City plan draft still not ready

Published 5:19 pm Saturday, December 20, 2008

After a public hearing over the city of Troy’s draft for a new comprehensive plan in October, officials are still working on creating a final copy.

Though another public hearing was set to be held within 30 days after the October meeting, Director of Community Planning Larry Watts said there is still more work to be done before a final draft is approved.

“We compiled all the comments and reviewed them and made some revisions, and we reviewed it with the Planning Commission when they met in Novemeber,” said Director of Community Planning for Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Larry Watts.

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Now, Watts said the plan should be set for another public hearing after the first of the year.

“We’re pretty close to that, but it’s just a matter of holiday scheduling,” Watts said.

After a large turnout at the public hearing, particularly over areas Highland and University avenues, Watts said there were some changes to the original draft.

However, decisions haven’t yet been made on how the land on those two streets would be best utilized.

“The Highland/University area continues to be something the Planning Commission wants to look at real closely, and I think they will continue to look at it all the way up to the last minute,” Watts said. “There were two or three different thoughts about the best land use recommended in that whole (area).”

The original draft recommended both revitalizing and conserving the district, creating a transition from traditional housing to Troy University.

But, many of the neighborhood’s residents showed up in opposition of the idea, even accusing current landowners of violating zoning laws by allowing multiple students to live in one house.

Several landowners also attended the hearing, saying they had a petition requesting Highland and University be rezoned for more development and insisted they did not violate zoning variances.

Another area of interest on the plan was the Orange Street district, recommended originally for revitalization. But, since all comments submitted were in opposition, Watts said the plan was changed, though he couldn’t specify the new recommendation.

City Planner Calvin Lott said he expects the final comprehensive plan, which will serve as a guideline for future zoning and development, to be completed by March.

Once a new draft is complete, another public hearing will be held with the Planning Commission, and then, after it meets their approval, it will go to the Troy City Council for a final OK.