Development Services to present Dunnavant Valley Small Area Plan

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – After about a year’s worth of research and months of sifting through feedback from community workshops held last fall, the Shelby County Development Services is ready to present its small area plan for Dunnavant Valley at a community presentation to be held Thursday, Aug. 8 from 6-8 p.m. at Mt Laurel Elementary School.

The plan takes into consideration high-priority topics identified by community members, and it discusses objectives and strategies to be used to address those issues, said Eric Womack, senior planner for the Shelby County Department of Development Services.

These high-priority topics addressed by the plan include schools, bike lanes, crime, police presence, railroad crossings, traffic congestion, ridge preservation and more.

The plan divides these issues into four timelines based on priority level and feasibility, Womack said. The first category addresses projects that are occurring now, while the other three categories address projects that still need to happen, such as immediate projects (projects planned for the next three years), short-term projects (three-six years) and long-term projects (more than six years).

“If the ecnomoy picks up again, a lot of the long-term goals could get moved to short-term goals and vice-versa,” Womack said. “(The plan) addresses things we envision doing, but everything is dependent on funding, public support, etc.”

Womack said the presentation is a good time for the public to give feedback, and suggestions will be taken into consideration until the end of August. By October, Womack said he hopes to take it before the Planning Commission so they can adopt it.

“Then it will be a living document,” said Kristine Goddard, a planner with the Shelby County Department of Development Services.

Because Dunnavant Valley is the second-largest unincorporated, compact area in the county with about 8,000 residents and counting, Goddard said it is a perfect starting point for small area plans. The plan is about addressing that kind of growth, she said.

The plan is available for public reading on the department’s website, Shelbyal.com. Click the “Departments” tab, then development services, and a link to the plan will be at the bottom of the page. The Mt Laurel Library also has copies for the public to read.