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Lee County Master Plan

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  1. Lee County Master Plan June 2, 2009 Planning Commission

  2. Agenda • Opening Remarks • Dr. Bob Juster, Wendy Swann • Meeting Objectives • Town Hall Meetings, Round 2 • Key Findings Report • Discussion of Goal Statements • Review of Plan Principles • Conceptual Development Framework

  3. Upcoming Public Events • Town Hall Meetings • June 15 – Beauregard High School // Loachapoka High School • June 16 – Beulah High School // Courthouse Annex • June 18 – Smiths Station High School • Small Group Meetings

  4. Key FindingsPopulation • Projected Population Increase of - 31,159 • 2008 County Pop.: 133,010 • 2028 Projected Pop.: 164,169 (FBRGMP) • Median Household Income (2007) • Lee County: $38,849 (Lee County level skewed downward by college student households) • Alabama: $40,596 • U.S.: $50,740

  5. Key FindingsEconomic Development • Recent Major Economic Activities – County has/will experience considerable positive economic activity in and near the county • Tiger Town shopping mall in Opelika (2004) will employ approx. 3,000 at build out • Celebrate Alabama (Opelika) could employ approx. 5,000 at completion • Auburn University/City of Auburn Research Park- Phase I (100 acres) is underway; first tenant has been announced (Northrup Grumman/software) • New Kia auto plant (West Point, GA)- approx. 2,500 employees; at least 8 supplier operations in area (4,300 additional workers) • Planned expansion of Ft. Benning (approx. 8,200 new military and civilian employees) • Focus has been on recruiting/landing large industries (could be focusing on second and third tier supplier businesses); Should there be ED activities for rural areas of county (contradiction with protecting/preserving rural character)?

  6. Key FindingsEconomic Development • Strengths • Auburn University; East Alabama Regional Medical Center; three strong public K-12 school systems; Southern Union State Community College; geographic location; pool of constantly replenishing young workers (AU and SUSCC); strong overall economy; Auburn and Opelika economies; attractive rural areas (unincorporated areas) • Weaknesses • County economy needs to continue efforts to be more diverse/mixed; county government needs improved sources of financing to support needed programs and services; lack of adequate sewer service in southeastern portion of the county (Smiths Station area) (Based on more than 30 Stakeholder Interviews )

  7. Key FindingsTransportation • Most Frequently Stated Concerns: • traffic congestion and speeding; intersection signalization and signage; safety; truck traffic; roadway design, surfaces and markings; bridges; minimal availability of transit; and few sidewalks or bicycle lanes/paths • Safety: • Most crashes (72%) in urban areas • Most fatalities (68%) in rural areas

  8. Key FindingsTransportation • Roads: • State System: 138 Miles • County System: 845 Miles • Commercial traffic majority along I-85/US-80/US-280/US-431 • Bridges: • State System: 59 Bridges • County System: 111 Bridges • Bicycle and Pedestrian: • Focus to be on providing sidewalk and refuge areas within activity centers and near schools

  9. Key FindingsTransportation • Public Transportation: • Lee-Russell Public Transit (LRPT), operated by LRCOG, provides coordinated urban and rural transit services • Rail and Aviation: • Two Class I rail lines cross county • Auburn-Opelika Robert G. Pitts Airport – no commercial service

  10. Key FindingsInfrastructure • Water and Sewer Providers: • Smiths Water and Sewer Authority • Lee-Chambers Utilities District • Beauregard Water Authority • Auburn Water Works and Sewer Board • City of Opelika • Loachapoka Water Authority • 95% of Population Served by Public Water

  11. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing

  12. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Growth throughout the county is well planned and managed, incorporating appropriate improvements in order to protect residential areas, preserve agricultural and natural lands, encourage the revitalization of vacant buildings, and promote economic development and growth in the local economy.

  13. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Lee County will provide excellent local schools, new community centers and services for seniors and youth, and ongoing improvements to a variety of public services including health, public safety, sanitation, recycling, and animal control.

  14. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Lee County is committed to protecting natural resources, improving water quality, and providing parks, trails, and recreational areas that enhance public access to open space.

  15. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Protection of historic resources, effective integration of green spaces, incorporation of appropriate signage, and encouragement of attractive, walkable communities that reflect the county’s small town and rural charm.

  16. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Local jurisdictions will work cooperatively to plan for the future, ensure the wise use of resources, and engage community members in collaborative decision-making.

  17. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Ongoing, strategic improvements will ensure access to high quality water and sewer systems, transportation improvements, and to state-of-the-art technology infrastructure such as cable and high speed internet.

  18. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Transportation is safe and efficient for all users, with roads that are regularly repaired and improved, with enhanced signage and lighting, and infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.

  19. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Lee County strives to provide well-maintained properties and clean, attractive public spaces.

  20. Draft // Goal StatementsPlanning Elements • Land Use • Community Facilities and Services • Open Space, Natural, and Cultural / Historic Resources • Community Design • Intergovernmental Coordination • Infrastructure • Transportation • Community Appearance • Housing Diverse housing options—including affordable choices–offer citizens a range of housing types, density and cost.

  21. What happens to goals now? • They remain draft until plan is approved • Could be shared with County Commission • Could be endorsed by County Commission • Will be shared with community at Town Hall meetings • Will be the basis for more specific policies (objectives and strategies)

  22. Plan PrinciplesConservation and Development Principles are statements of intent that indicate the approach to land conservation and development.

  23. Draft // Plan PrinciplesConservation and Development • Foundation of Principles: • The county has three fundamental physical environments: • urban; suburban and rural • The land use focus is in unincorporated areas of the county • Unincorporated areas should be considered predominantly—if not entirely—rural • There may be special districts (institutions, public facilities, etc.) in the rural areas with special needs and design responses • There may be existing development/uses in the county that are not considered rural (e.g. residential subdivisions with inappropriate density and/or pattern of development).

  24. Draft // Plan PrinciplesConservation and Development • The rural character will be strengthened with a clear distinction from suburban development character. • Natural features—streams, lakes, woodlands, etc.—will be conserved if not preserved. • Undeveloped land---farms and timber—will generally be the defining use. • Residential development will reinforce rural character (In other words, it will not reflect a suburban pattern and appearance.)

  25. Draft // Plan PrinciplesConservation and Development 5. Transportation improvements will reinforce desired rural character attributes. 6. Commercial development will be limited mixed-use nodes of village center patterns 7. Industrial or special use districts will be located sensitively and buffered to minimize impacts on adjacent uses, and the general character of the rural areas.

  26. Lee County Master Plan June 2, 2009 Planning Commission