Original Date: 01/22/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Planning and Development Districts
The Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region features three exemplary Planning and Development Districts. By collaborating with regional organizations and groups, these Districts deliver unbiased, win-win programs which positively affect the entire region and its citizens.
Nowadays, the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region faces increasingly complex issues and needs regarding economic development and quality enhancement of life. Its efforts must go beyond traditional programs and guidelines, and continually strive to find newer ways to be responsive to an environment of rapid change. Economic development is no longer limited to business development (e.g., annexing land, providing utilities), but also must be responsive to the needs and concerns of citizens, communities, and counties by implementing a full range of planning and development activities. The new challenge is to deliver coordinated and effective programs that positively impact the entire region and its citizens.
Within the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia Region are three exemplary Planning and Development Districts that have met these challenges with similar approaches: Lenowisco Planning District #1 facilitates the development activities of Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties in southwestern Virginia.
Mount Rogers Planning District #3 facilitates the development activities of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington, and Wythe Counties in southwestern Virginia.
First Tennessee Development District facilitates the development activities of Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington Counties in northeastern Tennessee.
Similarly, each Planning and Development District handles the development of comprehensive plans, facilitates assistance for its area, and is faced with a different set of challenges because of respective state laws, demographics, and cultures. However, the strength of each District is its ability to collaborate with regional organizations and groups such as planning offices, learning institutions, businesses, and state and Federal agencies. Cooperative relationships are maintained through formal and informal contacts, partnerships, and memoranda of understanding. Programs become team projects. Each team member is recognized as a valued service provider with resources, knowledge, and expertise who can respond to the region’s economic and community development issues and needs.
Each Planning and Development District is known for its unbiased approach and ability to find win-win solutions for all involved. As a result, these Districts have organized and facilitated numerous activities for their respective regions, especially in the areas of technical assistance, education, industrial development, recreation, social services, environment, tourism, zoning, housing, agriculture, communications, consulting, and workforce development.
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