Master plan hits next phase, residents able to weigh in

Published on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 21:05 - Written by KELLY GOOCH kgooch@tylerpaper.com

Troup residents will be able to weigh in on the future of downtown as part of a recently approved master plan project.

On Tuesday, the city council gave the go-ahead for the Troup Community Development Corp. to pay Butler Planning Services more than $44,000 to do the project, which includes a transportation phase, land-use phase and master planning phase.

Among other things, the project will involve a parking survey of the downtown area, said Christopher Butler, planner with Butler Planning Services. That survey area includes Troup Elementary School.

On certain days, Butler said he will drive the area with cameras, doing rounds every 30 minutes. He said he will take notes on different things, such as if people are crossing the road a lot to get from one store to another.

The survey is not only important in identifying parking needs but also economic impact opportunities downtown, he said.

According to a letter from Butler Planning Services, the master plan project also includes an examination of traffic characteristics, such as volume and circulation, 3D visualizations, an existing land use survey, aerial photography and eventually an official downtown master plan, which will address various issues, such as projected population, economic projections and suggested plans for transportation.

City Manager Gene Cottle said the city wants to see what the traffic patterns are, that way it can pass along that information when trying to attract businesses to Troup. The information also could help current businesses determine their hours, he said.

“This kind of gives everybody some information to work with,” Cottle added.

Butler said public input is received throughout the project. He expects the project to take six months to a year to complete.

Overall, the city wants to ensure that Troup is prepared for new businesses, Cottle said.

Additionally, he said, people have approached the city with grant opportunities, but it has to first see what kind of grants it needs to accomplish. And with the master plan, the city will have good information to apply for those grants, he said.

As the project gets underway, more information will be available atwww.troupplan.com .

Residents also can follow @troupplan on Twitter for project-related information.