City unveils Growth Plan at YMCA meeting

Hundreds of residents turned out to the brand new Hogan Family YMCA Nov. 4, as the city of Madison sponsored the first of three town hall meetings on the city’s Growth Plan.

The last comprehensive growth plan for the city was in 1995, and Mayor Paul Finley said it was time to have a new one.

“This is something we’ve talked about for years. We’re committed to working with our community so that we, together, define our city,” Finley said. “It’s time to update your feedback.”

Since that last meeting, Madison has grown 41 percent from 2000-2010, and is projected to grown 12 percent in the next five years. Also, almost 60 percent of the homes in Madison have been built since 1990.

During the 1 1/2-hour meeting, city leaders and representatives from planning and consulting firms from Urban Collage, Market + Main and Sain Associates heard and viewed suggestions from the residents.

“The best thing for a city to have is a plan of action the whole city can be involved in,” said city Director of Planning Amy Furfori.

The four phases of the growth plan will include inventory and assessment, framework development, growth plan development and an action plan for implementation.

As part of the first phase, the city formed and engaged stakeholder groups, compiled existing conditions data and conducted preliminary meetings.

The framework development phase includes a public kickoff, evaluating key development areas (KDA) and compiling a framework plan for community objectives, a land use plan, market assessment, connectivity plan and a ‘best practices’ guide.

The six KDAs are County Line Road, South Madison, Downtown/Midtown, Old Madison Pike, U.S. 72 Corridor and the Western Growth Area.

The third phase includes a KDA charette, collecting additional stakeholder input and developing a draft of master plans.

The final phase will include a prepared action plan, a list of implementation projects and initiatives, a final public meeting and a final report.

During the meeting, citizens were allowed to look at maps of the six KDAs and draw their own plans for representatives of the three planning firms.

Eric Boswell, Associate Principal with Urban Collage, said that while the public meeting are a step in the growth plan, no definitive plans will be made until all meetings are held.

“We’ve drawn no plans,” Boswell said. “Your involvement in this process will decide what goes into this plan. You have three shots at this. Tonight is just your first.”

For more information about the growth plan, visit Madisonal.gov/growthplan or call 256-772-5603.

There will also be an online survey on the city’s website where residents can share their ideas.

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