New Albany NEXT report lists possible focus points

New Albany MS, citizens hear New Albany NEXT focus points

About 70 New Albany citizens heard New Albany NEXT focus points that could guide much of the city’s future development. A report presented last week proposed a number of areas for improvement and development.

Last year the New Albany Board of Aldermen authorized the Orion Planning + Design group of DeSoto County to develop recommendations for zoning and other plans for the city. An advisory committee was formed to oversee that work.

Orion, along with Johnstone and Associates of Tupelo, led three public meetings earlier this year. Those meetings sought  input from local residents. The July 18 presentation was a synthesis of ideas developed at those meetings.

Bob Barber, president of Orion, told the group about a plan called “New Albany NEXT.” It concentrates on a few key areas. Barber emphasized that building and zoning regulations are an important element. New Albany NEXT supports a review and re-write of the city building and zoning regulations.

 New Albany NEXT focus areas delineated

Barber said focus areas would include: the historic North Side; the downtown business district; the Carter Avenue corridor, which connects Interstate 22 to downtown New Albany; the medical district around Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County; and new residential development.

“New Albany has so much to work with and we’ve had outstanding input,” Barber said.

New Albany MS, Shellie Johnstone New Albany NEXT meeting

Shellie Johnstone addresses New Albany NEXT meeting.

Shellie Johnstone of Johnstone Associates of Tupelo worked with the three meetings of citizens groups that developed information and ideas for NEXT. She also spoke at the meeting last week.

Informal discussion, both during and after the meeting,, repeatedly raised the question, “What do we do now?”

Although citizen involvement is an important part of how the plan would be implemented, it is ultimately up to the New Albany city government. Elected city officials must review the New Albany NEXT focus points, generate legislation and provide funding. Only two elected city officials, Ward One Alderwoman Amy Livingston and Alderman-At-Large Keith Conlee, were present for the meeting last week.

To see what happened at New Albany NEXT planning meetings:




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