County continues to gather input on comprehensive plan
Published 8:55 am Thursday, August 18, 2022
By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY – Local leaders recently collected more public feedback and addressed residents’ questions regarding Shelby County’s comprehensive plan.
Residents were invited to attend open houses on Tuesday, Aug. 9 in Pelham and Thursday, Aug. 11 on U.S. 280 to share comments and view the draft future development map for the entire county.
Shelby County is about halfway through the process of updating its comprehensive plan with the assistance of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, which has also helped local municipalities with their own comprehensive plans in recent years.
“I think this is very complementary with what you’re seeing in other cities,” Planning and Community Development Manager Christie Hester said during the second open house at the Shelby County Services Building on 280. “We’re just trying to make it available to as many people as possible.”
Hester said the county is reviewing recommendations for the plan and working with the RPCGB on refining strategies before public hearings are held for it.
Once completed, the new comprehensive plan will go to the Shelby County Planning Commission for adoption and the Shelby County Commission for ratification.
A pre-recorded, 15-minute presentation was provided on the hour every hour of the open houses.
Last year, the county conducted a public survey to collect feedback from residents at the beginning of the planning process.
Hester said the survey revealed many residents want more focus on trails and recreational amenities.
The county’s comprehensive plan was last updated in 2004.
“In our 2004 plan, it called for more partnerships with our municipalities, so a lot of the partnerships that we’ve developed since then actually came out of our 2004 plan,” Hester said. “The county plan will assist elected officials and county leaders with decision-making over the next 15 years. This plan will be a blueprint providing guidance for capital invests, growth and development.”
Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins said the 2004 plan kick-started the growth of the county’s park system, which is one of the area’s biggest draws.
“It’s important for feedback from the public to hit this plan for us to carry it through, but it also helps us understand what the residents want our budgets to invest in going forward,” Scroggins said.
For more information, or to provide comments on the draft future development map by Sept. 2, visit PlanShelbyAL.com.
“It’s such a big project, and we’re hoping with everyone’s collective comments that we get it right,” Hester said. “We have had some really good feedback. All of this information will help formulate the direction of the recommendations for the plan.”