City plan entering Phase II

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The second phase of a comprehensive development plan for Selma will begin soon.

The city has received a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to complete Phase II of the plan.

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In Phase I, city planners from Birmingham concentrated on identifying the community&8217;s assets, opportunities and major developments, said Larry Watts, a city planner with Goodwin, Mills and Caewood.

Planners reviewed previous plans, existing and ongoing work. The group focused on the downtown center and adjoining neighborhoods, which include Riverview and the historic districts, he said.

The Phase I plan includes maps and future land use strategies, design renderings and preliminary goals and community priorities.

Watts said Phase II would include more community involvement through meetings and task groups, development of the plan&8217;s elements, with emphasis on the riverfront, the

Interstate-85 corridor and the Alabama Scenic river Trail.

The I-85 corridor is a multi-state region that follows I-85 across the Southeast from Montgomery to Petersburg, Va. Some have identified the area as developing megalopolis or megapolitan areas as larger cities, such as Atlanta-Chattanooga, Tenn.-Birmingham.

Phase II also would compare and contrast local building codes and ordinances with economic development priorities and smart codes. Smart codes describe building and construction codes that encourage the alteration and reuse of existing buildings.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. said the plan is part of the overall effort to enhance Selma&8217;s commercial historic and residential districts.