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Mayor Tommy Battle's plans for a new Urban Planner include revised master plan for all areas of Huntsville, neighborhood forums and online forums

May 21, 2012
(Huntsville, AL) - With an improving economy, low unemployment rate and a boom in economic development across the city, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle today reaffirmed his plans for hiring the City of Huntsville's new Urban Planner and says applications for the new position are coming in from across the country.

"We announced last fall that we were creating this position to focus on long-range planning across all areas of Huntsville," said Mayor Battle. "More than 60 applications have been received to date, and we expect the urban planner to be on board by September."

Mayor Battle says his focus in the next four years will be on creating a strategic, long-term plan for developing, revitalizing and improving existing areas of every section of the city. The urban planner will lead this work in creating a master plan for development that will keep all areas of Huntsville moving forward.

"From day one we've emphasized that our planning has to be smart - that we have to think about what we're doing," added Mayor Battle. "If you look at the moves we've made in our administration, each of them has been with a purpose. Each has been part of our plan to secure our growth corridors and secure our economic future."

Director of Urban Development Shane Davis said the City posted the job announcement for the new Urban Planner in April, and applications will be accepted through June 1.

"We are on a nationwide search for the most qualified person we can hire," said Davis. "This individual must possess the planning and communication skills to lead the community visioning sessions for our master plan. We look forward to having these conversations with citizens, in public and online forums, to hear their thoughts and ideas as we shape a plan for every area of Huntsville."

Davis says the master planning process will take a close look at the City in terms of market analysis, population and employment projections, community design, sustainability, as well as urban development. Outside consultants may be retained as needed to assist the urban planner, and Davis says the City's Request for Proposal process will ensure Huntsville is able to hire a quality firm at a competitive price.

"This is data we already use every day in our planning department," said Davis. "The goal is to create a master plan that strikes a strong balance between urban design and economic reality. We are looking for a plan that will incorporate proposals for both public and private development that can transform and regenerate our City."

Davis says the master plan will also focus on implementing new parks, trails, greenways and bike paths, and public transit that can serve as catalysts for development.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, City of Huntsville, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov


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