County releases comprehensive plan
Published 2:44 pm Friday, January 27, 2023
By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer
The draft of the Shelby County Comprehensive Plan is now available for citizens to review and submit feedback.
The plan forms a forward-looking strategic framework that gives the Shelby County Commission and staff a long-term perspective for how to approach decisions in the next 10-15 years.
“We have been working with the Regional Planning Commission to develop this new comprehensive plan for Shelby County,” said Christie Hester, director of development services. “It covers all 808 square miles of the county, recognizing that we have incorporated areas that have their own jurisdictions, but looking at how we can partner together to improve the quality of life of the residents here in Shelby County.”
The policies and actions listed in the plan were developed from extensive input during a public involvement process over the last 18 months.
“(We) started with the public survey, asking people what they want to see, what they feel like are the best things in the county and what are the challenges in the county,” Hester said. “We work through that process and we’ll get some potential recommendations. We’ve held several public meetings trying to get additional input throughout the process, and we have a draft plan right now that is available for people to review and comment on.”
The draft of the comprehensive plan is open for public review until Monday, Feb. 20.
“We’re looking at a potential adoption by the Planning Commission in March,” Hester said. “A plan would be ratified by the County Commission.”
Hester shared the overarching goal for the plan which is to be “quality inspired.”
“It describes the kind of place that our residents and our leaders want the county to become in the future,” she said. “Everything that we do, we want it to be based on quality. We want it to be focused on what’s best for our residents, for our businesses, and we’re not necessarily chasing the growth. We want to make sure that we have quality of life amenities here in Shelby County.”
Manager of Planning and Community Development, Josh Osborne, shared some of the aspects that are already being addressed.
“This document was crafted based upon the input that we received,” he said. “One of the components was having solid foundations for schools. (Also) great public safety because (it) creates such loveable, little communities. And the other component was outdoor recreation, which we’re already doing a lot of that already which is great to see because we’re already fulfilling that public need.”
Hester shared that she believes the document is able to communicate issues that are often misunderstood by the public.
“It’s a great educational document as well as a guide for public policy,” she said. “There’s ‘Did you know’ boxes, there’s supplemental information to provide a good reference for our residents and our businesses that want to better understand comprehensive planning for the county.”
Those who wish to learn more or view the comprehensive plan can visit Planshelbyal.com.