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City Plan approval on hold

It will be at least next month before the Troy City Council takes the final copy of the Comprehensive Community Master Plan into its hands.

After the Planning Commission approved a final draft of the city plan in February, a plan that will provide zoning recommendations for all areas of future city growth, the council still awaits a copy of the draft.

Larry Watts, the city’s advisor on drafting the plan, said there are only minor revisions to make before he sends council members their copy.

“There is no specific big issue we are changing, mainly just cleaning up the maps,” Watts said.

Those minor adjustments come at requests of those gathered at the Planning Commission public hearing Feb. 26.

Watts said he anticipates having the plan in the council’s hands by Monday, but that doesn’t mean members will be able to take up the plan in the next scheduled meeting, which will be held the following day.

Troy City Clerk Alton Starling said it won’t be until after the plan is sent that it can be requested to even be put on the agenda.

And just leaving one day to review it, Council President Johnny Witherington said the city council will not be able to make any decisions on the city plan at least until the meeting scheduled April 14.

Still, that’s only if the council chooses to schedule a public hearing on that day.

The plan approved by the Planning Commission includes recommendations in some areas of the city, including portions of Highland Avenue, development that incorporates transition between Troy University and the downtown area and plans to update transportation routes within the city.

This same plan is what the city council will take up next.

Though they don’t have the plan yet, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said he will recommend council members support it as is.

“I would support the overall plan,” Lunsford said.

“Do I support every element in it? I’m sure I wouldn’t, but at this point it’s a yes or no on the plan that’s been presented, and I will recommend the council pass the plan as presented.”

While he can’t speak for everyone, Witherington said the Planning Commission’s hard work on the draft will likely pay off in the council’s decision.

“This is our recommendation to us, and frankly I think the city should support their efforts,” Witherington said.

Even if the long-range plan passes, all its components won’t take effect immediately, but it will serve as a guide as the city continues to grow in the next years.

“It’s important for the city to have a vision looking out into the future,” Witherington said.

“There needs to be a system and some guidelines to go by.”