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Huntsville city officials to discuss planning initiatives at public meeting

HUNTSVILLE – Residents wishing to learn about how city planning is developed are invited to a public meeting Wednesday at the South Huntsville Public Library.

City Councilmembers Jennie Robinson of District 3 and David Little of District 2 will join city planners for the meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Sandra Moon Community
Complex. The library is on the north end of the complex, which is the site of the old
Grissom High School on Bailey Cove Road.

“As we continue to recover from the disruptive changes brought about by the COVID-19
pandemic, planning continues to play an important role in our community,” said Dennis Madsen, Huntsville’s manager of Urban & Long-Range Planning. “Taking a comprehensive perspective, we continue to learn from our past and look to the future as we seek to improve the well-being of all our residents.”

Mayor Tommy Battle said Tuesday, during a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Nexus on
Holmes apartment complex, the Planning Commission and City Council will focus on single-family homes.

In previous months, Battle added, economic factors including high interest rates and building costs have “slowed’’ building homes. And while the city can’t stand in the way of contractors building apartments on land that is already zoned for them, rezoning for that purpose will slow for now.

“We’re at 10 percent vacancy,” Battle said of Huntsville’s available housing, “which is a healthy number to have” for a city the size of Huntsville.

As for Wednesday’s public meeting, speakers will discuss ongoing planning initiatives and how census data helps drive decision-making. At Thursday’s regular meeting of the City Council, Battle will proclaim October as Community Planning Month.

October is National Community Planning Month, an annual observance presented by the American Planning Association. The month recognizes those who work behind the scenes to create safer, resilient, more equitable and more prosperous communities.

“Our city is a great place to live, work and play, and much of our success is owed to planning,” he said. “Planners are tasked with making tough decisions that ensure Huntsville’s success, and we’re fortunate to have not only a great master plan, but a great team to implement it.”

Other activities this month include exhibitions showcasing the planning profession at the South, North and Downtown locations of the library. After-school programs will also introduce planning concepts to students such as districts, public spaces, environment and transportation.

The Dr. Robert Shurney Legacy Center will host a Kidstropolis Event from 10 a.m.-noon on
Oct. 28. The family-friendly event is geared toward students of all ages to promote planning through hands-on and interactive activities.

Visit The Big Picture website to learn more about how the city’s master plan shapes and directs future growth.

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