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Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Franklin passes plan to help guide growth

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By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Franklin’s proposed Principles of Growth flew past town aldermen Monday night in a mere 15 minutes, earning unanimous approval and setting a new policy for directing future growth.

 

The Principles of Growth are 10 concepts developed with local input that establish how the town and its residents will work to preserve their community while accommodating growth. The Principles are intended to guide the town’s future land-use decisions, said Town Administrator Mike Decker who helped develop the plan.

In short, the Principles address the following — mixed land uses, compact building design, creating a range of housing opportunities and choices, creating walkable neighborhoods, fostering distinctive and attractive communities with a strong sense of place, preserving open space, directing development toward existing communities, providing a variety of transportation choices, making development decisions predictable, fair and cost-effective, and encouraging community and stakeholder collaboration.

Town leaders held a public hearing prior to adopting the Principles, during which comments from the three speakers were positive.

“I just want to commend the mayor and the town board for getting it to this stage,” said Fred Alexander.

Town aldermen were equally supportive.

“I think it is well to the point of what we need for Franklin,” said Alderman Verlin Curtis.

Once aldermen adopted the Principles of Growth, Decker said that the town would move forward as quickly as possible with re-engaging the firm Egan and Briggs to draft new codes.

“I really hope we have some language to present to you late summer, early fall,” Decker said.

Decker selected five items from five different Principles that the town could go ahead and begin working on — creating a committee to work on housing options, developing a gateway corridor plan for major entrances to town, collaborating with the county and the Friends of the Greenway to support the greenway, ensuring that transportation goals and needs are addressed, and developing a more consistent dialogue with Macon County government to work more closely together.

Aldermen focused in on Decker’s last point — collaboration with county government — as the highest priority.

“Let’s move on this,” said Alderman Bob Scott.

The town board agreed to compare calendars and try to set up a meeting with county officials by the end of February.

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