PlanIt EAST was Eastern North Carolina’s voluntary comprehensive regional forum to address growth and community issues that cross county and municipal boundaries. It was built on the foundation of work completed by the North Carolina’s Eastern Region and the Regional Growth Management Plan prepared by its Military Growth Task Force. That plan concluded that 90% of the growth issues for eastern North Carolina required a comprehensive regional response.

This regional forum fostered communication, coordination, and collaboration among public, private and nonprofit leaders from Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender and Wayne counties through its 42 delegates. These representatives included elected officials, business, community and military leaders, farmers and foresters, developers and environmental/conservation group leaders from across the region’s nine counties.

The PlanIt EAST work program focused on six key issues: water resources, open space, transportation, affordable housing, renewable energy and sustaining military readiness. PlanItEAST’s 2012 work culminated in EnvisionEAST- 2050, a very successful one-day regional visioning event. Approximately 330 regional political, business, development, community, academic and environmental leaders developed guiding principles and alternative growth scenarios for the nine-county region, and made tough decisions about transportation investments to serve projected growth.

The EnvisionEAST-2050 Report provided decision-support resources and consensus solutions to existing decision-making bodies, enabling them to: address and harmonize critical land use and investment decisions; support cost effective and sustainable transportation and water infrastructure investments; protect and enhance the region’s traditional agricultural, forestry, waterfront and military-based economy; designate lands for conservation; and proactively consider risks from disasters and climate change.