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Huntsville renews western growth plans along I-65

HUNTSVILLE – With Huntsville’s boundaries growing over the past decade, the city officials said an update for its long-term planning efforts along the western corridor was needed.

At its meeting Thursday, the City Council authorized an agreement with Kimley-Horn and Associates to conduct market analysis and envisioning for development in West Huntsville along Interstate 65.

The effort is a continuation of a 2011 Master Plan for Western Annexed Lands within Huntsville-annexed Limestone County, the city said.

Shane Davis, Huntsville’s director of Urban & Economic Development, said consultants would update portions of the original plan while also providing economic analysis on properties not previously included.

While creating the 2011 master plan, the city worked with stakeholders, including landowners and economic development partners. The result was a shared development strategy that encompassed about 10,000 acres of annexed property.

Davis said the 2011 study proved to be a “win-win” for the city, landowners and citizens.

“Since 2015, the original study area has produced over 16,000 new jobs, added $6 billion in private investments to the tax rolls and today generates over $700 million annually in payroll within the area,” he said.

The goal was to not only identify land uses of the study area, but to also analyze return on investment from future development as well as identify essential long-term infrastructure investments.

“We want to complement the successes of the original plan while also identifying new land uses and infrastructure that ensure Huntsville’s solid economic outlook regarding jobs and tax base,” Davis said.

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