Town of Elon - Photos 4 - Downtown-Parks

About Forward Elon

Forward Elon is an effort being undertaken by the Town to prepare a new Land Management Ordinance, or “LMO.”  The LMO will replace the Town’s current Land Development Ordinance or LDO.  The LMO is the set of laws the Town uses to manage growth and development.  The LMO identifies the kinds of land uses allowed in the Town, where particular land uses may be located, and how land uses are configured (in terms of parking, landscaping, signage, and similar kinds of site features).  The LMO includes the rules the Town will follow for review and decision on applications for new development and changes to existing development, including rezonings, subdivisions, and site plans.

​In February of 2019, the Town Board of Aldermen adopted Envision Elon 2040, a comprehensive plan for future land uses.  Envision Elon establishes the Town’s vision for its future development and its goals and objectives for the future.  The LMO is the primary tool for implementing the vision, goals, and objectives for future growth and development identified in the Envision Elon plan.


The Forward Elon project is being undertaken by the Town’s Planning, Zoning, and Development Services Department with assistant from a zoning consultant and an Advisory Committee of interested individuals appointed by the Board of Aldermen.  The project is expected to take around 18 months to complete, and adoption of the new LMO is anticipated in the fall of 2020.

This website is the complete source of information about the draft LMO and the Forward Elon project.  There are a set of answers to frequently asked questions under the “FAQ” tab and the “Documents” tab lists draft work products and associated presentation materials as they are developed.  The “Contact” tab includes contact information for Town staff members involved with the project.

The goals for Forward Elon include the following:

  • Implementing the Envision Elon 2040 future land use plan;

  • Replacing the current Land Development Ordinance with a new, user-friendly Land Management Ordinance;

  • Ensuring the Town’s development regulations are consistent with all applicable State laws and court precedents;

  • Modernizing the zoning district standards and the range of allowable land uses; and

  • Raising the bar for development quality throughout the Town’s planning area.


The Forward Elon project begins with the preparation of a Code Assessment, or a detailed review of the Town’s current Land Development Ordinance supplemented with recommendations for changes necessary to implement the Town’s new future land use plan (Envision Elon).  The Code Assessment will be considered by the Board of Aldermen in the fall of 2019.

Following preparation of the Code Assessment, the drafting process will commence.  The draft LMO will be prepared in two “modules” or groups of related chapters and then considered by the Advisory Committee and the Board of Aldermen. 

After any proposed changes to the draft LMO text are made, the LMO will then go through a public hearing process, first with the Planning Board and then with the Board of Aldermen.  The public hearing process is anticipated to commence in late summer of 2020.  Assuming the Board of Alderman vote to approve the LMO, it should be adopted and become effective before the end of 2020.

Forward Elon includes two public forums in order to make sure Town residents, landowners, and business owners have a chance to hear what is proposed and to make suggestions.  The first public forum is devoted to discussion about the Code Assessment and the recommendations for the Town’s new LMO.  The second public forum will focus on the draft LMO language and be conducted prior to the start of the public hearing process.  Each public forum is an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments about draft work products.  Public forums are held at these stages in the process to ensure input can be integrated into the subsequent steps.


Interested individuals may use the form on the “Contact” tab to leave a comment or a question at any time throughout the process.