Triple S makes one modification, approves goals and objectives

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Elements to be discussed next

By Scotty McDaniel

Shelby County now has an idea of what it will be like in the next two decades.

The Triple S Planning and Zoning Commission approved Tuesday the 2010- 2030 Shelby County Comprehensive Plan Statement of Goals and Objectives -- with one exception.

A public hearing on the proposed goals and objectives was held on May 26, and the commission was able to sort through the comments since then.

On Tuesday, commissioner Dudley Bottom said he agreed with a shared concern of organizations such as SCOPE (Shelby County Organized for Preservation and Enhancement) and MORE (Maintain Our Rural Environment) and recommended that the commission remove one objective from the Economic Development goal before proceeding.

That objective called in for the community "to promote efforts of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Shelby County Tourism Commission, Shelby Development Corporation, and the Shelby County Industrial and Development Foundation."

Executive Director of Triple S Ryan Libke said removing the objective doesn't change the overall goal of economic development.

"The commission felt it was appropriate to remove it, and that's fine. We're still covering economic development," Libke said. "The concern was that we weren't covering all the entities that might be part of economic development in the community. And by taking that out we're still covering these entities in the other objectives. We hope everyone promotes economic development in the community."

The commissioners agreed the objective was too specific and narrowing, and together they approved the goals and objectives without it.

The comprehensive plan is a guide for 20 years that explains where people want the community to go, he said. The goals and objectives approved Tuesday have been enhanced, rewritten, or are completely new from previous plans.

"We're not looking at the past; we're looking at new," Libke said. “The one section that's completely new is the economic development section."

In general, the changes set up goals and objectives for the whole community. “It's not just looking at land use and zoning issues, the plan is your community's plan," he said. "It's supposed to be a plan used not only for planning and zoning, but it's a plan to be used for other decisions like budgeting and everyday maintenance."

The commission will soon recommend the comprehensive plan to Shelby County Fiscal Court and the cities of Shelbyville and Simpsonville for their consideration, amendment and adoption.

Upon receiving this recommendation, those governing bodies have 90 days to take action and either approve or deny the goals and objectives. If no action is taken within the period, the statement automatically would be deemed approved by operation of law. 

Moving on to the elements

After that, the next step is to begin the process of creating different elements of the plan that can make the goals and objectives a reality.

"We're going to be contacting different agencies in the community to work with them," Libke said.

For example, the concern most expressed by the community is the importance of maintaining the rural character and farmland.

"We'll talk about different specific methods and recommendations on what we need to do to actually preserve the farmland," Libke said.

Public-input sessions are possible in the early stages of development, he said, and a public hearing is required before the commission votes on elements.

The timeline requires elements to be completed before the deadline for review of the overall comprehensive plan, which is May of 2010.

"There's a lot of work still left to do. There's nothing scheduled yet for the elements, as we're still working to get goals and objectives finished and addressed by the governing bodies," he said.