New Albany Next: Planning Week, public meetings scheduled

New Albany MS New Albany Next Planning meeting

After receiving input from the public at three community meetings in May, the New Albany Next Plan Advisory Group has scheduled “Planning Week” for July 15-19. The week is a keymilestone in the process as the elements of New Albany Next, the city’s comprehensive planupdate, is created with the community.

As part of Planning Week, the group will hold two public meetings to review the further evolution of the plan for New Albany’s future. The public meetings will be held at the Bankhead Bicycle Club downtown (108 W. Bankhead St.) on July 15, at 6:00 p.m. and July 18 at 6:00 p.m. Participants in these meetings will help actively guide plan development and review and react to plan proposals.

The Orion Planning + Design team has worked with the New Albany Next Advisory Group to develop draft planning principles to guide the plan and will be working on key priorities gleaned from the public input. Some key ideas include focus on the extension of downtown and its interface with the Tallahatchie riverfront, infill and revitalization of the Northside area, development of a medical district around the Baptist Hospital (and improving traffic flow there), and improving entrances to the city from I-22, as well as setting patterns for future mixed use development as New Albany grows.

In the public meetings held in May, residents and advisory group members commented on many aspects of development and civic life, including parks and recreation improvements, development of the riverfront, building on the city’s healthcare system, marketing New Albany to potential visitors, revitalizing deteriorating housing and building new housing, creating jobs, improving infrastructure (including better pedestrian and bike mobility, and public wi-fi), and better aesthetics in the built environment.

“New Albany has so much to work with and we’ve had outstanding input from an incredibly engaged community,” said Orion partner Bob Barber, FAICP. “The next step is to put that feedback, as well as other discovery data, into community principles. Then we move on to crafting the plan for New Albany’s future, including the necessary implementation strategies to make the plan a reality over time.”

Barber also noted that many residents had visited the Plan’s website, at www.NewAlbanyNext.com. Residents can go there to get updated information on the status of the plan and discovery data.

Orion was selected in late 2018 to help New Albany develop the new comprehensive plan, and recommend changes to the city’s outdated development code, making it more user friendly and understandable to the average citizen. The plan and code will build upon New Albany’s traditional character, which plays a major role in the city’s success.

For more information about the plan, contact Billye Jean Stroud at New Albany Main Street,  illyejeanstroud@newalbanymainstreet.com, 662-534-3438, or visit the website at www.NewAlbanyNext.com.

Good participation seen in New Albany Next Community meetings: http://newalbanyunionco.com/new-albany-next-planning-meetings/