Leaders from Opelika’s city council and planning commission came together Tuesday to begin working on a new comprehensive plan that will guide the city’s growth over the next two decades.
The Opelika 2040 Comprehensive Plan will address the city’s future in terms of land use, economic development, housing, transportation, community facilities, parks and more.
Once complete, the plan will act as a set of guidelines for elected leaders, appointed leaders and city staff to follow when making plans, creating laws and funding projects across the city for the next two decades.
“This is a forward step to the future of Opelika, to growth and development and how we look and see where we want to go, how we get there and all the steps it’ll take to do that,” Opelika Planning Director Matt Mosley said.
The Opelika 2040 Plan is being developed with help from Houseal Lavigne Associates, a community planning and urban design firm based out of Chicago, and representatives from the firm estimated that it would take about 16 months for the plan to be complete.
One of the first steps of the 16-month process began with the meeting of city council and planning commission leaders who weighed in on issues and changes they’d like to see addressed in the city, as well as an overview of the schedule of the plan’s development.
The planning process for the comprehensive plan will also include the formation of a comprehensive plan advisory committee, community education, data collection, neighborhood workshops, reviews of past comprehensive plans and a series of reviews from city staff and city leaders.
“We’re at the front end of a 16-month process,” Brandon Nolin, senior project manager with Houseal Lavigne, said. “We’ll really see the power of this planning process to unite the community and get everyone moving in the same direction.”
Residents can learn more about the plan as it moves throughout its development and can participate in community surveys about ways they think the city should grow by visiting www.hlplanning.com/portals/opelikacompplan/.