Gallatin residents and other members of the community will soon be able to help shape how the city will develop during the next 15 years.
Plan Gallatin aims to gather public feedback that will then be used to develop a blueprint for the city to use for future planning decisions, according to Michelle Lacewell, deputy director of the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) which is helping develop the plan.
The multi-month community-wide engagement initiative will kick off June 18 with a lawn party outside city hall from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.
“Whatever it is, city staff and elected officials all need to know the variety of desires in the community so they can weigh those needs as they are trying to figure out how to move the community forward and plan for growth,” Lacewell said. “This is the time to have your voice heard on what you want approved in the future and where you want money put.”
For those interested in learning more about Plan Gallatin and how you can participate, here are some things you should know:
Why is Plan Gallatin important?
According to data provided by the city, Gallatin loses the equivalent of 10 football fields of tree canopy each year while simultaneously adding nine football fields of paved surfaces as a result of local growth and development.
Community input provided during Plan Gallatin will help guide land use and development across the city as well as recreation, public safety and infrastructure investments in the future.
“I know the value of a plan,” Gallatin resident and entrepreneur Dewayne Scott said. “A business wouldn’t survive if you didn’t have some planning tied to it, so the city has to do the same thing if it wants to be successful.”
If Gallatin continues to add 270 new residents each month, officials estimate the city’s population could nearly double to 70,000 by 2045.
In addition to helping manage local growth, Lacewell said that a good comprehensive development plan could help Gallatin secure state and federal funding for future projects.
“If local cities have good planning documents then we also have that information to make sure that regional decisions are going to be respectful of local desires,” she said.
Whose input is needed?
Anyone who lives, works or owns a business in the city, regardless of their age, is encouraged to participate in Plan Gallatin.
Areas of feedback could relate to future park land, city facilities, road improvements, pedestrian access and bicycle trails as well as other community needs and desires identified by participants
“We’re really hoping to get some engagement from the people who will be using this city in the future, so we’d love to hear from some young people about what they would like to see as well,” Mayor Paige Brown said. “We need to have everybody kind of look into their future and see what would make our city better for them as time goes by.”
How can you participate?
In addition to the lawn launch party next week, city and GNRC officials will host five smaller separate open house meetings in each of the city’s council districts during the next month. Each meeting will start at 5 p.m. and go until 7 p.m.
“(The open houses) get us closer to the different neighborhoods, so hopefully it’s easier to access and is more convenient for people,” Lacewell said. “It will also create an opportunity for the current elected officials to hear the discussions, which is really important.”
The specific dates and locations for each of the separate meetings are:
*Wednesday, June 26 at the American Job Center, 1598 GreenLea Blvd., with District 4 Councilman Craig Hayes
*Thursday, June 27 at the Gallatin High School cafeteria, 700 Dan P. Herron Dr., with District 3 Councilman Jimmy Overton
*Monday, July 8 at the Guild Elementary School cafeteria, 1018 South Water Ave., with District 2 Councilman Steve Camp
*Thursday, July 11 at the Gallatin Shalom Zone, 600 Small St., with District 5 Councilman John D. Alexander
*Wednesday, July 17 at the Gallatin Civic Center, 210 Albert Gallatin Ave., with District 1 Councilwoman Lynda Bradley Love
For more information about the meetings contact Rosemary Bates with the City of Gallatin at email@example.com or at 615 230-7953.
Anyone who cannot attend one of the scheduled district meetings will still be able to provide their feedback about Gallatin’s future development through an online survey that can be accessed through the new website www.plangallatin.org.
Once the community visioning and engagement phase is completed later this year, officials will begin drafting the city’s new comprehensive plan, which is expected to take three months to complete.
A draft of the final plan will then be released to the public for review. Public hearings will also be held prior to adoption by the Gallatin City Council.
“It’s going to be a guide,” Brown said. “It will also be really good for smooth transitioning. We want to get a plan so that when we’re all gone, the next bunch of leaders know that this is what the people said they wanted.”