By Sarah Kuper
Since September, representatives from the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham have been working with the city of Homewood on a master plan for developing the downtown area.
After a series of open houses, vision surveys and online mapping exercises, principal planner Lindsay Puckett said she is excited to see results of the latest survey going out to interested Homewood residents.
“People here are very passionate about their town,” she said, “The survey released in January presented different development types and results said people want to see mixed-use buildings no taller than four stories.”
Among other conclusions, planners were able to hone in on residents’ desire to create a mix of live/work units, an idea that isn’t allowed currently because of zoning laws.
Now residents are being invited to participate in a follow-up survey that presents a series of trade-offs or compromises that would have to be made to achieve some of their desires.
One example is the pull between a more walkable downtown and convenient parking.
“We hear that parking is an issue, but if you want to make a more walkable city, it is the choice of being able to walk to a business or pull up and park in front of that business,” Puckett said.
Other survey questions involve green space, streetscaping, crosswalks and architecture.
The previous survey had 420 participants, and Puckett hopes at least that many respond this time.
Results and other planning tools will be discussed at the next public forum, March 22.
To sign up for updates and to take the survey, visit heartofhomewoodplan.com and hwddevstreetscape.metroquest.com. ❖