Comprehensive plan meeting set for May 26

Published 5:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brookhaven residents can now see the future.

The next 20 years of Brookhaven’s future are mapped out in anupdated draft of the comprehensive plan available to interestedreaders at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, theLincoln County Public Library and The DAILY LEADER. There will soonbe a link on the city’s Web site,

The comprehensive plan was updated with edits from a meetingheld March 31 with city leaders, comprehensive plan committeemembers and Slaughter and Associates’ Sue Chamberlain. The newedition is still a draft, Mayor Bob Massengill said, but aldermenare to look it over and a public hearing will be held May 26 at6:30 p.m. in the city boardroom.

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Most of the changes were just basic, like grammar or wording ormisnamed streets and such on city maps. And while the plan looks 20years into the future, the time to start working on it is now, themayor said.

“In doing the editing we found that some things that had beenconsidered long-term really needed to be in the short-term categoryas far as things we’re trying to accomplish,” he said.

During the meeting held with Chamberlain, discussion touched ona variety of topics, including liquor sales and their impact oncities, Brookhaven’s strong sales tax collections and the needlocally for more sidewalks to accommodate pedestrian traffic, aswell as the intellectual community that thrives on the arts andeducation.

Meeting attendees also discussed the fact that there are not alot of industries or attractions that draw young educated peopleback to the community, nor is there an adequate market forresidents to find rental homes or apartments if they are not yetready to buy. Storefront appearance and sign height ordinance andstandardization were also a topic of conversation.

Massengill said the plan, once adopted, will serve as theroadmap for the growth of the city. Ideally, the document should belooked at and updated every four to five years, he said, but thathadn’t been done in quite some time previously.

“The last time the plan was developed was 30 years ago, so we’revery far behind,” he said. “All progressive cities have a plan thatdirects their course, and once we adopt we will too.”

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said he’s looking forward to seeing thecomprehensive plan begin to be used.

“I think keeping an up-to-date plan is important and showsprogressive thinking on the part of city leadership,” he said.”Every community should reevaluate where they are on a frequentbasis. Even though these are long-term plans, we still have toreevaluate them as times change not only with technology, but asthe citizens of Brookhaven grow and change.”

Massengill said the copies have been provided to the public inorder to give them a chance to weigh in on what the future holdsfor their city.

“We would welcome any input from citizens at the publichearing,” he said. “We want to make the plan accessible and we wantpeople to know what’s included for the plan. This is a plan fortheir city, for our city, and we want folks to feel comfortablewith it, and to feel good about it.”