FINAL DRAFT PLAN!
The Final Draft of the West Side Master Plan is ready for Planning Commission review and approval at its meeting on September 13, 2016 at 5:30 in Council Chambers.
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WEST SIDE MASTER PLAN STUDY AREA
The West Side Master Plan Study Area is outlined above by the dashed yellow line. The light purple color represents properties that have been annexed into the City of Huntsville.
The City of Madison adopted its Growth Plan in 2012 to provide a conceptual look at how and where the City will grow into the future. While it serves as an excellent snap shot of future goals and issues, it does not provide the detail necessary to guide parcel-specific decisions, nor does it provide a vision for how mobility will be integrated within neighborhoods or into the community at large. The Growth Plan was also adopted prior to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and therefore lacks its guidance on the location and design of park facilities.
The purpose of the West Side Master Plan is to serve as a blueprint for future growth and decision making. While much of the area remains zoned for agriculture, the West Side is one of the hottest growth areas for Madison with recent rezonings heralding the push for change. In order to be effectively implemented the plan will need to guide rezoning decisions and be integrated into land development codes. Part of this project will focus on a review of current regulations and suggestions for amendments.
West Side Growth aRea
The following text and images are excerpts from the Madison Growth Plan regarding the Western Growth Area.
The Madison Growth Plan identified Key Development Areas (KDAs) within Madison that were areas that were most likely, and most amenable to change in the future. The KDA's are identified on the map below. The Western Growth Area or 'West Side' is highlighted in purple.
The Western Growth Area provides a unique opportunity for the City of Madison. In Limestone County, city boundaries are less well-defined, and the conditions are favorable for future growth and development. Indeed, the plan for this area is likely to be the most speculative, but also potentially the most pressing. The City of Huntsville has been annexing property to the west, limiting the City of Madison’s potential future growth. Infrastructure networks are limited in Limestone County, and fostering or directing smart growth in this KDA is likely to present both political and logistical challenges.
- The Western Growth Area has vast opportunities for future development.
- Large, flat, single-owner parcels with few encroaching roads mean that potential plans have a great deal of flexibility
- Due to Huntsville’s reach, the only remaining major gap for greenfield growth is to the northwest
- Parts of this area are as near to I-65 as they are to I-565. Though no interchange is immediately associated with the KDA, the proximity to these major roadways holds potential for the future
- Providing infrastructure and services to this area will require planning and municipal investment, particularly if the City wishes to incent and control specific types of development that could occur in this KDA
- The overlapping and immediately adjacent jurisdictions (Limestone County and Madison County; City of Huntsville and City of Madison) will demand coordination (especially with regard to laying out and constructing infrastructure and road networks), and likely some level of mediation in order to ensure consistent, well-planned, and high-quality growth
- How can new growth occur here without overrunning the existing character of this still-rural KDA?
Limestone County is new frontier for the City of Madison, and the spread of subdivisions on rural two-lane roads is a testament to the speed and newness of growth to the west. Compared to the established neighborhoods in East Madison, there is still significant room to grow - and add housing stock - in Limestone County, even if the City stopped annexation in the area. For many who live out west, however, the Growth Plan represents an opportunity to avoid the mistakes
of development patterns to the east.
Much of the input from the public meetings and on-line surveys was geared toward getting in front of growth, and making sure that it both preserves some of the low-scale rural character and looks for specific opportunities to provide community amenities like shops, parks, and schools. It also seeks to solve traffic issues before they become issues by pre-identifying, and attempting to implement, routes for a more comprehensive and better-connected street and path network. The Western Growth Area is setting out to prove that preservation and development can not just coexist, but cooperate.
FRAMEWORK & GROWTH PLANS
- While the majority of this district will be single-family residential, the City should begin to identify key locations within (and adjacent to) the KDA that would be suitable for commercial use. Following the “commercial node” model, an internal, local-serving neighborhood retail center can be designated, as well as potential sites for an elementary school and recreation areas.
- Annexation opportunities are dwindling, but selective moves should be made to acquire land that will buttress the Master Plan. Any available frontage on Highway 72, especially east of Powell Road, would be a reasonable addition, as would the large parcels at the northwest corner of Powell and Huntsville Browns Ferry.
- The construction of the new high school at Burgreen Rd. will catalyze some adjacent development pressure. Avoid over-developing retail at locations other than those identified in the Growth Plan.
- For traffic flow and accessibility, adding and improving connections to County Line Road and Highway 72 are critically important. While the street network is the main thrust of efforts, to the greatest extent possible new and reconfigured roads should include sidewalks, bike lanes and/or multiuse paths. If bike/ped accommodations are incorporated into all new or reconfigured streets, then off-system trails may be duplicative.
- The existing street network has large gaps in service both east/west and north/south. If the City lays out a network in advance, it can more easily shape the desired vision for future development within that network.
- As new roads are planned in this area, there is greater opportunity for introduction of roundabouts as a safer and operationally sound intersection treatment.
- New residential neighborhoods should be developed with a high level of street connectivity, avoiding use of cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets.
Western Growth Area Project List
- Zoning. Particularly in rural areas or in separate municipalities, zoning can be inconsistent and potentially incompatible with a developed vision. Though the predominant designation will continue to be single-family, it will be important to bring regulation in line with parcels targeted for commercial or institutional development.
- Roadway Network Planning. Before development overtakes the KDA, the City should plan and begin construction on a well-connected road grid for their Limestone County jurisdiction.
- Recreation Facility Study. An acknowledged need within the City, the Western Growth Area is one of the more likely landing spots for additional recreational fields and facilities.
- Greenway Network Planning. This can occur in parallel with the Roadway Network effort, but can look at both on-street and off-street options for creating a comprehensive alternative-mode network.
- Elementary School Site Investigation. Anticipating a growing need for facilities to accommodate anticipated growth in Madison/Limestone, the City and School District should identify potential locations for new projects.
For more information about the Madison Growth Plan, you can download a copy here:
Madison Growth Plan