MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — When it comes to Murfreesboro’s growth, Greg McKnight has watched it evolve over the last few years.
“The growth has been steady in Murfreesboro, and we haven’t seen any of that let up,” he said.
Back in 2017, the city unveiled a 2035 plan that would act as a roadmap to Murfreesboro’s future.
“Chapter four of that comprehensive plan is actually the land use portion,” said McKnight.
McKnight serves as the city’s executive director of developmental services, and said its this portion he and other city officials have spent quite a bit of time working to revive.
On Wednesday, the planning commission and city council came together in a joint meeting to learn more about the changes coming in regards to future land use.
“I don’t think it was a good tool in its current state before the update that allowed consistency through our process,” said McKnight.
To keep up with the city’s growth and better capture its vision, McKnight said it was time to update it. He said this time around, they included all departments and school leaders in changes to the map.
Key changes include adding a new general policy to allow for flexibility related to transitions between designated areas on the map, new land use categories, a revised land use category text for each type to reflect the city’s vision of future growth in those areas, and adding a service infill line to help with growth and development.
“That infill service line are the areas that match up with the police department’s growth, the fire department’s growth, parks and rec, transportation,” said McKnight. “That line says we can service it for the next 12 years.”
McKnight said along with residential businesses, manufacturing and industrial businesses are eyeing Murfreesboro for future projects.
“Industrial is also what we are hearing from our Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “That’s what they are getting calls about in the Middle Tennessee area and Murfreesboro, so we’re seeing those types of uses pretty prevalent as we move forward.”
So revising this map helps city leaders and developers better envision where these projects should go throughout the city.
“One of the things that we try to do is make sure if something goes to (the) planning commission that it’s a part of the vision,” said McKnight. “So when it gets to council, it doesn’t have a chance of it not passing council, and the applicant or developer spending a lot of time and money for something that may not make it through.”
As the growth continues, McKnight said if they need to change things, they can so it continues to follow the city’s overall plan.
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“There is an opportunity that five years from now that we continue to revisit to make sure it’s in line with the vision,” he said.
McKnight said they will work to get more feedback to make necessary improvements before presenting it to the planning commission and city council who will vote on final changes.