Joel Madden told Mint Hill commissioners how he grew up playing in the forests and fields that became the Cheval subdivision and how he advanced through Bain Elementary, Northeast Middle and Independence High.
After college, he moved back to his hometown to raise a family.
“I love this community for all the same reasons I’m sure you do,” Madden told commissioners.“I’m excited about helping guide our community growth and development.”
Madden is a key cog in the project team commissioners selected Sept. 22 to update the Mint Hill Comprehensive Plan. The team is a partnership between Merrick and Nealon Planning.
While interviewing finalists for the opportunity, Mayor Brad Simmons mentioned his concerns about ensuring citizen participation. He wanted to know how well the firms integrate the community into the year-long process.
Meg Nealon, of Nealon Planning, said her team’s approach to getting people involved is multi-faceted and includes surveys, emails, social media, community meetings, focus groups, interactive mapping and events.
Nealon said the team will examine how to manage growth while preserving the town’s character. She mentioned how they’ve worked with communities like Harrisburg and Morrisville in which they created downtowns from scratch.
Another avenue they’ll examine is mobility, such as how the town connects with highways as well as interacts with future highway and transit projects.
Madden specializes in municipal infrastructure.
“My contribution to the team is to share knowledge of the town that can only come being immersed in this community my entire life,” he said. “Balance the memories of growing up here with the town’s vision for the future.”