Since New Albany's first master plan was adopted in 1998, we have collaborated with residents and businesses in our strategic-plan updates to create an enviable work-life balance with pedestrian-friendly amenities, mixed-use environments, versatile residential choices, quality architecture and ample green space.

That effort allows us to prioritize community needs, prudently allocate city revenue, guide private development and generate income to support services and infrastructure while fulfilling the community's shared vision for the future. Planning and zoning bring that vision to life.

Planning, led by the community-development department, enables us to adopt a forward-thinking approach to shaping the built environment, from creating community gathering spots to avoiding suburban sprawl. It addresses the look, mass, scale and location of everything from residential homes to multifamily housing, commercial, parkland, streets, parking and more.

Zoning provides predictability, prevents incompatible uses and requires that all development is consistent with our plans. It prescribes land uses in specific areas to shape the physical form and character of our community. It sets requirements for the location, size and use of every structure and the density of the land these structures will inhabit.

Our goal is to guide growth and private development to make sure they align with our aspirations and do not negatively impact our quality of life. The increasing number of shops and restaurants that the majority of our residents desire have been part of our plan to create an active, pedestrian-friendly village center.

The three-story apartment complexes at Market & Main also are part of our plan to provide more versatile housing options that appeal to a growing number of people, including our own residents. The apartments will attract the young and seasoned professionals that our businesses need to thrive while providing the critical mass of people retail merchants need to locate here and be profitable.

According to a regional study, insight2050, an unprecedented 81 percent of our region's future growth will be households without children, including millennials and empty nesters who want to live and work in mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities.

Although traffic is an inevitable consequence of this growth, we have plans in place to redirect it to other roads to ensure this area is safe and pedestrian-friendly and to provide parking solutions that meet needs, enhance safety and are compatible with the aesthetics of the village center.

The community-development department pays equal attention to economic development.

Attracting new businesses and encouraging business expansion increases our tax base and reduces the tax burden for residents. Income taxes, much of which come from the 15,000 jobs created at the New Albany International Business Park, generate approximately 80 percent of the city's general revenues to support city services. To date, the business park also has generated $68 million in property- and income-tax revenue for our schools.

All of our plans are available for review at

Jennifer Chrysler is community-development director for New Albany.