Planning staff work with various community and agency stakeholders to prepare plans, reports, guides, and studies that focus on guiding orderly and appropriate growth and development, which focuses primarily on land use, parks and recreation, housing, transportation, environment, and any other element that may influence changes within the community over time.

Comprehensive Land Use Plan

The City updated its Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 2012. The Plan is the City's official statement of policies for directing growth and development in Marion for the next twenty years. It replaces the 1978 Land Use Plan and responds to new growth pressures, facility and service needs, and other factors that have emerged since the original plan's adoption. The 2012 Comprehensive Land Use Plan was adopted by the City Council on June 19, 2012. A digital copy of the plan can be downloaded from the list of plans.

Other Plans

Planning staff also work to develop other plans that supplement the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. A list of plans that have been completed in the past ten years, that are currently being implemented through grant awards or other funding allocations, can be found on this page. A digital copy of many of these plans can be downloaded.

Planning Director

The Planning Director serves as the staff liaison to the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation Commission, as well as other boards or committees from time to time.

For more information on planning activities please contact Planning Director, Heather Cotton.

  1. North Main Street Feasibility Study

The City of Marion, in partnership with NCDOT is seeking community input on the North Main Street Sidepath Feasibility Study. 


The proposed North Main Street Sidepath is a 3-mile corridor connecting Downtown Marion with the Joseph McDowell Catawba Greenway along US-70. The proposed sidepath is a critical missing link in the City of Marion’s bicycle and pedestrian network and is an identified corridor of the Fonta Flora State Trail.  The North Main Street Sidepath Feasibility Study will evaluate potential route scenarios along North Main Street, US-70, and Catawba River to determine the preferred route. The study will also develop cost estimates and an implementation plan to construct the sidepath.


Your feedback is incredibly valuable and will provide the framework for developing the proposed North Main Street Sidepath.


Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey below:


The survey will be open for public comment through

Planning Documents