Council, planning commission hear draft of city plan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The next phase of the comprehensive plan for the city is underway and Larry Watts, a major contributor to the organization of the plan, made his recommendations to a gathering of city council members and planning commission members on Tuesday.

According to Watts, the last time a comprehensive plan was done for the city was in 1978. Since that time, strategic planning has been done periodically, but this effort is the first of its kind in nearly 30 years.

Watts&8217; presentation was based on findings from citywide interviews with school boards, building officials, public works and other city organizations in addition to input from residents at several public meetings.

Watts said although Demopolis and Marengo County are not experiencing fast growth, there is some moderate expected growth. One of the aspects of the comprehensive plan is to make provisions for the city as it continues to grow, he said.

Watts also pointed out Demopolis&8217;s role as a major destination in the region for healthcare and other major amenities.

Watts&8217;s presentation focused on downtown area, the riverfront, schools and transportation.

Downtown

The comprehensive plan centers around a revitalization of the current downtown area to promote the historical district and businesses within walking distance of residential areas.

Riverfront

The plan includes making the riverfront area from the Demopolis Yacht Basin to the state docks more accessible to the public by creating walking trails, a park system and a mixture of retail development zoning.

Schools

The plan does not make provisions for any new school locations, but it does discuss ways to improve access to the schools and also keep up their appearances.

Transportation

The plan takes a look at the two major roadways, Highway 80 and Highway 43, and makes provisions for access management to improve traffic flow as the roads reach higher levels of traffic. The plan also shows potential addition of roadways in the southern and western areas of the city as development continues to expand in that direction.