Comprehensive Plan: Chapter 7, Economic Development
Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) was hired to prepare a nine-element Comprehensive Plan and Major Transportation Plan for the City of Murfreesboro; a city in central Tennessee with a 2015 resident population of approximately 124,745 persons, projected to grow to over 228,000 persons by 2035. The planning area consisted of the lands within the City limits and Urban Growth Boundary, a total area of approximately 115,000 acres.
The Comprehensive Plan (currently under development) addresses key challenges the City faces in accommodating this profound growth projection (+/-100,000 persons), by providing a multitude of realistic and implementable strategies and recommendations, including: annexation policy guidance associated with the provision of utilities infrastructure outside of the City limits (in light of Public Chapter 1101); waste stream diversion as a means of prolonging the lifespan of the City’s landfill ; proposing a variety of affordable urban housing typologies as a means of retaining Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) talent and a growing young professional population; the provision of additional parks and recreation facilities, including a parkland dedication ordinance; partnering with MTSU to stimulate entrepreneurial business development through revolving load programs, incubators and innovation centers; establishing special districts, including Downtown, within which tax increment financing (TIF), payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) and other programs can be utilized to stimulate redevelopment activity; the establishment of an economic development and redevelopment divisions within the City’s Planning department; and incenting Class A office space.
US Highway 421 Corridor Plan
Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) was tasked with developing a redevelopment program for a four-mile segment of US Highway 421, an aging commercial corridor composed of a variety of retail franchises, including fast food restaurants, automotive and office supply stores, big-box retail enterprises, and a derelict, three-anchor mall. Objectives of the corridor plan included increasing the transportation function and safety of key thoroughfares within the Project Study Area; improve pedestrian accessibility; enhance the appearance of US Highway 421; and formulate an approach to redeveloping several multi-parcel portions of the corridor.
Through evaluating local/regional market research and LaPorte County tax assessment data, KKC identified five unique redevelopment areas with which to formulate a prototypical approach and redevelopment program that could be applied to other areas as appropriate. KKC’s program included 300 acres of redevelopment that included residential housing of varying densities, new retail infill development, manufacturing, distribution and warehousing facilities; professional office clusters, a regional sports complex, and a regional medical center.
To increase the efficiency of the 421 corridor’s transportation function and reduce congestion, KKC prepared an access management program which consisted of raised medians, eliminating multiple access points (curb cuts) while increasing access (to existing commercial property as well as currently undeveloped areas) through a network of frontage and rearage roads.
Additional strategies included expanding the City’s South Side TIF to incent redevelopment of the largely vacant Marquette Mall into a mixed-use town center that includes a new Main Street spine flanked with retail and residential infill development; and narrowing the lane widths of US Highway 421 in order to widen areas outside of the thoroughfare though within the right-of-way, to develop sidewalks, streetscape and landscape enhancements.
SR 49 Corridor Master Plan
Sponsored by the City of Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission and Planning Department, this Corridor Plan was developed to address landscape conservation and development-related issues along a portion of State Route 49, extending from U.S. Highway 30 northward to U.S. Highway 6, a distance of approximately six miles, encompassing an area of approximately ten square miles.
The principal objective of the SR 49 Corridor Plan is to provide planning guidance and physical design direction for urban growth and development, regional change, and environmental management over the next ten to 20 years. A key goal of the Corridor Plan is to encourage professional/office development patterns that limit uncoordinated expansion in order to preserve the corridor’s natural, cultural and scenic resources and amenities for which Porter County is known.
An arterial thoroughfare (Memorial Drive Extended) is proposed to run parallel to SR 49 in order to provide access to large portions of developable land, and ensure a coherent pattern of contiguous development that prevents sprawl and preserves open space and rural landscape character. The proposed thoroughfare promotes connectivity and manages access to existing transportation corridors while providing synergies with adjacent, complementary land uses.
Additional landscape preservation and commercial development strategies are organized within four focus areas: residential and commercial growth and development; transportation infrastructure; utilities infrastructure; economic development and corridor promotion.Read More
Additional Projects: Comprehensive Plan, Unified Development Code, Esplanade Streetscape Improvement Concepts, Schematic Site Plan, On-Call Services
The City of Cuero, Texas, hired Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) to assist in the preparation of an updated comprehensive plan and a new downtown plan for guiding the long-range growth, development, and enhancement of the community. Today, the City is positioned for unprecedented growth and opportunity with its prime location along the Eagle Ford Shale formation. This potential for rapid growth, however, has both positive and negative implications on employment, traffic, housing, and infrastructure – among other community impacts. It is these contradicting implications of growth that prompted Cuero to undertake this planning effort, one that allowed them to proactively set their community vision for the future.
Through the process of developing the comprehensive plan and downtown plan, the community assessed unique and desirable traits in order to preserve its history and culture, improve aesthetics and overall quality of life, retain multi-generational families, and attract prospective businesses and residents to the area. The plans set the stage for a community vision and present next steps in the form of concrete and actionable recommendations.
What sets this planning process apart, however, is the strong community support and commitment to implement the proposed actionable recommendations. Before either plan was complete, the City had already proceeded with implementing many of the recommendations, including getting the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to help fund and construct pedestrian streetscape improvements (e.g., cross-walks and bulb-outs) along a five-block area through downtown, relocating the farmers market, keeping and expanding the library downtown, dedicating first-ever funding for sidewalk and other pedestrian improvements, consolidating outdated ordinances into a unified development code, and re-envisioning the future of the City’s largest community park.
Together, the comprehensive plan and downtown plan policy documents, and the City’s quick commitment to implementation, will provide communities across Texas and the country with concrete examples of what a well-thought out planning program can do to improve any jurisdiction’s long-term future.
U.S. 30 Corridor Plan
Additional Projects: Comprehensive Plan, Unified Development Ordinance
Recognition: Outstanding Project (Unified Development Code), Honorable Mention, Indiana APA, (2010)
The U.S. 30 Corridor Plan defines a strategic vision for improving the function, appearance, and economic potential of a 4.5-mile highway segment that passes through the City of Valparaiso, a mid-size Indiana community located 50 miles southwest of Downtown Chicago. The planning process culminated in an illustrative design and policy document that set forth strategic recommendations for public and private investment activity. It also functioned as marketing collateral, helping to garner $25 million in streetscape and transportation improvements for a local Federal-aid project through INDOT. The City had previously retained Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) to comprehensively redraft its land development regulations into a single unified development ordinance, and to update its comprehensive plan.
One of the project’s challenges was to reconcile the corridor’s multiple and sometimes competing functions: to move high volumes of through-traffic as well as local traffic; provide access to property; carry important public infrastructure; connect several of the city’s activity centers, and serve as the City’s main “face” to the region. The plan shows how the corridor should redevelop in the event of major changes in market conditions or property ownership, while also making recommendations for proactive, targeted infrastructure improvements and redevelopment opportunities. The plan concluded with an implementation strategy, which presented a number of tools at the City’s disposal: zoning and special design standards; developer incentives; annexation policies; and direct public investment in infrastructure, landscaping, and possible participation in real estate development.