Presbyterian retreat and is appreciated for its classic cottages and forested trails. The updated Montreat Comprehensive Plan will help the town balance property owner rights with the high landslide, erosion, and wildfire risk common in western North Carolina communities.
Partnering with the Steering Committee, the ms team is leading significant public engagement backing the Montreat Comprehensive Plan. The team developed a plan for an effective and productive steering committee, including:
Each stakeholder engagement activity is thoughtfully planned to ensure the comprehensive plan reflects the community’s aspirations and gathers detailed feedback.
Additionally, this highly-contextual engagement creates a rich learning opportunity for residents while also empowering them to influence the final comprehensive plan.
The ms team created distinct branding for the Montreat Comprehensive Plan, along with a wide range of printed marketing and informational materials.
To integrate the comprehensive plan with other Montreat initiatives, the team created a page on the existing town website versus a standalone project website to integrate seamlessly with current initiatives.
As the steering committee vets and edits the action strategies, our planning team is creating a robust matrix of implementable steps for the future. The objectives in the plan are flexible yet targeted, offering a clear path forward.
This approach creates a comprehensive plan that does not sit on the shelf, but is used daily as a workbook for staff and guides Montreat towards the community’s desired vision.