Gallatin residents can now provide their feedback on a proposed update to the city’s comprehensive development plan, which officials say will be used to help guide future growth-related decisions for decades to come.
Officials with the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) unveiled the initial draft of PlanGallatin during a public meeting at city hall on July 27.
The 98-page update to the city’s comprehensive plan, which can be viewed online at www.PlanGallatin.org, is meant to outline the goals, objectives, strategies and actions that will be used to help manage growth for the city through the year 2045.
“What we’ve done is we have prepared a draft that we think reflects the vision of the community as expressed by the participation throughout this process over the last 18 months,” GNRC Executive Director Michael Skipper told the more than 30 people in attendance last week. “Now, it’s your turn to tell us if we heard the right things.”
According to the plan, more than 60 percent of the growth expected to occur in Tennessee between 2020 and 2045 will happen in Nashville and its surrounding counties, which would make it one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country.
In Gallatin, the population is estimated to grow to nearly 66,000 residents living inside the city limits during that same period. The United States Census Bureau estimates the city’s population was 42,918 as of July of 2019.
A “significant loss” of open space along with a sharp increase in traffic congestion are expected to occur locally within the next 25 years “unless strategies are implemented to mitigate the negative impacts of growth,” according to GNRC’s planning model.
“This plan is about where a potential investor could put a kind of business or where a certain kind of development could be built or where the city needs to make investments in the future or whatever it may be,” Mayor Paige Brown told those in attendance last week.
The draft version of the updated plan spans nine chapters, which provide an outline of its purpose, historical and future growth forecasts along with recommendations for preservation, maintaining livability, improving infrastructure and growing the local economy.
The importance of those issues, along with the need for planned growth and community cohesion, were among the top priorities for the city expressed by residents since officials began outreach efforts in June of 2019.
“How you choose to grow… is going to impact your quality of life,” Skipper said. “This (plan) is the tool that seeks to get everybody on the same page… so that the city has a proper chance at aligning its resources and subsequent decision making to implement that vision.”
Once residents review the draft plan online, they will be able to take a brief survey and share their initial feedback about the document, according to officials. However, any comments or suggestions regarding specific text, pages, charts, maps or other parts of the plan should be emailed directly to PlanGallatin@GallatinTN.gov.
A joint work session of the Gallatin City Council and the Gallatin Planning Commission to discuss the proposed comprehensive plan update is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Aug. 24 at city hall beginning at 4 p.m. The plan would likely then go to the planning commission for review and a vote before heading to the city council for approval. Additional opportunities for public comment on the document will be available throughout the process.