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Simpsonville's planning honored

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By Steve Doyle

Simpsonville’s Village Center project has been recognized as the best small-town planning project in the state.

The American Planning Association’s Kentucky chapter cited the city’s efforts from 2009-2010 to define and plan a downtown corridor along U.S. 60.

Working through HNTB, a planning consulting company from Louisville, and with the guidance of Triple S Planning & Zoning, city residents and officials defined what they wanted that area to look like as it develops.

"This was a community wide endeavor, and this award belongs to all the citizens of Simpsonville who participated,” Mayor Steve Eden said after receiving the award Friday afternoon at the closing luncheon of the group’s conference at General Butler State Park in Carrollton.

"To be recognized as one of Kentucky's top projects by APAKy speaks volumes about the progressive leadership of Mayor Eden and the Simpsonville City Commission,” City Administrator David Eaton said.

Ryan Libke, executive director of Triple S, and Amy Williams and Scott Siefker of HNTB also were on hand for the presentation.

Simpsonville initiated its project in February 2009 with public forums to brainstorm ideas for the areas north and south of U.S. 60.

HNTB planners then created visual maps of the area and developed examples of what citizens had suggested. A second review session gave planners sufficient input to design a final concept for approval of the commission.

City officials then worked closely with Triple S to create a new zoning district that will cover the needs of this project for the next several decades.

The first phase should begin soon when the city will begin construction of new sidewalks that will include, landscaping streetlights, benches and other features from the plan.

The city won a $320,000 matching federal stimulus grant to pay for this, and it awaits the release of that money through a lengthy process that includes state oversight. An engineer already has been hired.