LINCOLNTON, NC-Lincoln County, with a permanent population of about 60,000 and 300 square miles of land 40 miles northwest of Charlotte, isn’t waiting for growth to hit it on the front doorstep. County officials are planning that growth now.

Walter Fields Group Inc. and LandDesign Inc., both of Charlotte, have submitted land-use plans the county is reviewing before designating zoning categories for specific parcels and districts.

Lincoln County has grown by about 10,000 residents since the 1990 Census Bureau count. About 40% of the area’s work force commute daily to jobs outside the county, according to Barry Matherly, director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association. Local officials hope newly-attracted businesses and industry will keep the population working in Lincoln.

Lincolnton Industrial Park and Indian Creek Park are two job sites the land-use specialists say should be expanded first.

The land-use plan will also alert residents where future industrial growth is headed so that they can avoid building homes along that path.

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