New Albany News

Strategic planning

Committee members propose 10 development principles


Two members of New Albany's strategic planning committee have created 10 planning principles that can be used by several city groups reviewing land use and development issues in the future.

Ray Silverstein and Derek Ungless reviewed the city's guidelines and found several common themes that applied when planning for development:

* Creating a compelling environment.

* Using an exciting design.

* Ensuring people take precedence with a pedestrian-friendly environment that encourages human interaction.

* Connecting streets, leisure trails and paths.

* Considering design carefully.

* Committing to quality development.

* Defining the city borders.

* Promoting comprehensive sustainability.

* Coordinating growth with neighboring jurisdictions.

* Making the community accessible to new residents and businesses.

Silverstein said the principles do not consider only architecture or design guidelines because each one helps to define the community as a whole.

"What it is that attracts people to communities tends to be emotional things," Ungless said. "We want to try to codify that in some way."

Ungless said people are looking for a sense of community, which could be something as simple as having places to interact with neighbors.

Silverstein said the principles could be used to help the city's boards and commissions when reviewing development plans.

"These could be used to inform some of the judgment side of decision making," he said.

Neil Kirby, a member of the strategic planning committee and chairman of the city's planning commission, called the principles "a godsend for boards and commissions to have their 10 little checklist points. To have something other than, 'It's a good idea,' helps us."

The strategic planning committee reviewed the principles in August.

The city is updating its strategic plan, which was first developed in 1998. The plan was updated in 2006 and an addendum was added in 2008 for the research and information district in the Central College business campus.

The 2012 update will include any changes in zoning and suggest the direction the rest of the community should develop.

Updates and a weekly question for residents and others are posted on the city's website,