Planning our future

 The proposed revision to New Albany’s comprehensive plan was unveiled at Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen and it’s a lot to take in.

We’ve only begun studying the document. It will be available in the next few days online at

As with any document that attempts to encompass areas as diverse as roads and land use to community facilities and community preservation, it skips through lots of important topics with just a sentence or two. But there are many meaty tidbits that deserve a close look by citizens before the final document is approved, probably in a couple of months.

The board set a public community meeting for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the Magnolia Civic Center for representatives of Slaughter & Associates, urban planners, to go through the highlights and get comments and questions from citizens.

Two things struck us during the brief session Monday, one positive and one not so encouraging. Sam Russell, planning manager at the consulting company, said the development of  the Tanglefoot Trail Rails-to-Trails project has the potential to be as important to the city’s economy as opening a new manufacturing plant. We couldn’t agree more.

But he also predicted that New Albany will see only slow growth, perhaps 20 housing units a year, for the foreseeable future, even if the planned Toyota plant opens. To us, it is important that the city focus on things that can positively impact that number.

  We don’t know how many people will turn out in the busy Thanksgiving holiday week for the public meeting, but we urge you to do so.

Comprehensive planning is the key to getting community development right. And holding elected officials accountable for following through on the plan, once adopted, is important.

That only happens when we all show an active interest in our future.